COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State seeks to put an end to an atypical home slump Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium when it hosts the Eastern Michigan Eagles in a 6:35 p.m. game. The Buckeyes enter the contest with a 22-18 overall record that includes a 10-9 mark in the Big Ten Conference. Eastern Michigan is 15-26 overall and leading the Mid American Conference West Division with an 11-4 mark.
Ohio State Buckeyes
(22-18, 10-9 Big Ten) vs.
Eastern Michigan Eagles
(15-26; 11-4 MAC West)
April 30, 2008
Bill Davis Stadium
Series History: Ohio State leads, 8-2
Last Meeting: May 3, 2006; Ohio State, 5-2
Radio: WMNI-AM 920
9-9 AT HOME
After splitting a doubleheader last Wednesday against Akron, Ohio State is an uncharacteristic 9-9 in home games in 2008. The team is 2-6 in its last eight home games.
MAC TEAMS HAVE CONTRIBUTED
Mid American Conference teams are 2-2 vs. the Buckeyes in Bill Davis Stadium this year. Akron is 1-1, losing the first game of the doubleheader last week, 8-7, after leading 6-0. The Zips won the nightcap, 7-3. Central Michigan defeated the Buckeyes, 4-2, on April 9. Toledo lost to the Buckeyes, 13-0, on April 2.
AFTER A SLOW START…POW!
Eastern Michigan started the season 0-17. The Eagles are 15-9 since and will be another dangerous midweek opponent for the Buckeyes. They have defeated Michigan State, 10-3, and took two of three games against Akron. Steve Bradshaw is leading the Eagles with a .391 average and 35 RBI. He also leads the team with 61 hits and 14 doubles. Josh Ivan, Kyle Rhoad and Jeff Davis are all hitting above .320 for the season. Rhoad leads with 40 runs scored and he is 15-of-18 in stolen bases. Davis is second with 31 RBI.
ILLINOIS WEEKEND CELEBRATION
Ohio State’s final home Big Ten Conference weekend of the season May 9-11 vs. Illinois will be a celebration of 125 years of Ohio State baseball that will feature two legendary coaches being honored for their accomplishments.
Marty Karow, Ohio State skipper from 1951 until 1976 and who led the Buckeyes to four College World Series, including winning the national title in 1966, will have his jersey No. 13 officially retired by the athletics department in a ceremony between doubleheader games May 10.
Bob Todd, the winningest coach in Ohio State history with more than 800 wins in his 21 seasons as Ohio State coach, will be honored before the Friday, May 9, game on his induction into the American Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame.
THIS WEEK IN BIG TEN ACTION
Ohio State 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. It will be televised by the Big Ten Network. Other series this weekend: Northwestern is at Illinois; Minnesota is at Iowa; Michigan State is at Penn State; and Purdue is at Indiana.
Big Ten Conference Standings
Big Ten Overall
W L T W L T
Michigan 17 3 0 30 10 0
Purdue 16 4 0 25 17 0
Illinois 11 9 0 25 16 0
Ohio State 10 9 0 22 18 0
Northwestern 10 10 0 16 19 0
Penn State 10 10 0 19 23 0
Michigan St. 7 12 0 17 22 0
Indiana 6 14 0 18 24 0
Iowa 6 14 0 16 25 0
Minnesota 6 14 0 16 26 0
Next Week: Ill. at Ohio State; Ind. at NU; Iowa at PSU; Michigan at Minn.; Mich. St. at Purdue
The team did not wear space-like red, blue, yellow and green uniforms last Saturday vs. Northwestern (like the Power Rangers do), but it did benefit from a stiff breeze to jack three home runs in one inning that carried the team to a 13-1 game three win. The home run fun led to a season-high eight-run second inning.
Lefthander Ryan Dew hit a three-run home run to the opposite field to give the Buckeyes a 4-0 lead.
Four batters later, Brian DeLucia hit an inside the park grand slam home run a towering shot to center that, aided by the blowing winds in Evanston, nobody was able to reach.
Freshman Dan Burkhart followed DeLucia’s home run with his first career home run to left to cap the big inning for the Buckeyes.
MORE ON LAST WEEKEND
The Buckeyes and the Wildcats ended up splitting the four games. Ohio State won games one and three, 11-2 and 13-1, respectively, with Northwestern taking the others by scores of 6-4 and 14-6.
Tony Kennedy hit .647 with 11 hits in 17 at-bats with eight runs scored, four doubles and two RBI.
Michael Arp (5-for-10; .500 with five runs scored), Brian DeLucia (4-for-9; .444 with five RBI) and Ryan Meade (7-for-17; .412 with five runs scored and three RBI) also had big weekends at the plate for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State’s 36 runs and 50 hits in the Northwestern series represent 2008 series highs for the Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes hit .357 as a team. Northwestern hit .328.
CHILLIN’ & WINNIN’
Jake Hale (8.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB , 3 SO) and Dean Wolosiansky (7.0 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO) were outstanding on the mound vs. Northwestern while recording their fifth and sixth wins, respectively, of the season. Although Dan DeLucia took the unfortunate loss in game two, he pitched well enough to exit the game with the lead, the fifth time in his seven starts that he has had the Buckeyes in such a position this season.
THE OHIO STATE BUCKEYES TODAY
The Buckeyes have 15 games remaining in the regular season and are seeking a run of wins to guarantee a spot in the Big Ten tournament. It won’t be easy. Consider the upcoming opponents:
Eastern Michigan is leading the MAC West.
Michigan is leading the Big Ten.
Marshall has winning overall and conference records.
Illinois is in third in the Big Ten.
BUCKEYE WARM-UP TOSSES
Dean Wolosiansky and J.B. Shuck are 4th and 5th, respectively, in the Big Ten in ERA and Wolosiansky and Jake Hale are second and third in wins.
Tony Kennedy has scored 12 runs the last seven games and is tied for the team lead with 34.
J.B. Shuck, 4-2 on the mound with a 2.86 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 50.1 innings, missed his first start this season in game four vs. Northwestern to rest a sore hamstring.
Ohio State’s last nine game results: L-W-L-W-L-W-L-W-L. The team’s longest winning streak this season is three games (on four occasions) and the longest stretch of losses is four.
The Buckeyes are in fourth place in the Big Ten, one-half game behind Illinois and one-half game ahead of 10-10 Penn State and Northwestern. In seventh place: Michigan State, two-and-one-half games back at 7-12.
The pitching staff has a 4.09 ERA in Big Ten Conference games; 4.50 overall. Those figures each rank second in the Big Ten Conference.
Ohio State is sixth in the Big Ten in league games with a .307 batting average and third overall at .325.
In Big Ten games, Ohio State’s staff is first with 69 earned runs allowed, second in opposing batting average (.262) and hits allowed (168).
Ohio State is 8-2 in Big Ten games when it out-hits its opponent; 0-6 when out-hit.
Also in Big Ten action: Ohio Sate is 9-1 when leading after six innings; 1-7 when trailing.