April 26, 2005
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OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
(18-14; 4-9 Big Ten)
EASTERN MICHIGAN EAGLES
(13-23; 3-7 Mid-American)
Doubleheader, 4:05 p.m., April 27, 2005
Bill Davis Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
SERIES HISTORY: Ohio State leads 5-2
OHIO STATE RADIO/INTERNET
NPR 820 (WOSU-AM)
Neil Sika and Paul Barnes
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State returns home Wednesday against Eastern Michigan to begin a six-game home stretch that also brings in Indiana for four games this weekend and Cleveland State for a May 4 matinee date. Wednesday night is Buck-A-Burger night at Bill Davis Stadium.
The Buckeyes return from Ann Arbor, Mich., where they were only able to play one of the four games after the final three games of the series were snowed out. Michigan won the only game the teams played, winning 11-3 Friday in a game televised nationally by ESPN.
The Scarlet and Gray has played only one time since its last home game April 17 – that is a span of nine days. The Buckeyes did not have a game last Wednesday and the snow-out meant the team did not play four games it would in a typical week this time of the year. Ohio State is on pace to play just 50 games this season when the NCAA allows for 56.
The Buckeyes now are 18-14 overall and 4-9 in the Big Ten, while Eastern Michigan brings a 13-23 overall record and 3-7 Mid-American Conference record to Bill Davis Stadium. The game will be broadcast on the radio by NPR 820 (WOSU-AM) and on the Internet at www.wosu.org. The broadcasters are Neil Sika and Paul Barnes.
ABOUT OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes are ready to play a game after playing just one time in the last nine days. Three of the four games at Michigan were snowed out after opening game of the series, an 11-3 loss to the Wolverines, was played in less than ideal conditions, but featured the lineup the Buckeyes thought they would have most of the season before injuries depleted the ranks.
Ohio State had the services of Ronnie Bourquin back at third base for the first time in 11 games since breaking a bone in his left thumb at Illinois. He was the fourth significant injury to the Buckeye roster this season. Outfielder Steve Caravati, the 2004 Big Ten Player of the Year, missed 11 games early in the year after pulling his hamstring in the season opener Feb. 25. Fellow outfielder Jacob Howell, the 2004 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, missed 12 games after injuring his shoulder at North Florida March 11. Starting pitcher Mike Madsen, a third-team All-Big Ten selection last year, missed one start and saw limited action his next two appearances.
There is no question the Buckeye nine would be a better squad without the injuries and it would not find itself just trying to make the field of six that advance to the Big Ten tournament. The Buckeyes have missed the tournament just one time (1996) in the previous 17 season with Bob Todd as their coach. Ohio State is 18-14 overall and 4-9 and tied for eighth-place with Michigan.
Mike Rabin leads the Buckeyes with a .316 batting average. Only two of his 31 hits have gone for extra bases. One is a double and one was his third career home run. He has knocked in 11 RBI. Jason Zoeller, who is batting .301, leads the team with 34 hits, including four doubles, two triples and four home runs. He has driven in 16 runs and scored a team-best 22 times. Cody Caughenbaugh is the only other Buckeye batting .300 or better. The junior designated hitter is batting .300 with 24 hits and 17 RBI. Jedidiah Stephen is batting .299, while Wes Schirtzinger is batting .291. The Buckeyes are batting .288 as a team.
Ohio State’s ERA is now 3.83, led by freshman Cory Luebke, who is 3-2 and has a 2.76 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 42.1 innings. Dan DeLucia fell to 2-3 after losing at Michigan last Friday. He has a 2.83 ERA and a team-best 33 strikeouts in 47.2 innings. Trent Luyster is 4-3 and owns a 4.85 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 52.0 innings. Madsen is the other weekend starter. He is 2-3 with a 5.22 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 29.1 innings. The Buckeyes have not named a starter for the game Wednesday vs. Eastern Michigan.
ABOUT EASTERN MICHIGAN
Like Ohio State, Eastern Michigan was affected by snow this past weekend. The Eagles beat Toledo 8-4 Friday night, but the final two games of their series with the Rockets were snowed out. EMU is 13-23 overall and 3-7 in the Mid-American Conference. The Eagles have one seven of 22 games on the road.
Jeff Davis is the team’s leading hitter. He is batting .362 with a team-high 46 hits. He has seven doubles, one home run and has driven in 10 runs. Derek Lehrman is batting .308 with 36 hits and 21 RBI, while Matt Moffett is batting .304 with 41 hits and a team-leading six home runs and 27 RBI. Shane Davis is the only other Eagle batting .300 or better, though he has played in only 23 of the team’s 36 games. Eastern Michigan is batting .265 as a team.
On the mound, Matt Dimich has the squad’s best ERA. He is 3-4 in seven starts this season with a 3.92 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 57.1 innings. George Biddle, who beat Ohio State last season, is 3-5 this year with a 6.45 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 51.2 innings. Jeff Fischer leads the team with 47 strikeouts. He is 1-4 in 12 appearances (four starts) and has a 7.15 ERA in 39.0 innings. Eastern Michigan has not named a starter against Ohio State.
The Eagles are coached by Roger Coryell (Eastern Michigan, 1971), who is 476-538-2 in his 18th season in Ypsilanti.
AGAINST THE EAGLES
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Eastern Michigan 5-2, though the Eagles won the last meeting between the schools, winning 3-2 in Columbus last season. EMU also won in 2001 when it won 10-7. Ohio State won the first three meetings of the series going back to a 13-10 win in 1992. The Buckeyes also won in 1997, 2000 and twice in 2003.
Series History (Ohio State leads 5-2)
April 15, 1992 Ohio State 13, E. Michigan 10
March 14, 1997 Ohio State 4, E. Michigan 1
April 12, 2000 Ohio State 9, E. Michigan 1
May 5, 2001 E. Michigan 10, Ohio State 7
March 15, 2003 Ohio State 4, E. Michigan 2
March 15, 2003 Ohio State 15, E. Michigan 7
March 31, 2004 E. Michigan 2, Ohio State 1
LAST TIME VS. EASTERN MICHIGAN
Ohio State took a no-hitter into the seventh inning but Eastern Michigan starting pitcher George Biddle allowed only two hits in 8.2 innings as the Eagles came back to score two runs in the final two innings to steal the Buckeyes’ 2004 home opener by a score of 2-1.
Biddle ended up with three strikeouts and a pair of walks against the two hits. After giving up a hit to his second batter of the game, he retired the next 13 batters before his second walk. He than sat down the next 12 before a ninth-inning error and a base hit by Steve Caravati.
The Buckeyes were equally as strong to begin the game. Dan DeLucia made his first start as a Buckeye and threw the first four innings of the game in the abbreviated started. The only base runners came from walks in the second and fourth innings. Mike Madsen came on to pitch the next two innings keeping the Eagles off the scoreboard and out of the hit column.
Keeping in line with the pre-game plan of getting several pitchers into the game, Trey Fausnaugh entered the game in the top of the seventh before giving way to Trent Luyster with two gone in the eighth.
Biddle’s only hit in the first eight innings of the game came in the first inning. Drew Anderson drew a leadoff walk and turned it into the only Ohio State run of the game. Anderson stole second and then moved to third on a single to shallow left-center field by Jacob Howell. Caravati scored Anderson on a sacrifice fly to center field. The Eagles tied the game in the eighth.
Eastern Michigan took the lead in the top of the ninth off of Luyster thanks to three hits in the inning, including a leadoff hit to right-center field by Derrick Peterson. Luyster struck out Arnett, but back-to-back singles by Todd Kimling and Brad Hrovat advanced Peterson and then allowed him to score the go-ahead run with one out. Luyster fell to 0-3 in his eighth appearance of the season and his fourth in relief. He gave up the winning run on three hits with two strikeouts in 1.1 innings. Ryan Vandenbussche picked up his second save for the Eagles.
WEBCASTS DEBUT FOR BASEBALL
Beginning Wednesday against Eastern Michigan, Ohio State baseball fans will be able to watch games by webcast online at ohiostatebuckeyes.com. The webcast is available within the College Sports Pass subscription service which features exclusive live and on-demand audio and video content. For more information, go online to ohiostatebuckeyes.com.
Ohio State Baseball Webcast Schedule April 27 Eastern Michigan 6:35 p.m. May 4 Cleveland State 12:05 p.m. May 11 Miami (Ohio) 6:35 p.m. May 20 Minnesota 6:35 p.m. May 21 Minnesota 4:05 p.m. May 21 Minnesota 7:05 p.m. May 22 Minnesota 1:05 p.m.
WEDNESDAY GAMES AT BDS
Ohio State is 2-1 in home Wednesday games this season. 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. The team did not have a Wednesday game last week.
Steve Caravati leads the Buckeyes with four hits in five at bats (.800) with four RBI and a triple in the three games. In only two midweek games, Jacob Howell is 4-for-8 with five RBI. Adam Schneider and Jedidiah Stephen also have four hits, while the team is batting .315 in the three midweek home dates.
After the game against Eastern Michigan, the Buckeyes will play Cleveland State next Wednesday at noon in a game that already is sold out. The team then will play host to Miami (Ohio) in the final midweek game on May 11. Ohio State will not play a midweek contest prior to the final home series against Minnesota.
MICHIGAN DOWNS BUCKEYES 11-3
Ohio State went to Ann Arbor last weekend trying to claw its way back into contention for a bid to the Big Ten Tournament, instead the Buckeyes and Wolverines played only one of the four games in a snow-shortened series. Michigan relied on the arm of Jim Brauer, who fanned 10, and an eight-run fifth inning to hand Ohio State an 11-3 in the first ever night game at Ray Fisher Stadium.
The Wolverines scored twice in the third thanks to one hit and one Buckeye error, but then used six hits and two more errors to score eight in the fifth to build a 10-0 lead. Michigan scored its first two runs of the inning when Dan DeLucia misfired on the throw to first on a bunt by Matt Butler that also enabled him to get to third. He scored on a base hit by Chris Getz. DeLucia walked Kyle Bohm to put runners at first and second and when DeLucia’s wild throw on a pick-off attempt at first sailed past Paul Farinacci, allowed another run to score and put a runner at third, he was sent to the dugout in favor of Jeffrey Carroll. Carroll gave up three runs on three hits before Rory Meister came in to get the Buckeyes out of the biggest inning by an opponent this season.
Eric Fryer launched his first home run as a Buckeye, a one-out, solo shot in the sixth inning that he deposited over the fence in left field to put Ohio State on the board. Michigan got the run back in the bottom of the inning, scoring on a Meister wild pitch. The Buckeyes scored their final two runs of the game in the eighth inning, using hits by Fryer and Mike Rabin, a pair of Michigan errors and a sacrifice fly by Steve Caravati to pull within the 11-3 final score.
Brauer limited the Buckeyes to only one base runner until the sixth inning when Fryer’s home run stopped a string of 15 straight retired batters. When he left, he had struck out 10 with only one walk and had allowed all three runs on five hits in 7.1 innings. Derek Feldkamp pitched the rest of the way. The two allowed six hits by Ohio State, three of which came off the bat of Rabin and two off of Fryer. Paul Farinacci delivered the only other Buckeye hit. DeLucia fell to 2-3 with the loss.
RABIN LEADING BUCKEYES
Senior centerfielder Mike Rabin has made great strides in his offense the last several games and leads the Buckeyes with a .316 overall batting average and a .381 average in Big Ten games. All but two of his 31 hits have been singles (one double and one home run) and his has driven in 11 runs.
The co-captain from West Chester, Ohio (Lakota East) has played in all but one game this season and has started in 29 games. He has a hit in 11 of his last 12 games, including hits in his last five games. During the stretch of a dozen games, Rabin is batting .425 (17-of-40) and has three games during the stretch with three hits: 3-for-4 in the finale vs. Illinois, 3-for-4 in game two vs. Michigan State and 3-for-4 in the game against Michigan. Only two other Buckeyes – second baseman Jason Zoeller and reserve shortstop Jedidiah Stephen – have more multiple-hit games.
In Rabin’s first nine games of the season, he had only five hits, but since then he has 26 hits, while being hitless in only four games.
SLOW BIG TEN START
The 4-9 start by Ohio State is the slowest start to open Big Ten play since it began the 1987 season 3-10. That also was the last year the Buckeyes were swept in a four-game series to open league play. Those losses came at the hands of Michigan. Ohio State also was swept by Purdue that year and finished 4-12 in the Big Ten. That was the year before the arrival of current Buckeye coach Bob Todd.
When this year’s Ohio State team lost the opening game of the Purdue series, it ran its conference losing streak to five games. The last time Ohio State started 0-5 was 1936, the same year the Ohio State University Marching Band first performed “Script Ohio.” That year, Ohio State lost its first nine conference games before finishing 1-10. Other events of 1936: former Ohio State sprinter Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.
THE BIG TEN RACE
It was a strange weekend in the Big Ten to say the least. The foul weather allowed Ohio State and Michigan to play only one game, but that was better than Purdue and Michigan State, which only got their first game started before it was suspended after the fourth inning before it became an official game. Illinois took three of four at Indiana, while Minnesota kept pace by taking three of four at home against Northwestern. Iowa took three of four at home against Penn State in the only other series that was played.
After the weekend, Illinois and Minnesota remained on top of the league standings with 12-4 records, while Iowa was able to stay one game back at 11-5. Penn State (8-8) and Michigan State (6-6) are tied for fourth, while Northwestern is sixth at 7-9, followed by Purdue in seventh at 5-7. Ohio State and Michigan are tied for eighth at 4-9 and Indiana is 10th at 4-12. Only six teams advance to the Big Ten tournament.
When Indiana visits Ohio State this weekend, Illinois will be at Penn State, Iowa will be at Northwestern, Minnesota will be at Purdue, while Michigan and Michigan State will play a home-and-home series with the doubleheader being played in Ann Arbor.
BIG TEN STATISTICS RANKINGS
In the Big Ten rankings that were released Monday, Ohio State ranked ninth in team batting (.288), in front of only Purdue (.271); ranked second in team ERA (3.83) behind Illinois (3.73); and was tied for first in fielding (.970) with Minnesota.
Not a single Buckeye has a batting average ranked in the Top 10 in the league. Ranking individual ERAs, Cory Luebke is third with his 2.76 ERA, while teammate Dan DeLucia is fourth with his 2.83 ERA.
In conference-only stats, the Buckeyes rank dead last in team batting (.260), sixth in team ERA (4.93) and fifth in team fielding (.964). No Buckeye ranks in the Top 10 in ERA in conference-only games, but Mike Rabin is 10th with his .381 average in Big Ten games.
Ohio State is 1-5 in true road games this season and is 12-9 ingames outside of Columbus. The Buckeyes are 7-7 in games decided bytwo runs or less, including 2-4 in one-run games. Sophomore JacobHowell already has 100 hits for his career (80 games). All but fourof Steve Caravati’s 19 starts have been in right field. The Buckeyeco-captain has made two starts as the Buckeye designated hitter,including the last game of the Michigan State series and the thirdgame at Illinois. His other two starts were made at first base,including the second game vs. Cornell and against Malone. TheBuckeyes have won all three games when freshman Matt Angle has ledoff. He has led off against Rider, game two against Dartmouth andthe finale vs. Michigan State. His only hit against the Spartansdelivered the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Eric Fryer’stwo hits and two RBI in the finale against Michigan State are aseason high for the freshman backstop, though he duplicated thetwo-hit effort the next game at Michigan, which also recruited him.He was 2-for-4 with one home run and two runs scored againstMichigan, which, is where another Reynoldsburg High School grad,Mike Matheny (San Francisco Giants), attended school. The threehits by Jedidiah Stephen in the finale against Michigan State werea season high. Stephen has 105 career hits, including 19 doubles,three triples and 17 home runs, as well as 69 RBI. Steve Caravatihas struck out just one time this season in the 20 games he hasplayed (56 at bats). He has 17 hits and 10 walks. He is batting.304 with four doubles, two triples and has yet to add this seasonto his 21 career home runs.
BUCKEYE RECORD BOOK
Steve Caravati is tied for 12th with his .351 career battingaverage. His 214 hits rank 15th, while his 609 at bats have himranked 22nd. The fifth-year senior co-captain from Dover, Ohio(Dover) is tied for third with 11 triples (two away from the schoolrecord) and his 21 career home runs are tied for 21st. Caravati hasbatted in 147 runs during his career (tied for 14th in schoolhistory), including 52 RBI last season. He needs 34 to move intosecond place all-time at Ohio State. Dan Seimetz (1995-98) holdsthe school record with 236 RBI. Mike Rabin has 723 career at bats,which is ranked third by any player in school history. The OSUrecord is 823, set by Mark Carek (1995-98). Rabin, who already has98 at bats in 2005, needs 101 at bats to break that record. He had234 at bats as a sophomore and 228 last year, so that is one recordto watch. His 42 steals tie for seventh most in school history.Rabin’s 213 hits rank 16th most in school annals, just behindCaravati’s total of 214. With four home runs this season, JedidiahStephen has 17 career home runs. The junior from Caldwell, Ohio,needs three more to crack the school’s Top 25 list. With 19 careervictories, Mike Madsen ranks 19th and with his win percentage of.679 (19-9), he ranks 28th in school history. Madsen ranks 12th infewest hits allowed (209), sixth in fewest bases on balls (79),eighth in fewest runs (113) and 11th in fewest earned runs allowed(97). Madsen has pitched in 53 games, which ties him for 19th.Trent Luyster has made 54 appearances in his career to rank 18th.Luyster is 16th with fewest hits allowed (222), third with fewestbases on balls (55), ninth in fewest runs (115) and is 10th withfewest earned runs allowed (96). In just his second year as aBuckeye, Trey Fausnaugh has made 50 appearances, which ties for the21st-most in school history.
SPARTANS WIN SERIES 3-1
Michigan State was trying to do something last weekend at Ohio State that no team had ever been able to do before and that was sweep the Buckeyes at Bill Davis Stadium. In the nine-year history of the stadium, only Michigan had won a series on the Buckeyes home turf (2003 and 2004). This time it was different. The Spartans won the first three games of the series (not even the Wolverines did that) to make a sweep possible, but Ohio State won in the bottom of the ninth to thwart the Spartan bid.
Ohio State lost the first three games 2-0, 12-3 and 8-1. It scored only four runs and had only 22 hits in the first three games of the series. The Buckeyes won 8-7 in the series finale, getting an RBI single from freshman Matt Angle to score freshman Eric Fryer, who reached on a hit of his own and then stole second to set up the score. Ohio State relief pitching allowed a grand slam to tie the game in the top of the ninth after leading by as many as five runs two different times. The Buckeyes finished the series with 12 runs on 35 hits, while Michigan State scored 29 runs on 45 hits.
Senior outfielder and co-captain Mike Rabin led the Buckeyes in going 6-for-12 with three runs batted in and two runs scored. He launched his third career home run in the second game of the series. Chris Macke, Jedidiah Stephen and Jacob Howell each delivered four hits in the series, though the Buckeyes hit just .276. Rabin is the leading Buckeye hitter in Big Ten play, batting .342 in the 12 games. He and Paul Farinacci each have three hits, while Farinacci has delivered seven RBI.
For Michigan State, Sean Walker belted three home runs and drove in four RBI, including the grand slam that tied game four in the top of the ninth. He had five hits and a slugging percentage of 1.077. He and teammate Tim Day who pitched an eight-hit complete game in the 2-0 victory on Friday, earned Big Ten player and pitcher of the week for their performances against the Scarlet and Gray.
BASEBALL AMERICA NAMES LUEBKE TO MID-SEASON ALL-FROSH TEAM
Ohio State freshman left-handed pitcher Cory Luebke was named to Baseball America’s mid-season Freshman All-America Team earlier this month. Luebke, a 18th-round draft by of the Pittsburgh Pirates last summer, is one of four starting pitchers to appear on the list. He joins James Adkins (LHP, Tennessee), David Prince (LHP, Vanderbilt) and Nick Schmidt (LHP, Arkansas). Luebke is 3-2 on the year with a 2.76 ERA, the sixth best in the Big Ten. Luebke has made nine appearances with starts in his last six games. He picked up his first career win against Wisconsin-Milwaukee, going the distance in a 4-1 Buckeye win. In that game he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, before allowing only four hits in his first complete game. He also beat Dartmouth before losing to Illinois and Michigan State. He beat Purdue for his third win of the season.
BUCKEYES TAKE 3 OF 4 VS. PURDUE
Ohio State took three of four games from Purdue April 8-10 at Bill Davis Stadium. In the Big Ten home opener, the Boilermakers handed the Buckeyes a 7-1 loss, their sixth loss in a row. Ohio State regrouped on Saturday to take both ends of the doubleheader, 6-4 and 5-1, before clinching the series win with a 4-2 victory in game four.
Despite getting a career-high 10 strikeouts from starter Trent Luyster, the Buckeye defense let the game get away from them. Trailing only 3-1 entering the ninth inning, two Purdue hits and two Buckeye errors led to four runs in the inning as the Boilermakers cruised to the six-run victory. It was the sixth straight loss for Ohio State.
Some say the third time is the charm, but for Ohio State head coach Bob Todd, it took seven times to earn his 700th career victory after winning No. 699 on March 30. After Cody Caughenbaugh tied the game 3-3 with a single, Jason Zoeller launched his fourth home run of the season, a three-run blast, to give the Buckeyes a 6-3 lead. Purdue was able to add a run, but Todd and the Buckeyes walked off the field victorious after the 6-4 win. In game three of the series, Jacob Howell was 2-for-2 with two RBI and Mike Madsen pitched his first complete game of the season to give Ohio State a 5-1 triumph to sweep the doubleheader. Madsen struck out six, allowed only four hits in winning his 19th game of his career.
Dan DeLucia and Jeffrey Carroll, both 2003 graduates of Bishop Watterson High School, combined to pitch the Buckeyes to a 4-2 victory in game four to clinch the series win. DeLucia retired the first 14 batters he faced but allowed both runs on seven hits before giving way to Carroll in the eighth. Carroll was touched for only one hit in picking up his first career save.
TODD WINS NO. 700 AT OSU
With a 6-4 victory over Purdue in the second game of the series, Bob Todd earned yet another milestone victory in his 22-year career. The win was his 700th at Ohio State. In his 18th season in Columbus, Todd is now 704-368-2 (.656). He improved his career record to 828-439-2 (.653). Todd entered the season ranked among the Top 25 active coaches by both win percentage and total victories.
Todd’s Milestone Ohio State Wins
1 – Feb. 27, 1988 vs. Louisville (16-2)
100 – Feb. 22, 1991 vs. Dartmouth (14-7)
200 – March 28, 1993 vs. Cleveland St. (9-5)
300 – April 13, 1995 at Wright State (16-6)
400 – May 16, 1997 at Michigan (9-2)
*480 – May 8, 1999 vs. Michigan St. (11-1)
500 – March 22, 2000 vs. Florida Int’l (2-0)
600 – May 19, 2002 vs. Minnesota (9-2)
700 – April 9, 2005 vs. Purdue (6-4)
*became the winningest coach in Ohio State history
Todd’s Milestone Career Victories
1 – March 23, 1984 vs. Mercer (18-4)
100 – March 25, 1987 vs. UNC-Wilm. (12-10)
200 – April 1, 1990 vs. Wisconsin (7-4)
300 – April 22, 1992 vs. Ohio (16-2)
400 – May 14, 1994 vs. Purdue (8-7)
500 – March 30, 1997 at Michigan St. (4-0)
600 – May 5, 1999 vs. Oakland (11-9)
700 – March 17, 2002 vs. Detroit (7-2)
800 – May 8, 2004 vs. Penn State (3-1)
Todd’s Milestone Big Ten Wins
1 – April 3, 1988 vs. Illinois (14-6)
100 – May 1, 1993 vs. Michigan (3-2)
200 – May 10, 1998 vs. Michigan State (5-4)
300 – April 2, 2004 vs. Illinois (5-1)
OHIO STATE SWEPT AT ILLINOIS
For only the second time at Ohio State since Bob Todd began coaching, the Buckeyes were swept in a four-game conference series. Illinois swept the series in grand fashion, winning the finale with a two-run walk-off home run to seal a 6-4 victory and only the sixth-ever sweep against Ohio State since the Big Ten began playing four-game series in 1981. The Illini won the first three games of the series by scores of 7-1, 4-1 and 5-4.
Illinois erupted for five runs on six hits in the sixth inning to hand the Buckeyes a 7-1 loss and snap their 10-game win streak. J.R. Kyes went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs to lead Illinois. Jedidiah Stephen led Ohio State with a single and a double. Paul Farinacci delivered the only OSU run in the top of the second inning. Trent Luyster fell to 4-2 with the loss. Jason Zoeller’s 13-game hit streak came to an end.
In game two, the Illini scored all four of their runs in the first inning to down the Buckeyes 4-1. Steve Caravati drove in Zoeller with a double down the left field line in the sixth inning. Zoeller, Caravati and Ronnie Bourquin had the three hits for Ohio State. In the second game of a doubleheader, Illinois dodged a late-inning rally by Ohio State to win 5-4. The Illini had sprinted to a 5-0 lead after the fourth inning before Farinacci delivered his first home run of the season, a grand slam he bounced off the top of the right-field fence in the top of the sixth. The Buckeyes stranded one runner in the seventh when Bourquin was tagged out sliding into first.
The luck of the Buckeyes appeared to change in the series finale when they took a 4-3 lead in the top of the sixth inning, but Illinois tied the game in the bottom of the inning before the two-run walk-off home run in the ninth won the game 6-4. Mike Rabin was 3-for-4 in the game, while Zoeller and Chris Macke each had two hits and one RBI. Reliever Trey Fausnaugh gave up the home run to get the loss. The last 0-4 start by Ohio State was in 1987, the year before Todd arrived to Columbus.
SERIES SWEEPS AGAINST OSU
The sweep by Illinois in Champaign was only the sixth time in school history that the Buckeyes were swept in a four-game Big Ten series. The conference began playing four-game series in 1981. It was the first time Illinois had swept the Buckeyes. The Illini join Michigan, Minnesota and Purdue as the only teams to sweep the Buckeyes in four games. Michigan has three sweeps of Ohio State, while the others have done it once. Minnesota had been the last two sweep Ohio State, beating the Buckeyes four times in 1990.
Four-Game Sweeps in Big Ten Play
Michigan: 1985, 1986, 1987
SWISHER MAKES OPENING DAY ROSTER IN OAKLAND
Former Ohio State Buckeye Nick Swisher appeared on the opening-day roster of the Oakland Athletics, which opened the season Monday at the Baltimore Orioles. Swisher, who finished the 2004 season on the Oakland roster after being called up Sept. 3, became the highest-ever drafted player from Ohio State when he was picked 16th overall in the first round of the 2002 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
He batted .323 in his three years with the Buckeyes, batting in 156 runs with 35 home runs. He had a .613 slugging percentage and a .452 on-base percentage while at Ohio State and was a starter in 166 of the 169 games in which he played. During his junior season, Swisher batted .348 with a team-best 52 RBI and 10 home runs. The switch hitter reached base safely in all but one of his 54 games as a junior and at one point rode a 19-game hit streak, which was within four games of the school’s all-time record. Swisher, a First Team All-Big Ten selection both as a sophomore and junior, had 64 hits, including 14 doubles and three triples to go with his 10 homers in 2002. He was a freshman All-American and was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2000. When Swisher was called up last season, he became the first Ohio State player other than a pitcher to reach the majors since Barry Bonnell played the first of his three seasons for the Atlanta Braves in 1977.
ON THE RADIO
Ohio State baseball games are being broadcast again this season on NPR 820 (WOSU-AM), which will broadcast a total of 40 regular-season games, plus all postseason contests. Neil Sika and Paul Barnes will call the action. Live audio is available on the Internet at www.wosu.org or by clicking a link at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com.
UP NEXT FOR THE BUCKEYES…
Ohio State welcomes Indiana to Bill Davis Stadium this weekend for a four-game Big Ten series. The teams will play a single game Friday at 6:35 p.m. before playing a doubleheader Saturday at 4:05 p.m. The series concludes Sunday with a single game at 1:05 p.m. The Friday and Sunday games will be on NPR 820 (WOSU-AM) while all four games will be broadcast on the Internet at www.wosu.org.