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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Members of the Ohio State baseball team started official preparation for the 2010 season with its first full team practice Monday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. The team will continue practicing at the WHAC – outside at the WHAC, too, if possible – in advance of its season opening weekend, which is set for Feb. 19-21 in Jacksonville, Fla.

Coach Bob Todd, beginning his 23rd year at Ohio State and needing just three wins to become the 41st Division I coach all-time to record 1,000 victories, welcomed 33 student-athletes to the WHAC Monday for the first practice of the season.

The team is a veteran-laden group with 23 juniors and seniors returning from last season’s Big Ten Conference champion and NCAA Tallahassee Regional participant. Included in these numbers are three starting pitchers who combined for 28 wins last season and a reliever who won 12 games. Additionally, seven of nine everyday starters (and an eighth who started 33 times) return from a team that set school records for hits, at-bats and triples plus had the sixth-most extra base hits in school history – 210 – and the eighth-most home runs (66).

All that returns for Ohio State has not gone unnoticed. Ohio State is for the most part a consensus Top 25 team, appearing in all of the preseason polls with the exception of Baseball America. Ohio State’s preseason rankings include:

No. 14 – Collegiate Baseball

No. 21 – USA Today/ESPN

No. 22 – Rivals.com

No. 23 – National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA)

No. 24 – PING! Baseball

NR – Baseball America

Ohio State opens its season in Jacksonville against the University of North Florida at 7 p.m. Feb. 19, the official start day for college baseball. The team will play two more games at North Florida’s Harmon Stadium that weekend: Feb. 20 vs. Florida A&M at 5 p.m. and Feb. 21 vs. Richmond at 11 a.m.

Click “Facts” above for Ohio State’s 2010 Quick Facts, Roster and 2009 Statistics and Results.

 A four-part, position-by-position outlook series will be posted to this site beginning Monday, Feb. 8.

###OhioStateBuckeyes.com###