April 12, 2000

%^$COLUMBUS, Ohio — Welcome to the sixth home date of the 2000 baseball season at Bill Davis Stadium. The Ohio State baseball team (21-11 overall, 4-4 in Big Ten) enters the week after splitting a weekend series with the Minnesota Golden Gophers. This week, OSU will face a pair of schools from the state of Michigan. Tonight’s challengers are the Eastern Michigan Eagles. This weekend, the Buckeyes head north to Ann Arbor, Mich., to face the Michigan Wolverines.%^$

%^$Road Warriors
%^$This weekend, the Ohio State baseball team will play its second-consecutive weekend away from the friendly confines of Bill Davis Stadium. The Buckeyes have played at home just one weekend since beginning the season on Feb. 25. This season, OSU will play a total of 12 weekends with only three at home.%^$

%^$Ehrnsberger Jumps Mannino
%^$Second baseman Chad Ehrnberger enters this week with a .363 career batting average, tying him with Robby Cobb (1980-93) in fifth place on the Ohio State all-time list. Over the weekend, Ehrnsberger passed former OSU All-American and current first base coach Brian Mannino’s (1992-95) .362 career batting average. The OSU all-time leader is Jason Trott (1996-99) with a .399 career average.%^$

%^$Berger Becoming Big Mac
%^$Chad Ehrnsberger also is climbing the OSU career home runs list after hitting his 32nd last weekend. He is currently tied in seventh place with Mark Chonko (1993-96). The OSU all-time leader is Dan Seimetz (1995-98) with 52 career blasts.%^$

%^$Driscoll Moves Into Top 20
%^$Senior Jason Driscoll enters this week with 571 career at bats, placing him 20th on the OSU all-time list. The OSU all-time leader is Mark Carek (1995-98) with 823.%^$

%^$Turner Cracks Home Run List
%^$Senior co-captain Jason Turner belted his 20th career home run last weekend against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. He is now tied for 19th place on the OSU all-time career list.%^$

%^$McIlvain Joins the 100 Club
%^$Junior shortstop Trent McIlvain notched his 100th career hit off Minnesota’s C.J. Woodrow. He joins Chad Ehrnsberger as the only juniors with at least 100 career hits.%^$

%^$Sound Bites – Ohio State vs. Eastern Michigan
%^$Some can’t miss notes on Ohio State baseball that will make your job easier%^$

%^$- Jason Driscoll and Marcello Garofalo currently lead the Buckeyes with four-game hitting streaks. John Mayor holds the season-high hitting streak after hitting safely in the first 14 games of the season.%^$

%^$- Marcello Garofalo has three home runs in his last four games.%^$

%^$- Chad Ehrnsberger leads Ohio State with 15 multiple-hit games. Jason Turner is second on the team with 14 multiple-hit games.%^$

%^$- In his last 27.0 innings of work, preseason All-American pitcher E.J. Laratta has given up just five earned runs and has totaled 20 strikeouts. His earned run average during this stretch is 1.67.%^$

%^$A Split With the Gophers
%^$Last weekend, the Buckeyes and the Minnesota Golden Gophers split a four-game series at Siebert Field in Minneapolis, Minn. On Saturday, OSU swept a doubleheader, 6-3 and 7-3. But the Gophers rebounded Sunday winning 13-5 and 7-1. Chad Ehrnsberger led the Buckeyes with a .462 batting average and six runs batted in. Co-captain Marcello Garofalo and fellow senior Jason Driscoll played well batting. .444 and .417 respectively.%^$

%^$Scouting the Eagles
%^$The Eastern Michigan Eagles enter this week with a 11-21 overall record and a 1-7 Mid-American Conference record. On Monday, they lost a doubleheader to Kent, 4-0 and 4-2. Last weekend, the Eagles lost a doubleheader to Akron, 11-3 and 9-4. Offensively, the team is paced by Vincent Thomas. He leads the Eagles with a .340 batting average, two home runs and 14 runs batted in. Dan Hyott is batting .320 and is the only other hitter on the team with an average above .300. EMU is carrying a .246 team batting average. On the mound, Joe Linde has been the team’s most effective starting pitcher. He is 3-0 with a 3.52 earned run average. Stopper Tom Gallus leads the team with seven saves and a 2.08 ERA. The EMU head coach is Roger Coryell. He is in his 13th year as the mentor.%^$

%^$OSU vs. EMU All-Time
%^$The Buckeyes lead the all-time series between the two schools, 2-0. In 1997, OSU defeated the Eagles, 4-1 in the first ever game at Bill Davis Stadium. Jason Driscoll went 1-for-4 and scored a run in that game.%^$

%^$Game on Television
%^$Tonight’s game between Ohio State and Eastern Michigan is being televised by Sport! Television. The game will be replayed on Friday, April 14 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 15 at 7 p.m. The game can be viewed on Insight channel 35 or Time Warner Cable channel 24.%^$

%^$A Trip Up North
%^$This weekend, OSU plays an important four-game series in Ann Arbor, Mich., against the Michigan Wolverines. UM (10-18-1 overall, 3-9 in Big Ten) is off to a slow start after losing 3-of-4 at Illinois last weekend. In their last 10 games, the Wolverines have compiled a 4-6 record. Offensively, David Parrish leads the team win every major statistical category. The catcher and son of former Major League All-Star Lance Parrish, leads UM with a .357 batting average, seven home runs and 25 runs batted in. Brock Koman is second on the team with a .308 batting average and 19 runs batted in. The Wolverines are hitting only .252 as a team. Bobby Korecky has been the team’s most effective starter. He is carrying a 3-1 record with a 4.41 earned run average. As a staff, the UM pitchers have a 5.48 earned run average. The Michigan head coach is Geoff Zahn. He is in his fifth year at the helm.%^$

%^$OSU vs. Michigan All-Time
%^$Michigan holds a 131-76-2 edge in the all-time series between the two schools. The two schools last met at the 1999 Big Ten Tournament in Bill Davis Stadium with the Wolverines winning, 8-6. This is the second-consecutive year that the Buckeyes will travel to Ann Arbor for a four-game series. Last year, OSU won 3-of-4, winning games one, two and four. Cory Cox was the winning pitcher in game one and Kevin Goodrum earned the win in game four. The Buckeyes have won the last two series, five of the last six and have won or tied the last 10 series against the Wolverines.%^$

%^$Travel Information
%^$The Buckeyes will depart for Ann Arbor, Mich., Thursday at approximately noon via charter bus. OSU will stay at the Sheraton in Ann Arbor. The phone number is (734) 996-0600.%^$

%^$Ray Fisher Stadium
%^$Ray Fisher Stadium has been the home of Michigan baseball since 1923. The press box phone number is (734) 647-1283. The Michigan baseball SID is Jim Schneider.%^$

%^$Big Ten Dominance
%^$The Buckeyes enter this weekend having won or tied their last 23 conference series dating back to 1996. Ohio State has never lost a Big Ten series at Bill Davis Stadium.%^$

%^$Resilient Team
%^$After 32 games, Ohio State has yet to lose more than two games in a row and have lost back-to-back games just twice. The first time OSU lost back-to-back games (at the Aggie Continental Airlines Classic), the Buckeyes went on to win five of their next six games.%^$

%^$New Stadium Information
%^$More offseason changes have been made to Bill Davis Stadium. The main ticket entrance has been moved to the front of the stadium. Media and will-call tickets can be picked up at the ticket booth on the third base side of the stadium. Pre-purchased tickets can be picked up at either entrance. ADA parking is available down the third base side or directly behind home plate in front of Bill Davis Stadium. Parking conflicts will arise on dates that concerts have been scheduled at the Jerome Schottenstein Center. Please allow time for possible concert and/or game traffic. Parking for baseball is free. Any further questions on ticket or parking matters, please call the OSU Athletics Ticket office at (614) 292-2624.%^$

%^$Ohio State Pounds Oakland
%^$On Wednesday, a pair of home runs by co-captain Marcello Garofalo helped power the Ohio State baseball team over the Oakland Golden Grizzlies, 12-2, in front of 535 fans at Bill Davis Stadium.%^$

%^$”Our offense is starting to find a rhythm,” head coach Bob Todd said. “We still have a lot of room to improve, but at least we are starting to swing the bats better. This will definitely give us some momentum going into this weekend against Minnesota.”%^$

%^$The Buckeyes jumped to a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, John Mayor singled to right-centerfield. Then on a 1-1 offering from Oakland starting pitcher Jeff Gatch, Chad Ehrnsberger belted his eighth home run of the season to give OSU its first lead of the game. Jason Turner and Doug Dendinger then followed with back-to-back singles to rightfield. The duo moved into scoring position on a wild pitch by Gatch. Trent McIlvain immediately followed by grounding a ball to OU third baseman Rob Brockman, who then mishandled the ball, allowing Turner%^$

%^$The hit parade continued in the bottom of the seventh inning for Ohio State. Garofalo led off with a solo blast on a 3-1 offering from reliever Justin Roberston for his second home run of the evening to give OSU an 11-2 lead%^$

%^$Ohio State and Iowa Split
%^$Last weekend, the Buckeyes opened the 2000 Big Ten season with a 2-2 split with the Iowa Hawkeyes at Bill Davis Stadium. OSU won games one and four while Iowa swept Saturday’s doubleheader. The doubleheader sweep was the first by an opponent in the four year history of Bill Davis Stadium. In Friday’s 2-1 win, E.J. Laratta struck out a career-high 11 batters. In Sunday’s 11-1 win, Nick Swisher belted his first career home run at Bill Davis Stadium.%^$

%^$Solid Win Over Shawnee St.
%^$On March 29, after opening the season with 22 games on the road, the Ohio State baseball team was excited to open the home season. And nobody showed it more then co-captain Jason Turner as he connected for his second career two-home run game as the Buckeyes defeated Shawnee State, 9-3, in front of 989 fans at Bill Davis Stadium. In his first career start, Kyle Brown tossed three shutout innings on 32 pitches, gave up just one hit and struck out two to earn his first career win (1-0).%^$

%^$Homestead Honors
%^$Chad Ehnrsberger was named to the Homestead Challenge/David Sunflower Seed all-tournament team. The junior was Ohio State’s only representative on the team. He led the Buckeyes with a .471 batting average (8-for-17) with a home run and three RBI at the Homestead Challenge.%^$

%^$Cox and Turner Rewarded
%^$For the week of March 20, The Big Ten Conference announced that Jason Turner and Cory Cox were named the Offensive Player of the Week and the Pitcher of the Week, respectively.%^$

%^$In four games at the Aggie Continental Airlines Classic, Turner put up some sensational numbers. The OSU co-captain batted .667 (8-for-12) with a double, home run and three runs batted in to help lead OSU to 3-1 tournament start. He recorded at least one hit in all four games.%^$

%^$Cox made a huge impact in just three innings of work. The OSU stopper improved to 2-0 on the season when he slammed the door on Texas A&M. In front of a hostile crowd of 3,550, the junior threw three shutout innings of relief to solidify OSU’s 8-7 win at Olsen Field.%^$

%^$Todd Wins No. 500
%^$On March 19, head coach Bob Todd won his 500th game at Ohio State with an 8-3 win over Oregon State at the Aggie Continental Airlines Classic. Todd, already the winningest coach in Ohio State baseball history, entered this season as the 26th wininningest active coach in Division I baseball with a .658 winning percentage.%^$

%^$Spring Tourney Recap
%^$The 2000 Ohio State baseball team took home 2-of-4 possible tournament championships this Spring. In the season opening tournament, OSU defeated Air Force to win the Service Academies Classic. The second tournament OSU competed in, the Kennel Classic, did not award a champion but the Buckeyes finished that weekend with the tournament’s best record, 3-1. In the third tournament, the Buckeyes defeated host school Winthrop to take home the Winthrop Stateline Classic Championship. At the Aggie Continental Airlines Tournament, the Buckeyes finished in third place with a 3-3 record. At the Homestead Challenge, OSU was the tournament runners-up with a 3-1 record. “We did some positive things this Spring,” head coach Bob Todd said. “Five of our losses were by just one run. In most of those games, just one more hit or making a better pitch could have changed the outcomes of those games. The bottom line is that we were able to give a lot of young guys some game experience in some hostile and pressure situations. This will only make us better for the Big Ten Season.%^$

%^$Winthrop Classic Champs
%^$The third tournament of the season sent OSU to Rock Hill, S.C. for the Winthrop Stateline Classic. The Buckeyes again finished with a 3-1 record and took home the tournament championship.%^$

%^$Service Academies Champs
%^$The Buckeyes opened the 2000 season by winning the Service Academies Classic (2/25-27). The Buckeyes finished the tournament with a 3-1 record, including a 5-4 win over No. 25 Notre Dame. Mike Check was named the tournament’s most valuable player while John Mayor, Jason Turner and E.J. Laratta were named to the all-tournament team.%^$

%^$Getting Results
%^$Results can be easily found on the Internet at^$

%^$OSU Season Tickets
%^$The Ohio State Athletics Ticket Office has announced that season tickets for the 2000 baseball season are now on sale. The entire season is $128 and the Big Ten Grand Slam package is $72. Renewal applications have already been sent out to past season ticket holders. These applications can be renewed by either mail or via the Internet ( Single game tickets are currently on sale and will be based on availability. Box seats are $10, general admission is $5 and student general admission is $3. Groups of 10 or more will be able to purchase general admission seats for $2 each. For questions or to order tickets, please contact the Ohio State Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-GO-BUCKS or at (614) 292-6861.%^$

%^$Preseason All-Conference
%^$In the Baseball America preseason poll, Ohio State is the highest ranked Big Ten school at No. 31. As a conference, the Big Ten was ranked as the sixth toughest in the nation. In their conference preseason prognostications, the Buckeyes are predicted to win the championship and earn an NCAA Tournament berth. Both second baseman Chad Ehrnsberger and pitcher E.J. Laratta were named to the preseason all-conference team. Laratta is also the preseason Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and Nick Swisher is the magazine’s choice as the preseason Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Ehrnsberger was voted as the conference’s best defensive second baseman while Laratta was voted as having the best breaking ball. To read more about Baseball America’s preseason prognostications, log on to their website at^$

%^$Baseball America Predicted Finish (rank)
%^$1. Ohio State (31)
%^$2. Penn State (41)
%^$3. Illinois (56)
%^$4. Minnesota (70)
%^$5. Michigan (76)
%^$6. Purdue (100)
%^$7. Indiana
%^$8. Northwestern
%^$9. Iowa
%^$10.Michigan State

%^$Preseason All-American
%^$The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association named pitcher E.J. Laratta to its 2000 Preseason All-America baseball team. The sophomore hurler was a third-team selection. Laratta returns after a stellar 1999 season. He carried a 10-3 record with a 3.74 earned run average and 59 strikeouts. At the conclusion of the season, he was named a Freshman All-American, first-team all-Big Ten and the 1999 Big Ten Freshman of the Year.%^$

%^$The sophomore was the Big Ten Conference’s only representative on the NCBWA Preseason All-America team.%^$

%^$All-American Ehrnsberger
%^$Chad Ehrnsberger was named to the 1999 National College Baseball Writers Association All-American team. A second team selection at second base, Ehrnsberger led the Buckeyes with 16 home runs and 73 runs batted in. These numbers placed him third in both categories in the Big Ten Conference. Ehrnsberger also carried a .356 batting average and a .648 slugging percentage.%^$

%^$Four All-Big Ten’s Return
%^$Last season, the baseball team had nine student-athletes named to the all-Big Ten team. Of these nine, four have returned this year – first team selections pitcher E.J. Laratta and second baseman Chad Ehrnsberger, second team selection pitcher Cory Cox and third team selection shortstop Trent McIlvain.%^$

%^$On Deck
%^$This weekend, OSU travels to Ann Arbor, Mich., for a four-game series against the Michigan Wolverines. Next Wednesday, OSU plays host to Dayton at 6:35 p.m.