April 22, 1999
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 16th ranked Ohio State baseball team (28-7, 11-1), after pounding Wright State 12-7 on Wednesday, will host the Penn State Nittany Lions (23-14, 5-6) in a four game Big Ten series this weekend in Bill Davis Stadium (4,450). The two teams will meet Friday under the lights at 6:35 p.m., Saturday in a doubleheader beginning at 4:05 p.m., and Sunday in a single game at 1:05 p.m.
Both Friday and Sundays game will be televised on Central Ohio Sport! Televsion. The channel, created through a parternship between Insight Communications (Ch. 36) and Time Warner Communications (Ch. 24), reaches more than 300,000 households in the central Ohio area. Fridays game will air Saturday, April 24 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 25 at 7 p.m. Sundays OSU-PSU game will also be produced for a tape-delay broadcast, and will air Monday, April 26 at 7 p.m. and Tuesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. Randy Rhinehart will call the action with former Major League catcher Larry Owen providing color commentary. WOSU Radio (820 AM) will air games one, two, and four of this weekends series live with tandem of Herb Howenstine and Frank Fraas calling all the action.
Justin Fry will attempt to become the winningest pitcher in Ohio State history Friday night when he takes the mound to face Penn State. Fry collected his 30th career win last weekend, tying a 49-year old school record held by Pete Pirini (1947-50). Already this season, Fry has become Ohio States all-time strikeout leader and all-time innings pitched leader.
MAKING HISTORY PART II
Ohio State is in the midst of one of the most successful runs in school history. The Buckeyes have won 21 of their last 22 games, including seven straight. Only one other team in school history – the 1994 team – won 21 games in 22 chances. In fact, that teamwon 27 of 28 games during one stretch.
SECOND BEST CONFERENCE START EVER
Ohio States 11-1 Big Ten start is the second best ever in the 86 years the Buckeyes have competed in the Big Ten. Only the 1970 team started better through 12 games in the Big Ten. Following is a breakdown of the four best Big Ten starts in OSU history:
Year 12-Game Start Finish/Place 1970 12-0 13-3/2nd 1999 11-1 ??/?? 1982 10-2 13-3/1st (East) 1994 10-2 25-2/1st
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP
RF 4 Dan Beers Sr., R-R CF 11 Brian Harper Fr., R-R LF 18 Michael Campo Jr., L-R 1B 5 Joe Puliafico Jr., L-R 2B 15 Eric Spadt Jr., R-R SS 20 John Richmond Fr., R-R 3B 17 Shawn Fagan Jr., R-R C 7 Chris Netwall So., R-R DH 9 Donnie Wright So., S-R P 16 Dan Goebeler Jr., R-R Not projected batting order.
Dan Beers is Penn States all-time home run leader with 30 todate. Beers also leads the Nittany Lions with 32 RBI and is hitting.320. Starting pitcher Dan Goebeler is tied for the team lead instarts with nine, and ranks second with a 4.37 earned run average.
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP
RF 24 Jason Turner Jr., L-L CF 20 Mike Lockwood Jr., L-L LF 6 Jason Driscoll Jr., R-R 1B 36 Jason Trott Sr., L-L 2B 7 Chad Ehrnsberger So., R-R SS 17 Trent McIlvain So., R-R 3B 21 Matt Middleton Sr., L-R C 10 Tom Durant Sr., R-R DH 13 John Mayor So., R-R P 38 Justin Fry Sr., R-R Not projected batting order.
Sophomore Chad Ehrnsberger was listed as the top sophomoresecond baseman in the country by Baseball America this week. JustinFry will attempt to become the winningest pitcher in Ohio Statehistory tonight. Hell be trying for his 31st career win.
OHIO STATE IN THE POLLS
The Buckeyes continued to soar in this weeks national polls. Ohio State climbed to No. 16 in the Baseball America poll, No. 23 in the Collegiate Baseball poll, and No. 25 in the USA Today Baseball Weekly/ESPN Coaches poll.
OSUS LAST ACTION
The Buckeyes played longball to notch a 12-7 victory over Wright State Wednesday night in Bill Davis Stadium. Unlikely heroes carried the Buckeyes in the win. Marcello Garofolo, making his first start of the season at first base and only his fourth start overall, went 3-4 with four RBI and two runs scored. Garofolo knocked a three-run home run to spark a five-run second inning for OSU. He added a run scoring double in the seventh. Freshman Joe Palazzo, making only his third start of the season at third base, notched his first career home run immediately after Garofolo went deep. Palazoo was 2-4 with two RBI in the game. Jason Driscoll and Chad Ehrnsberger each added solo home runs for OSU. Nate Smith started for Ohio State and picked up his fourth win of the season, going four innings and allowing only one hit. Five different pitchers worked for the Buckeyes.
Jason Trott 12 games Chad Ehrnsberger six games
PENN STATE SERIES HISTORY
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Penn State, 22-11. The Buckeyes have won five of the last seven games against the Nittany Lions. In last years series, OSU won two-of-three games in State College, Pa. Jason Trott led Ohio State offensively in the series, going 7-11 with six runs scored. Penn State last visited Columbus on April 2-4, 1997. Bill Davis Stadium was dedicated that weekend, and the Buckeyes took three of four games from PSU.
SCOUTING THE NITTANY LIONS
Penn State stands 23-14 overall and 5-6 (seventh place) in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions have gone 3-3 in their last six games, but dropped three-of-four games to Northwestern last weekend in Chicago. Penn State has struggled from the plate in Big Ten games and ranks last in the conference with a .258 batting average. Pitching has kept the Nittany Lions in games this year. The team ranks fourth in the Big Ten with a combined 5.51 earned run average. Catcher Chris Netwall leads the team with a .358 batting average. Rightfielder Dan Beers, Penn States most prolific home run hitter ever, leads the team with 10 dingers this year. Dan McCall (4-2, 3.61 ERA), Dan Goebeler (3-5, 4.37), and Peter Yodis (4-2, 5.06) give Penn State a solid 1-2-3 pitching rotation. Robert Green (1-1, 6.05) is scheduled to start the fourth game for the Nittany Lions.
Nate Smith has put together back-to-back impressive outings for Ohio State. In his last two appearances, one of which was a start, Smith has combined to pitch eight innings and surrendered just four hits and one run. He has struck out seven during that stretch, and collected the win in both outings.
Jason Trott extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a 2-4 effort against Wright State. He is hitting .457 during the streak (21-46). Trotts career long hitting streak is 16 games, achieved in 1998.
TODD APPROACHING TWO MILESTONES
Ohio State head coach Bob Todd, one of the most respected collegiate coaches in the nation, is approaching a pair of coaching milestones. Todd needs just 9 wins to record the 600th of his career and just 12 to become the winningest baseball coach ever at Ohio State (surpassing Marty Karows 478 career victories.)
GOING, GOING, GONE
Ohio State tied a season high with four homeruns against Wright State on Wednesday. The Buckeyes also hit four home runs in an April 14 contest against Youngstown State in Bill Davis Stadium. Ohio State has hit 13 home runs at home this year and surrendered only four. The Buckeyes are averaging 1.63 home runs per game at home (13 in eight home games), and only 1.03 homers per game on the road (28 in 27 road games).
THE RACE IS ON
Speaking of home runs, Chad Ehrnsberger hit his tenth of the year against Wright State, tying himself with Mike Lockwood for the team lead. Ehrnsberger now has three homers in his last five games, and five in his last eight contests. Lockwood just missed a home run in the Wright State game, flying out to deep right field. Lockwood has four dingers in his last six games.
ITS ALL ABOUT OFFENSE
OSUs recent run can be credited largely in part to the most explosive offense in the Big Ten. The numbers speak for themselves: Ohio State has averaged 11 runs per game over its last seven games. The Buckeyes have scored at least nine runs in 13 of their last 17 games. In its last 22 games (21 of which have been wins), Ohio State has outscored its opponent 222-111. Thats an average of 10.09 runs for Ohio State and 5.05 for opponents.
SNAP ONE STREAK, SNAP ANOTHER
Two games started streaks were snapped by Ohio State in the Wright State game. Both Jason Turner (right field) and Jason Trott (first base) were the only OSU players that had started every game this year in their respective positions. Neither started in those positions against the Raiders.
MORE OFFENSIVE TALK
With 12 more runs against Wright State, the Buckeyes have now outscored their opponents by a 321-214 count. The record for runs scored in a season is 534 by the 1991 team. At their current pace, the Buckeyes would score approximately 520 total runs this year, depending on how far the team advanced in the postseason. Ohio State leads the Big Ten in average runs scored per conference game at 9.3.
MIKE CHECK, ONE, TWO, THREE
Mike Check got his second start of the season against Wright State, filling in for Trent McIlvain at shortstop. Check made the most of the playing time, going 3-5 with and RBI and a run scored. Check set or tied three career highs in the game – at-bats (5), hits (3), and runs (2)
Ohio State came from behind to win three of the games against Illinois last weekend. The only game in which the Buckeyes scored first was the fourth and final game of the series, which OSU won 9-6.
A HITTING STREAK PLUS
Not only does Chad Ehrnsberger have a six game hitting streak in the works, but he also has driven in at least one run in his last five games. Ehrnsberger, listed as the best sophomore second baseman in the country by Baseball America this season, has nine RBI in his last five games. He leads the team in runs batted in with 43.
HOME IS WHERE THE WINS ARE
Ohio State is a perfect 8-0 in Bill Davis Stadium this year.
.300 EQUALS VICTORY
The Buckeyes hit .412 as a team in the Wright State game. Ohio State has hit at least .300 as a team in the past 16 games. In those 16 games, the Buckeyes are 16-1. Prior to that Ohio State hit below .300 as a team for ten straight games.
CAN TROTT THREEPEAT
Trott became the first player since Indianas Mike Smith (1991-.476, 1992-.472) to win back-to-back batting titles. Trott posted a .426 average for the 1998 regular season and claimed the crown in 1997 with a .418 mark. Wisconsins Rick Reichardt is the only other player to win consecutive titles when he posted season bests in 1963 (.429) and 1964 (.472). No player has ever claimed three conference batting titles.
Fry and Lockwood were named to Collegiate Baseballs preseason All-America third team. Fry was a first team preseason selection in 1998. Freshman pitcher Smith was named a first team top freshman by Baseball America.
Season box seats went on sale March 1 and individual game tickets were made available March 22. Contact the OSU Athletic Ticket Office for more details (1 800-GO-BUCKS). The ticket office is now located in The Jerome Schottenstein Center
ONE OF THE TOP TEAMS OF THE 90s
With its 372-168-1 record over the past nine seasons, Ohio State is ranked the 12th winningest team of the 1990s with a .689 winning percentage. The Buckeyes are the only Big Ten Conference school among the top 25. Wichita State leads the pack with a 484-130-0 (.788) mark since the 1990 season.
PREDICTED BIG TEN FINISH
According to the Baseball America college preview, Ohio State is predicted to finish third in the Big Ten behind Minnesota and Illinois. All three squads are expected to receive NCAA tournament bids and Fry, Lockwood and Trott are preseason all-Big Ten selections. The Big Ten is ranked the sixth-best conference in the nation this year.
Predicted final Big Ten standings according to Baseball America 1. Minnesota 19-9 42-21 2. Illinois 19-5 42-21 3. Ohio State 18-9 45-15 4. Michigan 9-15 21-27 5. Penn State 15-11 28-24 6. Purdue 9-18 23-29 7. Indiana 14-14 29-27 8. Northwestern 10-18 27-26 9. Michigan State 8-16 25-27 10. Iowa 9-15 19-27
The Ohio State baseball program has had a new treat each season for the past two years. In 1997, it was the opening of the stadium itself. Last year it was the lights for night contests, a batters eye in centerfield and the matrix scoreboard for animation. This year, expanded seating is the name of the game as the Buckeye venue maintains its spot as one of the premier college ball-parks. With the addition of bleacher seating down both foul lines, the stadium capacity has increased to 4,450, making it a probable choice for NCAA Regional competition. Permanent batting cages are also being constructed on the third base side.
THE RECORD WATCH
Career Batting Average 1. Jason Trott .404 2. Dan Seimetz (1995-98) .370 3. Alex Eckelman (1994-97) .367 4. Robby Cobb (1980-83) .363 5. Brian Mannino (1992-95) .362
Career Wins 1. Pete Perini (1947-50) 30 Justin Fry 30 3. Scott Klingenbeck (1990-92) 28 Tom Schwarber (1987-91) 28
Career Innings Pitched 1. Justin Fry 367.0
Career Strikeouts 1. Justin Fry 326