COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State hosts coach Pat Bangtson and the Akron Zips at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium. This is the third consecutive season the two schools have met on the ball diamond. The Buckeyes are coming off a 2-1 series win at Michigan State last weekend and enters with a record of 21-10 overall. Akron lost a MAC series to Eastern Michigan over the weekend in Akron and is now 15-19 on the season. 

This Week in Ohio State Baseball
Ohio State (21-10, 6-3 Big Ten)

Game 32: vs. Akron
(15-19, 2-10 Mid-American)
Wednesday, April 21 – 6:35 p.m.
Columbus, Ohio

Game 33: vs. Penn State
(14-20, 2-7 Big Ten)
Friday, April 23 – 6:35 p.m.
Columbus, Ohio

Game 34: vs. Penn State
Saturday, April 24 – 1:05 p.m.

Game 35: vs. Penn State
Sunday, April 25 – 1:05 p.m.

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Ohio State and Akron are meeting for the 31st time in a series that was initiated in 1980. Ohio State leads the series, 20-10, including a 7-3 record for Bob Todd-coached teams. Bangtson’s Akron teams last defeated Ohio State, 7-3, in the second game of a double-header in 2008. Ohio State is 12-2 vs. Akron in games played in Columbus, a mark that includes a 4-2 record at Bill Davis Stadium.

The Buckeyes are in a tie first place in the Big Ten Conference with Michigan after winning its series at Michigan State last weekend. The Buckeyes have won seven of their last 10 games. The team is collectively hitting a Big Ten best .337 (in all games) with seven every day players batting better than .320. The pitching staff has been on a role of late with another Big Ten best stat: a 4.65 team earned run average.  

As mentioned, Akron is coached by former Ohio State assistant Pat Bangtson, who left Ohio State after the 2005 season for Akron. This is his first head coaching assignment. The Zips are led by the pitcher/outfielder Drew Turocy. The sophomore has three saves and leads the team with a .390 batting average, with 17 extra base hits and 42 RBI.

Top starters include sophomores Andrew Brown (4-3; 3.18) and Alex Loftin (3-5; 3.96). Seniors Kevin Haas and Kyle Hallett have impressive batting averages of .347 and .325, respectively, while senior Jake Plata has eight home runs and 39 RBI.  

Ohio State is 226-114 all-time at Bill Davis Stadium for a fine .663 winning percentage. The team is also 131-69 against the Big Ten.

Ohio State defeated Akron, 7-3, last year at Bill Davis Stadium in front of 987 fans. Michael Stephens and Dan Burkhart had three RBI apiece to lead the Buckeyes. Cory Kovanda scored two runs and five Ohio State pitchers had 11 strikeouts as opposed to just two walks while scattering nine hits. 

Andrew Armstrong made his first start since March 23 and in a nice-to-have-him-back effort, went 3.0 innings, allowed four hits, gave up two earned runs, walked a batter and struck out three. He also picked up the win to improve to 2-1 on the season. (Armstrong is currently recovering from off-season surgery and is doubtful to pitch for OSU this season.)

Ohio State is home this weekend for a three-game set against Penn State. Game times are the typical start times, but note that Saturday is the football spring game so parking is going to be at a premium. The spring game begins at 1:30 p.m. with a lacrosse match before it at 11 a.m.