Feb. 12, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team has been selected fourth in the Big Ten preseason coaches’ poll, the conference office announced Tuesday. In addition, Josh Dezse, Brad Goldberg and Jaron Long have been named players to watch.

Indiana enters the season as the conference favorite followed by Nebraska, Michigan State, Ohio State, Minnesota and Illinois.

Dezse will miss at least the first two months of the season with a back injury but finished second on the team with a .306 batting average and five home runs to go along with nine doubles, 33 RBI and 31 runs scored a season ago. The Powell, Ohio, native also made 24 appearances on the mound, going 1-2 with a 2.86 ERA and tied for third in the Big Ten with seven saves as he allowed opponents to hit .188.

Goldberg is in his third year at Ohio State after transferring from Coastal Carolina. In his two seasons at Coastal, Goldberg made 18 appearances, posting a 1-1 record with a 2.45 earned-run average and 17 strikeouts in 14.2 innings pitched in 2009.

Long was a first team All-Big Ten selection as a sophomore last season after transferring from Chandler-Gilbert CC in Arizona. He tallied a team-best 2.66 ERA in a team-high 101.1 innings pitched. Long went 6-2 with a team-high 63 strikeouts and a save over 16 appearances (13 starts).

The Buckeyes open the season against Mercer at 6 p.m. Friday in Sarasota, Fla.