May 4, 1999
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State (38-7, 19-1), the nation’s hottest collegiate baseball team, will host a pair of non-league opponents in nine-inning games this Wednesday in Bill Davis Stadium (4,450). The Buckeyes will meet Oakland University (15-19, 7-9) at 2:30 p.m. before hosting Pittsburgh (22-24, 9-13) at 6:35 p.m. The Pittsburgh game will signal the end of a 13-game homestand for Ohio State. The Buckeyes will then travel to East Lansing, Mich. for four Big Ten games against Michigan State this weekend.
WOSU Radio (820 AM) will air Tuesday’s second game against Pittsburgh. Games one, two, and four of this weekend’s series will also be aired live on the station. The tandem of Herb Howenstine and Frank Fraas will call the action.
The 1999 Buckeyes are in the midst of the most impressive run in school history. Some highlights of the streak:
Ohio State has won 31 of its last 32 games, marking the best 32game stretch in school history. OSU’s winning percentage during therun is .969.
Ohio State has won 17 consecutive games, marking the second longestwinning streak in school history. The current streak trails onlythe 20 in-a-row won by the 1994 team.
Ohio State is a perfect 18-0 at home this year, breaking theprevious school record for best home start (13-0) held by the 1984team.
Ohio State’s 19-1 mark in the Big Ten is the best start by an OSUteam since the league expanded to a 28-game format. Even the 1994team, which finished 25-2 in the Big Ten, did not start 19-1.
ONE MILESTONE DOWN, ONE TO GO
Ohio State head coach Bob Todd captured the 600th victory of his career last Saturday in game two against Purdue. With Sunday’s win, Todd’s overall record now stands at 601-312-1. His record at Ohio State stands at 477-230-1, and he is just two wins shy of passing Marty Karow as the winningest baseball coach in OSU history. Karow captured 478 victories from 1951-1975 (25 seasons). Todd has attained his 477 victories in less than 12 seasons.
THIRD WINNER OF THE SEASON
An Ohio State player has been named the Big Ten Player of the Week for the third time this season. Freshman E.J. Laratta earned Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honors after going 2-0 and throwing 12 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. Laratta started against Dayton last week and threw five innings without allowing an earned run, then notched a complete game, four hit shutout against Purdue last Saturday. The Englewood, Colo., native struck out nine batters and walked only one last week. Chad Ehrnsberger was named the Big Ten Player of the Week on April 8 of this season, while Justin Fry was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week on March 29.
OHIO STATE IN THE POLLS
Ohio State cracked the nation’s top 10 for the first time since 1994 this week, grabbing the No. 9 spot in the Baseball America weekly poll. OSU is No. 13 in the USA Today Baseball Weekly/ESPN Coaches’ poll and received one first place vote this week for the first time this season. The Buckeyes are No. 15 in the Collegiate Baseball national poll.
NO. 2 IN WINNING PERCENTAGE
After going 6-0 last week, Ohio State now owns the nation’s second highest winning percentage at .844. Only Florida Atlantic (46-3) has a better overall winning percentage than the Buckeyes (.939).
TWO STREAKS, ONE SEASON
Ohio State’s 17-game winning streak is the second longest in school history. Earlier this season, the Buckeyes won 14 consecutive games, marking the fourth longest winning streak in OSU history. The 1999 Buckeyes are one of only three teams in school history to own two separate winning streaks of at least 10 games. Listed below are the longest single-season winning streaks in school history. Amazingly enough, two of them have occurred during the 1999 season.
Streak Year Dates 20 1994 4/23 – 5/20 17 1999 4/11 – Pres. 15 1970 4/18 – 5/23 14 1999 3/21 – 4/10 13 1984 3/31 – 4/14
OSU’S LAST ACTION
Ohio State posted its fourth four-game Big Ten sweep of the season rolling over Purdue, 7-5, 1-0, 3-0, and 3-2. Pitching drove OSU to each victory. Justin Fry started game one and notched his third complete game of the year, allowing only one earned run and striking out 10. The Buckeyes scored six runs in the first inning of the game and never trailed. Ohio State pitchers Andy Lee and E.J. Laratta combined to pitch the first consecutive shutouts for OSU since 1993 in games two and three of the series. Lee worked seven innings and allowed just four hits in a 1-0 game two win. OSU’s only run of the day was unearned. Laratta also tossed a four-hitter, striking out four in the game three 3-0 win. Jason Trott homered in the first inning and drove in another run in the third in that game. It was game four starter Kurt Fullenkamp’s turn to shine in the series finale. Fullenkamp went seven and one-third innings for OSU, allowing just two earned runs and scattering five hits. Cory Cox pitched the final one-and-two-thirds for OSU, collecting his eighth save of the year. Trent McIlvain hit a solo home run for the Buckeyes, and OSU manufactured two more runs on a sacrfice fly and a bases loaded groundout for the 3-2 win.
THE HITTERS AGAINST PURDUE
Mike Lockwood 5-13 .385 Tom Durant 4-12 .333
Tom Durant four games Mike Lockwood three games
OAKLAND SERIES INFO
Tuesday’s game will mark the first ever meeting between Ohio State and Oakland University, which is located in Rochester, Mich.
PITTSBURGH SERIES INFO
Ohio State will put its unblemished 14-0 all-time record against Pittsburgh on the line Wednesday night. The Buckeyes and Panthers first met in 1942. OSU won last year’s meeting 5-3 in Columbus. Mike Lockwood went 2-4 with four RBI in the win.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN GRIZZLIES
Oakland stands 15-19 overall and 7-9 in the Mid-Continent Conference, not including the Golden Grizzlies game with Detroit on Tuesday, May 4. Oakland has lost five consecutive games and 13 of its last 17. The Grizzlies began the season well, going 9-3 in their first 12 games. Against Big Ten opponents, Oakland is 1-1 this year, topping Michigan 12-4 and falling to Michigan State 3-2. Eric Hardin leads Detroit with a .365 average, and the Golden Grizzlies are batting .276 as a team. Sean Boesch has been Oakland’s most effective starter and stands 3-2 with a 4.83 earned run average and two complete games. Opponents are hitting .306 against the Oakland pitching staff.
SCOUTING THE PANTHERS
Pittsburgh stands 22-24 overall and 9-13 in the Big East Conference (not including the May 4 game against Wright State). The Panthers have dropped 10 of their last 12 and three straight.
THE MAGIC NUMBER
Ohio State’s magic number to notch a share of the Big Ten Championship is four. The magic number (any combination of Ohio State wins or Minnesota losses) to claim the title outright is five. Ohio State, 19-1 in the Big Ten, has a four game lead over the 15-5 Gophers.
GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM…
…the OSU pitching staff. As the Ohio State bats fell silent last weekend against Purdue, the Buckeye starting pitchers came through with their best combined four performances of the season. The OSU starters pitched 30.1 of a possible 32 innings and surrendered just three earned runs in three games. OSU starters struck out 24 batters in the four games.
DIMAGGIO vs. LARATTA
Laratta has now thrown 23 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run (four vs. Illinois, seven vs. Penn State, five vs. Dayton, seven vs. Purdue). He leads the Big Ten in overall victories with eight, and is tied for first in conference victories with four.
Kurt Fullenkamp made his second start of the year Sunday against Purdue and delivered with one of his best outings of the year. Fullenkamp ranks third on the team with 17 appearances, and has allowed just three earned runs in his last 14 innings (1.93 ERA).
SAME OLD FRY
Ohio State ace Justin Fry notched the 22nd complete game of his career Friday night against Purdue. Fry has now allowed just one earned run in his last 17.1 innings (0.52 ERA) while striking out 19.
LEE’S THE LEADER
Andy Lee has not allowed an earned run in his last nine innings of work. He is also tied with teammate E.J. Laratta for the Big Ten lead in shutouts (2).
MORE PITCHING PROPS
Ohio State pitchers tossed back-to-back shutouts yesterday for the first time since March 21-22, 1993. Last weekend’s shutouts also marked the fourth and fifth of the season for the Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes now stand a perfect 18-0 at home this season. The Buckeyes are now 58-13 all-time in Bill Davis Stadium for a sizzling .816 winning percentage.
THE TEAM WITH NO STARS
Ohio State leads the conference in pitching, fielding, and ranks third in batting despite the fact that no OSU player ranks among the top three individually in any of the three categories.
DOING ENOUGH TO WIN
Ohio State hit just .252 as a team against Purdue but did enough to win each game.
Mike Lockwood is currently OSU’s hottest hitter, going five for his last 10 (.500). Lockwood has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games.
CLOSING THE DOOR
Ohio State closer Cory Cox captured his eighth save of the season Sunday against Purdue and now leads the Big Ten Conference. Cox has three saves in his last five appearances.
WHY WE ARE WINNING:
Some trends during OSU’s current 31-1 stretch:
OSU has outscored its opponents 276-144. That’s an average of8.6 runs for Ohio State and 4.5 for opponents.
Ohio State is hitting .336, while opponents are hitting just.268.
Mike Lockwood is the only player to play in all 32 games during thestretch.
Jason Trott is OSU’s leading hitter during the run with a .383average. Lockwood is a close second at .381.
Ohio State has stolen 37 stolen bases while opponents have swipedjust 15.
OSU has manufactured runs throughout the streak, and has 35sacrifices compared to only 19 by opponents.
Following are the earned run average’s of regular OSU pitchersduring the stretch – Kevin Goodrum, 2.48; Justin Fry, 3.14; E.J.Laratta, 3.30; Cory Cox, 3.86; Nate Smith, 4.25; Kurt Fullenkamp,4.84.
Ohio State’s slugging percentage during the streak is .513 comparedto .386 by opponents.
Ohio State’s on-base percentage is .424 compared to .327 byopponents.
The Buckeyes came from behind to win game four against Purdue last weekend, meaning the Buckeyes have now come from behind to win 15 times overall this season. In 19 Big Ten wins this year, OSU has been forced to come-from-behind eight times (42 percent of the time).
CAN TROTT THREEPEAT
Trott became the first player since Indiana’s Mike Smith (1991-.476, 1992-.472) to win back-to-back batting titles. Trott posted a .426 average for the 1998 regular season and claimed the crown in 1997 with a .418 mark. Wisconsin’s Rick Reichardt is the only other player to win consecutive titles when he posted season bests in 1963 (.429) and 1964 (.472). No player has ever claimed three conference batting titles.
Fry and Lockwood were named to Collegiate Baseball’s preseason All-America third team. Fry was a first team preseason selection in 1998. Freshman pitcher Smith was named a first team top freshman by Baseball America.
Season box seats went on sale March 1 and individual game tickets were made available March 22. Contact the OSU Athletic Ticket Office for more details (1 800-GO-BUCKS). The ticket office is now located in The Jerome Schottenstein Center
ONE OF THE TOP TEAMS OF THE 90s
With it’s 372-168-1 record over the past nine seasons, Ohio State is ranked the 12th winningest team of the 1990s with a .689 winning percentage. The Buckeyes are the only Big Ten Conference school among the top 25. Wichita State leads the pack with a 484-130-0 (.788) mark since the 1990 season.
PREDICTED BIG TEN FINISH
According to the Baseball America college preview, Ohio State is predicted to finish third in the Big Ten behind Minnesota and Illinois. All three squads are expected to receive NCAA tournament bids and Fry, Lockwood and Trott are preseason all-Big Ten selections. The Big Ten is ranked the sixth-best conference in the nation this year.
Predicted final Big Ten standings according to Baseball America 1. Minnesota 19-9 42-21 2. Illinois 19-5 42-21 3. Ohio State 18-9 45-15 4. Michigan 9-15 21-27 5. Penn State 15-11 28-24 6. Purdue 9-18 23-29 7. Indiana 14-14 29-27 8. Northwestern 10-18 27-26 9. Michigan State 8-16 25-27 10. Iowa 9-15 19-27
Career Batting Average 1. Jason Trott .400 2. Dan Seimetz (1995-98) .370 3. Alex Eckelman (1994-97) .367 4. Robby Cobb (1980-83) .363 5. Brian Mannino (1992-95) .362 6. John Orkis (1981-82) .359 7. Mike Lockwood .356
Career Hits 1. Dan Seimetz (1995-98) 287 2. Mark Carek (1995-98) 262 3. Brian Mannino (1992-95) 250 4. Alex Eckelman (1994-97) 241 5. Ken Tirpack (1989-92) 237 6. Robby Cobb (1980-83) 233 7. Keith Gonya (1979-82) 228 8. Jeff Anderson (1989-91) 227 9. Jason Trott 225
Career Runs 1. Mark Carek (1995-98) 217 2. Dan Seimetz (1995-98) 193 3. Robby Cobb (1980-83) 183 4. Mike Lockwood 177 5. Brian Mannino (1992-95) 174
Career Wins 1. Justin Fry 32 2. Pete Perini (1947-50) 30 3. Scott Klingenbeck (1990-92) 28 Tom Schwarber (1987-91) 28
Career Innings Pitched 1. Justin Fry 384.1 2. Pete Perini (1947-50) 305.1 3. Chris Granata (1991-94) 295.1
Career Strikeouts 1. Justin Fry 345 2. Steve Arlin (1965-66) 294 3. Bill Cunningham (1982-85) 281
Fewest Base On Balls (175 or more IP) 1. Bob Spears (1993-96) 45 2. Andy Lee 64 3. Dick Boggs (1966-68) 75
Win-Loss Percentage (175 or more IP) 1. Steve Arlin 24-3 (.889) 2. Kurt Fullenkamp 18-3 (.857) Ken Hay 12-2 (.857) 4. Andy Lee 17-3 (.850)