COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State will get one of its two cancelled games (due to weather) back Wednesday, April 23 when it plays the Akron Zips, under the direction of former Buckeye assistant coach Pat Bangtson, in a doubleheader instead of a single nine inning game. The first game will start at 4:05 p.m. and will be a seven-inning affair broadcast on Game two, broadcast over the air on WMNI-AM 920, will start 25 minutes after the first contest ends and will be a nine-inning contest.

  The Buckeyes are coming off a 3-1 series loss to Purdue this weekend at Bill Davis Stadium. After dropping the first two games, the Buckeyes won game three behind the pitching of starter Dean Wolosiansky, who improved to 5-2, Eric Best’s fifth save of the season and three RBI by Justin Miller. Ohio State built a 4-0 lead through three innings in game four, but added just one more run the rest of the way while Purdue put together back-to-back three run innings late to steal the finale, 7-5.

  While Ohio State lost a series to Purdue for the first time since 1986, Akron swept its first series since 2005 last weekend, defeating MAC East Division leader Ohio in three games. 

Ohio State Buckeyes
(19-15, 8-7 Big Ten) vs.
Akron Zips
(18-14; 4-5 MAC East)

April 23, 2008
Bill Davis Stadium
Columbus, Ohio

Game 1: 4:05 p.m. EDT (7 innings)
Game 2: 6:35 p.m. EDT (9)

Series History: Ohio State leads, 25-17
Last Meeting: May 2, 2007; Ohio State, 7-2

Broadcast Information
Radio: WMNI-AM 920 (Game 2) (Game 1)
Live Stats
Audio Broadcast
Streaming Video

Two more Ohio State road games have been added to the Big Ten Network baseball schedule. The additional dates give Ohio State nine appearances on the Big Ten Network, the most of any school. Televised games to come include (start times all EDT):

Sat., April 26: OSU at N’western (DH), 1 p.m.
Fri., May 2: Ohio State at Michigan, 6:35 p.m.
Sat., May 17: Ohio State at Iowa, 2 p.m.

Note: the Northwestern doubleheader has been moved up to a 1 p.m. starting time.

Ohio State hits the road for the next two weekends. The Buckeyes travel to Evanston for a four-game series Friday through Sunday. The next week the team travels to Ann Arbor for a big series with Michigan. The Friday night game against Michigan will be the dedication game for Michigan’s newly renovated stadium, now called Fischer Stadium at Wilpon Baseball Complex. Elsewhere in Big Ten games this weekend: Michigan is at Indiana; Penn State is at Illinois; Minnesota is at Purdue; and Iowa travels to Michigan State.  

Coach Bob Todd’s teams Ohio State and Kent State are 15-2 all-time vs. Akron. His Ohio State teams are 5-2 including two consecutive wins in 2004 (4-3) and 2007 (7-2). His Kent State teams were 10-0.  Buckeye teams all-time are 25-17 vs. the Zips.

Akron coach Pat Bangtson and Ohio State’s Bob Todd know each other quite well. Bangtson spent four seasons as a student-athlete on Todd’s Kent State teams and then he coached for14 years with Todd at Ohio State. The games today will be just the second and third games the two will be coaching opposites. Last year Todd’s Buckeyes prevailed, 7-2, at Bill Davis Stadium.

In his first year as a volunteer assistant with the Akron baseball program is former Buckeye Trent Luyster. He works with the Zips’ pitchers. Luyster was 14-10 with a 4.49 ERA in 61 appearances (29 starts) for Ohio State from 2002-2005. He graduated in 2006 with a degree in human development and family sciences.

The Buckeyes will be looking to put the brakes on a skid that has them just 3-6 in their past nine games, including a 1-5 mark at Bill Davis Stadium during that time. The team has the ability to reverse course, too, Consider:

Ohio State is third among Big Ten teams with an overall batting average of .321 and it is second in team ERA at 4.31.
The team is 15-1 when it has a lead after eight innings.
Six everyday players are hitting at least .300 and six have at least 15 RBI.
The staff is limiting opponents to a .258 overall batting average.
Four pitchers with at least 20.0 innings have ERAs under 4.00.

Michael Arp
has been a most productive Buckeye of late. The junior is riding a four game hitting streak, during which time he is hitting .500 (4-for-8) with two RBI and two runs scored. He has raised his overall batting average to .349 in the process and he is hitting a team-best .438 in nine Big Ten games (four starts). He is tied for the team lead with three pinch hits (he’s hitting .500 as a pinch hitter), including pinch hits in each of his last two opportunities.
Justin Miller, despite breaking two metal bats in the four game series vs. Purdue,  still had a tremendous week and he stays in the hot corner. The junior and team co-captain went 11-for-18 at the plate (.611) with nine RBI and four runs scored. In the process, he hit his first home run of the season and he climbed into the team lead in batting (.383), RBI (29), slugging (.505) and hits (tied with 43). He went a career-best 5-for-5 vs. Louisville and four games later went 4-for-4 vs. Purdue.

Buckeye Notes & Numbers
Hmmm…Last week Ohio State’s opponents hit 20 extra base hits including nine home runs while Ohio State managed nine and three, respectively. Give some credit to the Purdue outfielder’s, who robbed Buckeyes of line drive hits close to 10 times in the series.
Ping! First career home runs were hit by Zach Hurley (vs. Louisville) and Cory Kovanda (G4 vs. Purdue off ace reliever Josh Lindblom). Hurley’s top-spin laser went out in center. Kovanda went opposite field down the right field line. 
Awe shucks! In his last two pitching performances, J.B. Shuck has pitched 7.1 and 7.0 innings, respectively, and allowed just two runs, eight hit, five walks and he has struck out 14…but he’s 0-1 in those games.
Shuck has lowered his ERA to a team-best 2.86 ERA.
Good work, Eric Best. Although his string of scoreless innings ended in game four vs Purdue after eight games and 12.1 innings pitched, the sophomore commanded the attention of the opponents and saved four Ohio State wins in the process.
Wins. Dean Wolosiansky has won three straight starts, including a critical game three win over Purdue with 5.2 innings pitched and only two earned runs allowed to improved to a team-best 5-2 on the season.
Wolosiansky did not allow an extra base hit against Purdue.
Focus. He’s played left. He’s rested. He’s DHed. And Tony Kennedy has hits in eight of his last nine games (11-for-35; .314) with five runs scored.
In a pinch. Ohio State pinch hitters are 11-for-27 (.407), led by Ryan Dew (3-for-5), Michael Arp (3-6) and Ben Toussant (2-for-6).
Dusted. Opponent pinch hitters have had virtually no success against Ohio State pitching (4-for-27; .148).      

Click on the attached PDF for more Ohio State vs. Akron game notes and statistics.