Sept. 14, 2017
RELATED INFO: Baseball Homepage | Big Ten Baseball | 2017 Fall Roster | Follow the Buckeyes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram | Spark Page: Fall Ball Begins | Photo Gallery: First Practice | Photo Gallery: Conditioning
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Fall ball has returned to Bill Davis Stadium. The Ohio State baseball team, led by eighth-year head coach Greg Beals, welcomed 39 student-athletes this past week for the start of fall ball, which commenced Sept. 8 and will run approximately five weeks at Nick Swisher Field.
“It’s always exciting to get the team together again for the start of fall ball,” Beals said. “Coming off last season, it was a long summer. The results of last year didn’t sit well with any of us in this program and I’ve been really pleased with the work ethic and the intensity with the first few weeks of skill instruction and conditioning. We are excited to get them on the field and start this journey for 2018.”
The fall practices conclude the week of Oct. 13-21 with the annual Scarlet and Gray World Series (times and dates to be announced tomorrow). Click above to see in-depth feature on the start of fall practice.
“We are a lot more mature than last year,” Beals said. “Our guys had very successful summers and you are going to see a lot of the same faces that played in last year’s team, but for a lot of them, it was their first full year playing at the division I level. We have a lot of experience back this year, even though the results weren’t there, it was quality experience they got. I’m really excited to see them move forward.”
— Ohio State Baseball (@OhioState_BASE) September 8, 2017
A LOOK AT THE ROSTER
The Buckeyes return 23 letterwinners, including 11 position players and 11 pitchers that saw significant playing time in 2017. In addition, Ohio State welcomed 10 newcomers to the program that will get their first taste of Buckeye baseball this fall. Click above to see the 2017 fall roster.
“You are going to see matured position players like I said,” Beals said. “But the other thing is a deep pitching staff that’s anchored by a group of guys, especially out of the bullpen, that were significant contributors to our championship run. Guys like Kinker, Michalik, Feltner, Niemeyer and Pavlopoulos. Those guys all pitched big innings for us during our championship run and they return this fall.”
The 10 newcomers include two junior college transfers and seven true freshmen. Beals said several of them are ready to make an immediate impact in the lineup.
“A talented group of guys,” Beals said. “With two first team high school All-Americans in Lonsway and Dingler. We’ve got some really good arms in that group, but also some talented junior college guys like Kobie Foppe and Malik Jones who are deigned to bring in this ball club to contribute right away.”
BIGGER, FASTER, STRONGER
The Buckeyes arrived on campus last month ready to get to work under the direction of strength and conditioning coach Dean Hansen, who is now in his sixth year with the program. The Buckeyes will have team lifts twice a week during fall camp before starting the off-season workout program in the beginning of November.
“The very first part of conditioning we want to evaluate where they are from summer ball,” Hansen said. “The guys played a lot of games, so you never know where they will be when they arrive back on campus. After seeing just the first conditioning session and seeing where they were, we knew we’d have the ability to start to get better and push them from a conditioning standpoint. You could tell the guys worked hard over the summer in addition to playing ball.”
— Ohio State Baseball (@OhioState_BASE) September 12, 2017
THE PITCHING STAFF
Ohio State returns eight arms who started in at least three games in 2017 as well as several relief pitchers. The majority of this group played key roles in the 2016 team that broke the school record for strikeouts in a season (495) and guided the team to a Big Ten tournament title and NCAA Regional appearance, including right-handers Seth Kinker, Adam Niemeyer, Yianni Pavlopoulos and Kyle Michalik. Right-handers Austin Woodby, Jake Vance, Reece Calvert, Thomas Waning and Dustin Jourdan as well as left-handers Connor Curlis and Andrew Magno are back too from a year ago. Pitching coach Mike Stafford welcomed six new arms to the fall roster. In all, the Buckeyes have seven left-handers on the 2017 fall roster.
“From what I’ve seen so far, our upperclassmen and fifth-year guys who threw the first few scrimmages pitched well,” Stafford said. “They hit with their fastball early and made some great pitches with their secondary stuff and threw strikes. It was a great way to start fall ball to let the younger guys see how we want to pitch here at Ohio State. We want to preach to the new guys to attack the strike zone and get those first-pitch strikes.”
KEY POSITION PLAYERS RETURNING
Around the diamond, sophomore outfielder Dominic Canzone leads a group of 12 returning position players from last season. Canzone led the team in batting average (.343) and scored 22 runs with four doubles, three triples, three home runs, 36 RBI and 13 stolen bases during his rookie campaign. Junior Brady Cherry and sophomore Conner Pohl return as well as a trio of seniors who saw significant time in their first year in the Scarlet and Gray last spring: Noah McGowan, Tyler Cowles and Bo Coolen. Assistant coach Chris Holick has been looking forward to getting reps in with the OSU defense this fall.
“We’re just get excited to get going,” Holick said. “We’ve got some new faces who are hard-working guys and we are looking to develop them this fall.”
— Ohio State Baseball (@OhioState_BASE) September 13, 2017
ALUMNI WEEKEND/SCOUT DAY
The Ohio State baseball team will hold its annual professional scout day Thursday, Sept. 28, at Bill Davis Stadium. Alumni Weekend will be Sept. 29-30. Details to come soon on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
— Ohio State Baseball (@OhioState_BASE) September 9, 2017