Lansing, Mich. – There have been rain drops the size of golf balls at times at Oldsmobile Park and right now we are looking at blue skies. The start time for the game has been pushed back until 5:30 p.m. though. The forecast is still calling for an 80 percent chance of heavy storms hitting between 5-6 p.m., but the local radar indicates that the storms could slide by. So we’ll either be playing or waiting out Mother Nature for a while. Stay tuned.

When the two teams do meet: the Buckeyes will send RHP Jake Hale (3-0; 5.47 ERA) against RHP Mike Monterey (1-2; 5.09) in the 5:05 p.m. start tonight at Oldsmobile Park. Here is the rest of the weekend rotation for both teams:

Game 2, 1:05 p.m. Saturday LHP Dan DeLucia (1-1; 3.75) vs. RHP Mark Sorensen (1-3; 3.21)
Game 3, 3:35 p.m. Saturday RHP Dean Wolosiansky (3-2; 2.97) vs. RHP Chris Cullen (3-0; 2.83)
Game 4, 1:05 p.m. Sunday LHP J.B. Shuck (4-1; 3.50) vs. A.J. Achter (0-1; 2.84)

5 Minutes with Eric Best…

Eric Best is in a groove. The sophomore reliever from Lewis Center and Olentangy Liberty H.S. is coming off a Minnesota series that saw him pitch 5.2 innings of scoreless baseball. He allowed just three hits, struck out five and walked only one batter and the Golden Gophers hit just .158 off him. He picked up the win in Game 4. He earned his second save of the year in the Penn State series and he currently has gone four consecutive games and 7.2 innings without allowing a run to score. One of the best euchre players on the team shared some thoughts and got a few digs in recently on:

Giving up just one home run: “The first home run I allowed [he’s given up just one in 54.0 IP] was against Air Force and it upset me. I wanted to go through my career without allowing one, but that’s a crazy thing to think about.”

Shutting down Minnesota: “This weekend was the best I’ve felt all season, for sure. I went into the game with a man on and Minnesota had already scored a run in the inning. I had to throw strikes and stop their momentum. I was able to throw strikes and get some outs. I threw the ball where I wanted to.”

Playing euchre: “There are lots of euchre games going on, mostly on road trips. We love playing euchre. I have to give props to my partner Tyler Engle. We’ve become quite a good duo. Special thanks go out to Cory Kovanda and Zach Hurley for helping us get so good.”

His last four outings: “I’ve been able to work on my mechanics and I’m getting my arm going. It’s nice to have over 10 innings pitched. I’m getting used to feeling that adrenalin rush each time I pitch.”

A reliever’s mindset: “You just have to throw strikes and throw strikes again. Hitters get lucky sometimes. We make wrong pitches sometimes. But mostly, you don’t think about those times. You do what you’ve trained to do: throw strikes and get the job done.”