COLUMBUS, Ohio Three Ohio State Buckeyes who know seniors Michael Arp, Jake Hale and Justin Miller stepped to the plate today to offer their assessments on the team’s prospects at the three key areas of the Ohio State baseball team: outfield play, infield play and pitching. A few hitting thoughts are mixed in, too.

Arp, a fifth-year senior from Reynoldsburg, Ohio and Reynoldsburg High School, has made 48 starts in the outfield and has played a total of 89 games for the Buckeyes. He has a career batting average of .314 and he has hit .354 vs. Big Ten Conference competition. He sizes up what we may see in the Ohio State outfield in 2009.

Hale is the team’s most experienced pitcher with 26 starts, 26 relief appearances and 52 total appearances. The Albany, Ohio native and Alexander High School graduate also leads the team in wins with 13, saves with 11 and with 203.2 innings pitched. He knows about Ohio State’s “arms” and he shares what he knows.

Miller is the hot-hitting senior first baseman from Dayton, Va., and Turner Ashby High School who has the skills to play first base, catcher and third base, although we’ll see him playing at first most of the time this season. A veteran of 148 starts and a career .348 hitter, Miller addresses an Ohio State infield that returns all five starters from last year and has a combined 427 starts.

The Buckeyes are currently in the midst of full team practice sessions in advance of their 2009 season-opening weekend Feb. 20-22 in St. Petersburg, Fla., at the BIG EAST-Big Ten Challenge. The Buckeyes will meet Notre Dame, Connecticut and Cincinnati in that first weekend of play.