May 16, 2005

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(31-16; 14-11 Big Ten)
(34-14; 14-4 Mid-American)

6:35 p.m., May 17, 2005
Bill Davis Stadium
Columbus, Ohio

Ohio State leads 27-15

NPR 820 (WOSU-AM) o
Neil Sika and Paul Barnes


PROBABLE OHIO STATE PITCHER 45 Dan Barker 1-0, 1.96 ERA, 15K, 18.1IP

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State returns home after playing eight straight games on the road. Well, sort of. The Buckeyes swept four games at Penn State and then returned home last Wednesday to play Miami (Ohio), but that game was suspended in the fourth inning before getting cancelled. However, the game is back on and the teams will meet again at Bill Davis Stadium Tuesday at 6:35 p.m.

The Buckeyes return from Evanston, Ill., where they won three of four games against Northwestern. Ohio State had climbed to third in the Big Ten standings after winning game one, but a loss in game two before wins in the final two games of the series put the Buckeyes in a tie for fifth with Michigan, which won the only meeting between the schools this season, giving them the tie breaker and the Buckeyes the sixth seed in the league tournament if it were to start this week. But that is not the case.

Ohio State will play four games this weekend against Minnesota to determine the seeding in next week’s conference tournament. Ohio State needs one win to lock down a spot in the event, which Bob Todd’s teams have appeared in all but once in his previous 17 years as coach. The Buckeyes can finish no better than second place in the league, though are only 3.5 games out of first place and 0.5 games out of second.

Miami was 32-13 when it visited Bill Davis Stadium last Wednesday, but returns to Columbus with a 34-14 overall record and a mark of 16-4, which leads the Mid-American Conference. The RedHawks took two of three games at Northern Illinois this past weekend, winning 5-1 and 5-2 before losing the finale 3-2.

The Ohio State and Miami game will be broadcast on NPR 820 (WOSU-AM).

The Buckeyes improved to 31-16 overall and 14-11 in the Big Ten after claiming three of the four games at Northwestern this past weekend. Ohio State ran its win streak to nine straight games with a 7-2 triumph in game one, but Northwestern came back to win 9-6 in game two before the Buckeyes won the series with 10-2 and 1-0 victories.

Ronnie Bourquin led the Buckeyes with a .462 batting average (6-for-13) at Northwestern. The sophomore from Canton, Ohio, drove in two runs. Eric Fryer, Mike Rabin and Jacob Howell each added five hits. Howell drove in a team-high five RBI in the four games, while Rabin added four. Fryer went deep for his second home run of his career and drove in three runs in the four games.

Rabin continues to lead Ohio State with a .344 batting average. The senior co-captain had 52 hits, one less than Jason Zoeller, the team leader with 53 hits. Rabin has six doubles, one home run and has driven in 21 runs. Jedidiah Stephen is second on the team with a .318 batting average with 49 hits that include 10 doubles, one triple and five home runs. Zoeller trails Stephen with a .317 batting average and has seven doubles, three triples and five home runs as well as 31 RBI. Paul Farinacci is the team RBI leader iwth 44 and shares the conference lead with 17 doubles.

The Buckeyes had several outstanding performances on the mound in the three wins at Northwestern. Dan DeLucia pitched his second straight nine-inning complete game in the series opener, a 7-2 win. he struck out four without a walk and limited the Wildcats to five hits. In game three, Mike Madsen pitched his third complete game of the season with a career-best nine strikeouts to beat Northwestern 10-2 and become the first Buckeye to six wins. In the finale, Trent Luyster, kept pace with Madsen for his sixth victory of the season. He allowed only two hits in seven scoreless innings before giving way to Rory Meister, who picked up his fourth save of the season.

DeLucia continues to lead the team with a 2.75 ERA and 47 strikeouts. He and Luyster each have pitched in 72.0 innings. Luyster has 41 strikeouts, while Madsen has 43 strikeouts in 50.0 innings. DeLucia is 4-4 in 11 starts, while Madsen is 6-3 with a 4.50 ERA in 10 starts and Luyster is 6-3 with a 4.88 ERA in a team-high 12 starts.

Dan Barker, who started the game last week vs. Miami will make the start Tuesday against the RedHawks.

The RedHawks won two of three games last weekend at Northern Illinois to improve to 34-14 overall and 16-4 in the Mid-American Conference. Miami won 5-1 and 5-2 before dropping the series finale 3-2. Miami is 18-4 at home and 12-5 on the road this season.

Brian Canada leads Miami with a .381 batting average, 61 hits and 15 doubles. Brandon Hillier is batting .350, while Geoff Orr is batting .333. Orr paces the squad with 46 RBI, while Paul Frietch leads the team with 10 home runs. he has 42 RBI.

On the hill, John Ely leads the team with 87 strikeouts and a 2.64 ERA in 78.1 innings. He is 7-1 and shares the team lead in wins with Keith Weiser, who is 7-0. Weiser has 72 strikeouts in 79.2 innings and has a 2.82 ERA. Graham Taylor is 5-0 with 59 strikeouts and a 2.84 ERA in 76.0 innings. Matt Long started the cancelled game last Wednesday, but the RedHawks have yet to name a starter for the game Tuesday.

Tracy Smith (Miami, 1989) is 306-216-1 in his eighth season at his alma mater and as a collegiate coach.

Ohio State leads the all-time series vs. Miami (Ohio) 27-15 and has won the last four in the series and seven of the last 10. The first meeting in the series was in 1920 when Ohio State won 16-1. The teams have not played since the 2002 season when the Buckeyes won 11-2 at Bill Davis Stadium. Ohio State coach Bob Todd is 15-4 all-time against Miami, which includes four seasons the teams met when Todd coached at Kent State.

Last 10 Games (OSU leads 7-3)
April 11, 1961 Ohio State 3, at Miami 2
April 10, 1962 at Ohio State 6, Miami 1
April 14, 1964 Ohio State 16, at Miami 1
April 10, 1979 at Miami 6, Ohio State 0
April 10, 1979 at Miami 5, Ohio State 0
April 8, 1980 Miami 7, at Ohio State 3
April 19, 1989 at Ohio State 16, Miami 0
April 24, 1991 Ohio State 6, at Miami 2
April 29, 1998 at Ohio State 14, Miami 0
May 8, 2002 at Ohio State 11, Miami 2

Ohio State smacked out 14 hits, including home runs by Brett Garrard and Nick Swisher, to beat Miami (Ohio) 11-2, May 8, 2002, at Bill Davis Stadium.

Garrard and Swisher went deep in the bottom half of the sixth inning to give the Buckeyes an 8-1 lead. Garrard’s fourth home run of the season was a solo shot with one out, while Swisher’s home run went over the fence in deep right-centerfield and also scored Doug Deeds, who singled up the middle to get on base.

Swisher finished the game 2-for-5 and batted in three runs. Lance Rolston went 3-for-5 for the Buckeyes as the designated hitter in a different defensive lineup. Swisher moved from centerfield to first base, where he had played until this season when he moved to the outfield. Doug Dendinger, who had been the first baseman all season, moved to left field and Mike Rabin moved over to fill Swisher’s void in center.

Matt Davis made his third start of the season and earned his fourth victory of the season. He pitched a five innings, not allowing a run on four hits. He struck out four and walked two.

Ohio State took three of four games at Northwestern last weekend in Evanston, winning game one to run its win streak to nine games before losing the second game of the series 9-6. The Buckeyes battled back to win game three 10-2 and pitched its way past the Wildcats in the finale 1-0.

The Buckeyes came within one game of its longest win streak of the season by downing Northwestern 7-2 on Friday. Ohio State scored six runs in the first inning and added another in the third and got the second straight complete game from Dan DeLucia. The first six Buckeye batters reached base and the Buckeyes scored four runs before an out was in the book and then scored twice more to take a 6-0 lead before Northwestern came to the plate. DeLucia retired the final six batters of the game to improve to 4-4 on the year and struck out four batters without a walk. Eric Fryer was 2-for-4 with two RBI to lead his team.

Ohio State took a 5-1 lead in the top of the third inning, but Northwestern countered with eight runs in the bottom of the inning on its way to a 9-6 win in the second game of the series. The eight-run third equaled the biggest inning against the Buckeyes this season, matching Michigan’s eight-run outburst in the fifth in their April 22nd game vs. Ohio State. Fryer added his second home run of the year in the fourth inning to close within the three-run final. Trey Fausnaugh fell to 3-2 this season after coming on in the third for starter Cory Luebke. Ronnie Bourquin led the Buckeyes with three hits and one RBI.

In game three, Ohio State scored five runs in the fourth inning to take a 6-2 lead and then added four more runs, including three in the seventh as it got back in the win column with a 10-2 complete game vitory by Mike Madsen. Madsen struck out a career-high nine batters to lead the Buckeyes to their 30th win of the season. It was his third complete game of the season and the sixth of his career. Paul Farinacci led the Buckeyes in going 3-for-4 with two RBI. Jedidiah Stephen was 2-for-4 with three RBI.

The Buckeyes took the finale 1-0 on the arms of starter Trent Luyster and closer Rory Meister, who combined to pitch a two-hit shutout to clinch the series victory. Luyster allowed only two hits in his seven innings before giving way to Meister, who entered in the eighth and retired all six batters he faced to pick up his fourth save of the season. Jacob Howell drove in his fifth RBI of the series when he singled down the left-field line in the second inning to score Jason Zoeller for the only score of the game. It was just the second shutout this season to go with a 3-0 shutout of Indiana in game two of that series April 30.

With the three win, Ohio State has won 11 of its last 12 games and 14 of its last 17. Ronnie Bourquin led the Buckeyes in Evanston in batting .462 (6-for-13) with two RBI. Eric Fryer, Mike Rabin and Jacob Howell each had five hits, while collecting three, four and five RBI, respectively. The Buckeyes batted only .289 but were aided by a 3.48 ERA and a .196 opponent batting average.

Ohio State is 5-1 in non-conference home games this season after beating Cleveland State 12-4 May 4. After beating Toledo 12-4 in the home opener March 30, the Buckeyes lost to Oakland 6-5 before rebounding to take a 15-4 win over Malone and both ends of a doubleheader vs. Eastern Michigan 10-3 and 3-2.

Jedidiah Stephen leads the Buckeyes in their six home midweek games with a .500 batting average. He is 9-for-18 with one home run, nine RBI and four runs scored. Jacob Howell, who has played in five of the games is 7-for-16 (.438) with one triple, five RBI and four runs scored. Jason Zoeller is batting .400 (8-for-20) with two doubles, four RBI and a team-best seven runs scored. Ohio State is batting .313 in Wednesday home games and has a 3.06 ERA, while outscoring the opposition 57-23. Opponents are batting only .220.

Ohio State designated hitter Cody Caughenbaugh was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV Baseball Team, announced last Thursday. Caughenbaugh was a named to the first of two teams as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Caughenbaugh, a red-shirt junior from Newark, Ohio, is a mechanical engineering major and carries a 3.69 GPA in his fourth year of study. He was named the top freshman mechanical engineering student at Ohio State after his first year and the top sophomore mechanical engineering student after his second year. On the field, Caughenbaugh has appeared in 37 games this season with 23 starts. The Licking Valley High School graduate is batting .277 (26-for-94) with six doubles, one triple and two home runs and has driven in 24 runs and scored another 14. Caughenbaugh was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District IV Baseball Team in 2004, as a second-team member.

The Academic All-District IV Team is made up of student-athletes from Division I schools in Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. To be nominated, student-athletes must be a starter or important reserve and carry a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher. Team members are selected by a vote of CoSIDA members within the district. The academic all-district team is part of the Academic All-America program.

The race for the Big Ten regular season championship slowed down a bit last weekend after Minnesota took three of four games at home against league-leader Illinois. The Illini still have a three-game lead over Purdue, which claimed three of four vs. Iowa.

Illinois remains in first with a 19-9 record while Purdue is second with a 14-10 record. Minnesota and Iowa are tied for third at 16-12 and Ohio State and Michigan are tied for fifth though the Wolverines hold the tie-breaker over the Buckeyes. Penn State, which is in seventh place, needs at sweep of Michigan to move into the Big Ten tournament. Northwestern, Michigan State and Indiana already have been elminated, but Illinois, Purdue, Iowa or Minnesota can still win the regular season title.

Illinois has a three-game lead on Purdue, Iowa and Minnesota and a 3.5-game lead on Ohio State and Michigan. The final weekend of Big Ten play pits Iowa at Illinois, Minnesota at Ohio State, Michigan at Penn State, Michigan State at Northwestern and Purdue at Indiana.

In the Big Ten rankings that were released Monday, Ohio State ranked fourth in team batting (.309), behind Michigan (.322), Indiana (.319) and Illinois (.318); ranked first in team ERA (3.92); and was first in fielding (.972). In conference-only stats, the Buckeyes rank third in team batting (.309), tied for second in team ERA (4.61) and are tied for second in team fielding (.969).

Not a single Buckeye has a batting average ranked in the Top 10 in the league. Ranking individual ERAs, Dan DeLucia is fourth with his 2.75, while teammate Cory Luebke is sixth with his 3.70 ERA. For overall games, Paul Farinacci is tied for the Big Ten lead with 17 doubles and Jedidiah Stephen is second with six sacrifice flies. In conference only games, Mike Rabin’s .384 average ranks sixth, while DeLucia’s 3.33 ERA is fifth. Madsen’s ERA of 3.82 is seventh.

The Buckeyes drew 7,782 fans over the three dates vs. Indiana and then drew 3,930 fans for the midweek game against Cleveland State. Ohio State drew 7,370 for the home series vs. Purdue and 6,839 for the Michigan State series. Through 14 home dates this season, Ohio State has drawn 31,275 fans, an average of 2,233.9 per game. Minnesota, which has traditionally been a big draw for Ohio State, comes to Bill Davis Stadium May 20-22. After the game Wednesday vs. Miami, the Buckeyes will not play at home again until the Minnesota series, giving them four more home dates to try and climb the NCAA season attendance list. Ohio State drew an average of 2,133 last year to rank 27th in the national and first in the Big Ten. In fact, no other school in the conference ranked in the Top 50 nationally.

Ohio State welcomes Minnesota to Bill Davis Stadium Friday, Saturday and Sunday in a four-game series to close out the regular season. The teams will play a single game Friday at 6:35 p.m., a doubleheader Saturday at 4:05 p.m. and a single game Sunday at 1:05 p.m. All four games will be broadcast on NPR 820 (WOSU-AM) and on the Internet at