May 13, 1999
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team (43-9, 22-2) will attempt to clinch at least a share of the 13th Big Ten title in school history Friday night when it hosts Indiana University (36-14, 13-11) in Bill Davis Stadium at 6:35 p.m. The game marks the beginning of a four-game series between the first-place Buckeyes and fourth-place Hoosiers. The teams will also meet in a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 4:05 p.m., and Sunday in the series finale at 1:05 p.m.
Games one and four of the Ohio State-Indiana series will be televised on Central Ohio Sport! Television. The channel, created through a partnership 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 on a tape delay basis on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. Sundays game will also be tape-delayed, and will air Monday, May 17, at 7 p.m. and Tuesday, May 18, at 7 p.m. Randy Rhinehart will call the action with former Major Leaguer Larry Owen providing color commentary. WOSU Radio (820 AM) will air games one, two, and four of this weekends series live with the tandem of Herb Howenstine and Frank Fraas calling the action.
INDIANA PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP RF 8 Doug DeVore Jr., L-L CF 12 Jason Williams Sr., R-R LF 10 Blake St. Clair So., L-L 1B 16 Mark Minor Fr., R-R 2B 4 Benji Clause Jr., R-R SS 6 Ryan Schade So., R-R 3B 14 Frank O’Connell Sr., R-R C 32 Brandt Childs Sr., R-R DH 5 Dan Haegele So., R-R P 36 Jason Torres Sr., R-R Not projected batting order
OHIO STATE 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
TEAM FOR THE AGES?
With a four-game sweep of Indiana this weekend, Ohio State would finish the Big Ten regular season with a 26-2 (.929) ledger, marking the best Big Ten record by any school in the last 33 years. The last team to finish with a winning percentage above .929 was the 1966 OSU team, which went 6-0 and went on to win the College World Series.
Ohio States magic number for a share of the Big Ten title is one, while its magic number for an outright championship is two. OSU stands 22-2 in the Big Ten, while second-place Minnesota is 19-5. The Gophers host Michigan State in a four-game series this weekend. Any combination of two OSU wins or Minnesota losses would lead to an ouright Big Title for the Buckeyes.
RUN RECORD IN REACH
The 1999 Buckeyes have a chance to go down as one of the most dangerous offensive teams in school history. Currently, the team is average just under nine runs per game and has scored 460 runs total. The Buckeyes have a minimum of eight games remaining (four regular season, two in the Big Ten Tournament, two NCAA Tournament games), and if their run-scoring pace continues, theyd score approximately 531 runs. The school record for runs scored in a season is 534, held by the 1991 team.
RECORD SETTING WIN
With last last Saturdays 11-1 win over Michigan State, Ohio State won its 21st straight game, setting a school record for consecutive victories. The 21 wins eclipses the previous mark of 20 in-a-row won by the 1994 team. The 1999 Buckeyes now have 21-game and 14-game winning streaks to their credit this season. Ohio State has also won 36 of its last 39 games.
THIS IS NOT A TYPO
Ohio State erupted for one of the finest offensive displays in school history last weekend against Michigan State in game one of the series. The Buckeyes used nine home runs and 20 extra-base hits to notch a 34-4 win over the Spartans. The 34 runs scored are the second most ever by an OSU team in 119 years of Buckeye baseball, and the most runs scored since 1902. That season, Ohio State beat Capital 44-2.
RECORD TYING PERFORMANCES
Two Ohio State players will have their names etched into the Big Ten record book next season for their performances last Friday. Matt Middleton tied two Big Ten records – hits in a game (six) and at-bats in a game (eight). Mike Lockwood also tied the at-bat record with eight. Middleton is just the fourth player in league history – and only the second since 1957 – to collect six hits in one game. Counting Middleton and Lockwood, three players have now recorded eight at-bats in a Big Ten game (T.J. Jackson of Illinois is the other).
SPEAKING OF MIDDLETON
For the fourth time this season, an Ohio State player has been named the Big Ten Conference Player of the Week. Third baseman Matt Middleton earned the honor after hitting .600 last week (12-20) with three home runs and 12 RBI. Eight of Middletons 12 hits went for extra bases, and in last Fridays 34-4 win over Michigan State, he hit for the cycle for the first time in his career.
MEMO TO HOOSIERS
Ohio State is a perfect 20-0 at home this year, demolishing the previous school record for best home start (13-0) held by the 1984 team.
OHIO STATE IN THE POLLS
Ohio State held firm in the Baseball America poll this week at the No. 9 spot. The Buckeyes jumped five places in the Collegiate Baseball poll and now are ranked No. 10. In the USA Today Baseball Weekly/ESPN Coaches poll, OSU is ranked No. 12 this week after being No. 13 last week. OSU received one first-place vote for the second straight week.
THE WINNING CONTINUES
Entering this week, Ohio States winning percentage of .843 was the second best in the nation, trailing only Florida Atlantics .942 (49-3).
OSU’S LAST ACTION
The Buckeyes dropped an 8-6 decision to West Virginia on the road Wednesday evening. Ohio State led 6-5 heading into the bottom of the eighth, but WVU pinch-hitter Todd Neff hit a two-run home run to center with two out to give the Mountainners an 8-6 lead. Ohio State loaded the bases with one out in its half of the ninth, but was unable to score. Mike Lockwood went 3-5 with two RBI and hit his 15th home run of the year. Matt Middleton also homered for Ohio State. Cory Cox was credited with the loss for Ohio State. Nate Smith started the game and went five innings for OSU, allowing three earned runs and striking out seven.
MIDDLETON CONTINUES TO ROLL
With his home run against West Virginia, Matt Middleton has now gone deep four times in the last six games. He also has 14 RBI in his last six contests.
MORE ON THE GAME
Ohio State set season-highs in six categories in the 34-4 win over Michigan State – at-bats (55), runs (34), hits (29), home runs (9), runs batted in (33), and, amazingly enough, strikeouts (12).
THE HITTERS VS. MICHIGAN STATE
Doug Dendinger .833 (5-6) Matt Middleton .625 (10-16) Jason Trott .615 (8-13) Jason Driscoll .467 (7-15) Mike Lockwood .412 (7-17)
Tom Durant nine games Mike Check eight games Jason Trott six games
INDIANA SERIES INFO
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Indiana 127-88. The Buckeyes have met the Hoosiers more times than they have any other school in the country. The two teams split the series last year in Bloomington. Ohio State took three-of-four from Indiana the last time the teams played in Columbus (1997).
SCOUTING THE HOOSIERS
Indiana visits Columbus with a possible berth in the Big Ten tournament on the line. IU stands 36-14 overall and 13-11 in the Big Ten (fourth place.) The Hoosiers have a one-game lead over fifth-place Illinois, which is hosting Purdue this weekend in a four-game series. Indiana has won eight of its last 10 games, and started the season with an impressive 20-3 mark. Doug Devore, a Dublin, Ohio, native, leads IU with a .372 batting average and 18 home runs. Devores slugging percentage stands at .776. Jason Torres, scheduled to start Fridays game, has been IUs most effective starter. Hell enter this weekend with a 3.45 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 73 innings.
Tom Durant owns Ohio States longest current hitting streak at nine games. Durant has exactly one hit in each of his last nine games. He has also scored at least one run in five straight games.
Ohio State has hit a whopping 22 home runs in its last nine games. Strangely enough, prior to that stretch, the Buckeyes went eight games without hitting a home run. Ohio State is 23-6 when hitting at least one home run this year.
GIVE IT TO MIKEY, HELL HIT ANYTHING
Mike Lockwood has been one of Ohio States hotter hitters of late. Lockwood has hit safely in nine of his last ten games, and is hitting .500 over that stretch (20-40). In Morgantown on Wednesday, Lockwood went 3-5 with an eighth-inning two-run bomb to give OSU the lead. Against Michigan State, Lockwood, OSUs leadoff hitter, reached base 15 times in 23 plate appearances (.652 on-base pct.). Lockwood has also scored 12 runs in the last seven games.
BIG, BIG WEEKEND
Ohio State first baseman Jason Trott went 8-13 against Michigan State and overtook Michigans Bobby Scales as the Big Tens leading hitter. Trott is hitting .436 in Big Ten games. Scales went 3-12 in four games against Indiana this weekend, as his averaged dropped to .409. Minnesotas Robb Quinlan ranks second in the league with a .423 average. If Trott can hold on to his lead and capture the Big Ten batting crown, he will become the first player in conference history to earn three consecutive Big Ten hitting titles.
BOTH SIDES ARE FINALLY CLICKING
For four-fifths of the season, Ohio States hitting and pitching never seemed to click at the same time. As tournament time draws near, that may finally be happening. After hitting .389 as a team in the four game series against MSU last weekend, the Buckeyes now rank second in the league with a .337 average – one point behind Minnesotas .338. OSU also leads the league in pitching with a 4.69 team ERA – over two-tenths of a run in front of Minnesotas 4.91 team ERA. The Buckeyes also lead the league in fielding with a .976 team percentage.
TURNERS BIG DAY
Rightfielder Jason Turner broke out of a semi-slump last week, going 8-23 (.348) with 12 RBI in six games. Turner hit two home runs in OSUs 34-4 win over the Spartans and drove in seven runs. Against West Virginia, Turner continued to swing a hot bat, going 2-3 with a run scored.
BACK-TO-BACK FOR LEE
Andy Lee notched his second consecutive complete game against Michigan State last weekend. He has now surrendered just one run in his last 16 innings of work (0.56 ERA). Lee has been credited with the win in his last three appearances.
A NEW MAN
Kurt Fullenkamp has now solidified a spot in Ohio States starting rotation with a string of impressive outings. For the second time in as many weeks, Fullenkamp started and went seven or more innings, allowing only two runs. He has allowed just four earned runs in his last 20 innings of work (1.80 ERA), which is spread over eight appearances (two starts). In his last 19 innings of work, Fullenkamp has fanned 17 batters.
SPEAKING OF STARTING PITCHERS
Three of Ohio States four starters are ranked among the top four in the Big Ten Conference in wins. Justin Fry and E.J. Laratta are tied for the league lead with eight wins, while Andy Lee is tied for fourth with seven wins.
CLIMBING THE WIN LADDER
The 1999 Ohio State baseball team has 43 wins to its credit – the fifth most in school history. With five wins in its last five regular season games, the Buckeyes would have 48 wins, which would mark the third most ever by an OSU team with the postseason remaining and the most ever by an Ohio State team in the regular season. Listed below are the most successful teams in school history in terms of total wins. Total wins include any postseason victories, while regular season wins (R.S. Wins) include any games played prior to the Big Ten Tournament:
Year Total Wins R.S. Wins 1991 51 48 1994 49 45 1982 45 43 1993 44 38 1999 43* 43* * regular season not complete
BIG TEN RECORD IN REACH
The 1999 Buckeyes can break the conference and school record for most Big Ten wins in a season with a sweep of Indiana this weekend or tie the record by winning three of four. The 1994 Ohio State team holds both the Big Ten and school records with 25 conference victories. That team went 25-2, losing one game to a rainout. With a sweep of the Hoosiers, this years OSU team would finish 26-2 in the Big Ten.
The Buckeyes have come from behind to win 15 times overall this season. In 22 Big Ten wins this year, OSU has been forced to come-from-behind eight times (36 percent of the time).
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.
Career Batting Average 1. Jason Trott .406 2. Dan Seimetz (1995-98) .370 3. Alex Eckelman (1994-97) .367 4. Mike Lockwood .363 Robby Cobb (1980-83) .363 6. Brian Mannino (1992-95) .362 7. John Orkis (1981-82) .359
Career Hits 1. Dan Seimetz (1995-98) 287 2. Mark Carek (1995-98) 262 3. Brian Mannino (1992-95) 250 4. Alex Eckelman (1994-97) 241 5. Ken Tirpack (1989-92) 237 Jason Trott 237 7. Robby Cobb (1980-83) 233 8. Keith Gonya (1979-82) 228 9. Jeff Anderson (1989-91) 227
Career Runs 1. Mark Carek (1995-98) 217 2. Dan Seimetz (1995-98) 193 3. Mike Lockwood 189 4. Robby Cobb (1980-83) 183 5. Brian Mannino (1992-95) 174
Career Wins 1. Justin Fry 33 2. Pete Perini (1947-50) 30 3. Scott Klingenbeck (1990-92) 28 Tom Schwarber (1987-91) 28
Career Innings Pitched 1. Justin Fry 391.1 2. Pete Perini (1947-50) 305.1 3. Chris Granata (1991-94) 295.1
Career Strikeouts 1. Justin Fry 352 2. Steve Arlin (1965-66) 294 3. Bill Cunningham (1982-85) 281
Fewest Base On Balls (175 or more IP) 1. Bob Spears (1993-96) 45 2. Dick Boggs (1966-68) 75 3. Andy Lee 76
Win-Loss Percentage (14 decisions) 1. Steve Arlin 24-3 (.889) 2. Andy Lee 20-3 (.870) 3. Kurt Fullenkamp 19-3 (.864) 4. Ken Hay 12-2 (.857)