May 6, 1999
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State (40-7, 19-1), after sweeping a pair of non-conference games over Pittsburgh and Oakland this week, will face Michigan State (24-20, 7-12) this weekend in a four-game, Big Ten series. The two teams will meet in Lansing, Michigans Oldsmobile Park (8,000) on Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday in a doubleheader at 4 p.m., and Sunday in the series finale at 1 p.m.
WOSU Radio (820 AM) will air games one, two, and four of this weekends series. The tandem of Herb Howenstine and Frank Fraas will call the action.
THE KING OF OHIO STATE BASEBALL
Head coach Bob Todd became the winningest coach in school history Wednesday, notching his 479th victory at OSU. Todd passed former Buckeye skipper Marty Karow on the all-time win list, who recorded 478 wins in 25 seasons at Ohio State. Todd now stands 479-230-1 in 12 seasons with the Buckeyes.
KEEP SCRATCHING YOUR HEADS
The 1999 Buckeyes are in the midst of the most impressive run in school history. Some highlights of the streak:
Ohio State has won 33 of its last 34 games, marking the best 34game stretch in school history. OSUs winning percentage during therun is .971.
Ohio State has won 19 consecutive games, marking the second longestwinning streak in school history. The current streak trails onlythe 20 in-a-row won by the 1994 team.
Ohio State is a perfect 20-0 at home this year, demolishing theprevious school record for best home start (13-0) held by the 1984team.
MICHIGAN STATE PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP
RF 24 Tom Hartley Sr., R-R CF 23 Mike Wagner Sr., R-R LF 22 Mike Pisani Jr., R-R 1B 8 Kyle Geswein Fr., L-L 2B 2 Carlos Fernandez Sr., R-R SS 7 Ted Demetral Jr., R-R 3B 4 Troy Bergman Fr., R-R C 32 Joe Kalczynski Jr., R-R DH 26 Joe Albaugh Jr., L-L P 45 Scott Brandell So., 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 27 Justin Fry Sr., R-R Not projected batting order.
RECORD TYING PERFORMANCE
Ohio State closer Cory Cox slammed the door on Oakland Wednesday evening, tying a school record by notching his ninth save of the season. Cox tied a record held by Mark Mesewicz (1992). One more save will make Cox the only pitcher in OSU history to reach double-figures in saves.
THIRD WINNER OF THE SEASON
An Ohio State player has been named the Big Ten Player of the Week for the third time this season. Freshman E.J. Laratta earned Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honors after going 2-0 and throwing 12 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. Laratta started against Dayton last week and threw five innings without allowing an earned run, then notched a complete game, four hit shutout against Purdue last Saturday. The Englewood, Colo., native struck out nine batters and walked only one last week. Chad Ehrnsberger was named the Big Ten Player of the Week on April 8 of this season, while Justin Fry was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week on March 29.
OHIO STATE IN THE POLLS
Ohio State cracked the nations top 10 for the first time since 1994 this week, grabbing the No. 9 spot in the Baseball America weekly poll. OSU is No. 13 in the USA Today Baseball Weekly/ESPN Coaches poll and received one first place vote this week for the first time this season. The Buckeyes are No. 15 in the Collegiate Baseball national poll.
NO. 2 IN WINNING PERCENTAGE
After going 6-0 last week and 2-0 so far this week, Ohio State now owns the nations second highest winning percentage at .851. Entering the week, only Florida Atlantic (46-3) has a better overall winning percentage than the Buckeyes (.939).
TWO STREAKS, ONE SEASON
Ohio States 19-game winning streak is the second longest in school history. Earlier this season, the Buckeyes won 14 consecutive games, marking the fourth longest winning streak in OSU history. The 1999 Buckeyes are one of only three teams in school history to own two separate winning streaks of at least 10 games. Listed below are the longest single-season winning streaks in school history. Amazingly enough, two of them have occurred during the 1999 season.
Streak Year Dates 20 1994 4/23 – 5/20 19 1999 4/11 – Pres. 15 1970 4/18 – 5/23 14 1999 3/21 – 4/10 13 1984 3/31 – 4/14
OSU’S LAST ACTION
Ohio State played two non-conference games Wednesday, topping Oakland 11-9 and Pittsburgh 7-1. The Buckeyes knocked 15 hits in the win over Oakland and led 9-2 after six innings of play. Matt Middleton went 2-4 with two RBI, three runs scored, and a home run. Trent McIlvain was 2-3 with an RBI. Brandon Steen started for OSU and collected his fourth win of the season without a loss. Ohio State played one of its stronger games of the season against Pittsburgh and claimed a 7-1 win. OSU knocked 13 hits, allowed only seven, and did not commit an error. The Buckeyes hit four solo home runs, two by leadoff hitter Mike Lockwood, tying a team season high. Every OSU starter had a hit in the game. Nate Smith pitched six strong innings and collected his fifth win of the year. Ted Kalnins and Kevin Goodrum combined to pitch the final three frames and faced only nine batters.
Tom Durant five games Mike Lockwood five games
MICHIGAN STATE SERIES INFO
Ohio State leads the all-time series against Michigan State, 103-68-1. The Buckeyes have won 10 of the last 12 against the Spartans and won last years series 3-1. Former Buckeye Eric Thompson no-hit the Spartans at home in game two of last years series, marking the seventh no-hitter in Ohio State history.
SCOUTING THE SPARTANS
Michigan State stands 24-20 overall and 7-12 in the Big Ten. The Spartans have been out of action since dropping four games to arch-rival Michigan last weekend. MSU has lost five consecutive games, but prior to that won five straight and 10 of 11. Mike Pisani leads all regulars with a .339 batting average. Mike Wagner leads the team in home runs with eight. Scott Brandell (game one), Dan Horvath (game two), and Kyle Geswein (game three) are all projected starters for Michigan State this weekend. Horvath has been the most effective of the bunch and leads the team with a 3.71 earned run average. The Spartans ranks last in the Big Ten in pitching (8.31 ERA in league games), but rank sixth in hitting (.299 team average in league games).
THE MAGIC NUMBER
Ohio States magic number to notch a share of the Big Ten Championship is four. The magic number (any combination of Ohio State wins or Minnesota losses) to claim the title outright is five. Ohio State, 19-1 in the Big Ten, has a four game lead over the 15-5 Gophers.
GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM…
…the OSU pitching staff. As the Ohio State bats fell silent last weekend against Purdue, the Buckeye starting pitchers came through with their best combined four performances of the season. The OSU starters pitched 30.1 of a possible 32 innings and surrendered just three earned runs in three games. OSU starters struck out 24 batters in the four games.
After winning eight consecutive games without hitting a home run, the Buckeyes have now hit a home run in each of their last four games. In fact, OSU has hit seven home runs in its last four games. Ohio State is 20-4 when hitting a home run this year.
Ohio State outhit both Oakland and Purdue on Wednesday. The Buckeyes are now a perfect 26-0 when outhitting their opponent.
DIMAGGIO vs. LARATTA
E. J. Laratta has now thrown 23 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run (four vs. Illinois, seven vs. Penn State, five vs. Dayton, seven vs. Purdue). He leads the Big Ten in overall victories with eight, and is tied for first in conference victories with four.
CONTINUES TO IMPRESS
Kurt Fullenkamp continued to come on strong this week in an appearance against Oakland. Fullenkamp pitched two scoreless innings and struck out three against the Grizzlies. He also made his second start of the year last Sunday against Purdue and delivered with one of his best outings. Fullenkamp ranks third on the team with 18 appearances, and has allowed just three earned runs in his last 16 innings (1.69 ERA).
SAME OLD FRY
Ohio State ace Justin Fry notched the 22nd complete game of his career last Friday night against Purdue. Fry has now allowed just one earned run in his last 17.1 innings (0.52 ERA) while striking out 19.
LEES THE LEADER
Andy Lee has not allowed an earned run in his last nine innings of work. He is also tied with teammate E.J. Laratta for the Big Ten lead in shutouts (2).
The Buckeyes now stand a perfect 20-0 at home this season. The Buckeyes are now 60-13 all-time in Bill Davis Stadium for a sizzling .822 winning percentage.
THE TEAM WITH NO STARS
Ohio State leads the conference in pitching, fielding, and ranks third in batting despite the fact that no OSU player ranks among the top three individually in any of the three categories.
A LOCK TO HIT
Mike Lockwood has been Ohio States most effective hitter recently. Lockwood went 5-8 in the two games Wednesday, and has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games. During that stretch, Lockwood is hitting .462 (18-for-39) and has six multiple-hit games.
WHY WE ARE WINNING:
Some trends during OSUs current 33-1 stretch:
OSU has outscored its opponents 294-154. Thats an average of8.7 runs for Ohio State and 4.5 for opponents.
Ohio State is hitting .341, while opponents are hitting just.269.
Mike Lockwood is the only player to play in all 34 games during thestretch.
Lockwood is OSUs leading hitter during the run with a .397 average.Jason Trott is a close second at .387.
Ohio State has stolen 39 stolen bases while opponents have swipedjust 16.
OSU has manufactured runs throughout the streak, and has 37sacrifices compared to only 19 by opponents.
Following are the earned run averages of regular OSU pitchersduring the stretch – Kevin Goodrum, 2.35; Justin Fry, 3.14; E.J.Laratta, 3.30; Cory Cox, 3.79; Nate Smith, 3.86; Kurt Fullenkamp,4.44.
Ohio States slugging percentage during the streak is .526 comparedto .382 by opponents.
Ohio States on-base percentage is .426 compared to .333 byopponents.
The Buckeyes came from behind to win game four against Purdue last weekend, meaning the Buckeyes have now come from behind to win 15 times overall this season. In 19 Big Ten wins this year, OSU has been forced to come-from-behind eight times (42 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.
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 RECORD BOOK
Career Batting Average 1. Jason Trott .405 2. Dan Seimetz (1995-98) .370 3. Alex Eckelman (1994-97) .367 4. Robby Cobb (1980-83) .363 5. Brian Mannino (1992-95) .362 6. John Orkis (1981-82) .359 Mike Lockwood .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 6. Robby Cobb (1980-83) 233 7. Keith Gonya (1979-82) 228 8. Jeff Anderson (1989-91) 227 Jason Trott 227
Career Runs 1. Mark Carek (1995-98) 217 2. Dan Seimetz (1995-98) 193 3. Robby Cobb (1980-83) 183 4. Mike Lockwood 181 5. Brian Mannino (1992-95) 174
Career Wins 1. Justin Fry 32 2. Pete Perini (1947-50) 30 3. Scott Klingenbeck (1990-92) 28 Tom Schwarber (1987-91) 28
Career Innings Pitched 1. Justin Fry 384.1 2. Pete Perini (1947-50) 305.1 3. Chris Granata (1991-94) 295.1
Career Strikeouts 1. Justin Fry 345 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. Andy Lee 64 3. Dick Boggs (1966-68) 75
Win-Loss Percentage (175 or more IP) 1. Steve Arlin 24-3 (.889) 2. Kurt Fullenkamp 18-3 (.857) Ken Hay 12-2 (.857) 4. Andy Lee 17-3 (.850)