April 2, 2002

By the end of last season, Christian Snavely was Mr. Clutch, getting key hits to spark Ohio State to victory. This season, Snavely can be called Mr. Consistency.

In 2001 as a freshman, Snavely delivered two late-inning game-winning home runs. In the series finale against Minnesota, Snavely entered the game as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the eighth inning, with one out and a runner on first and OSU down 1-0. He took a 2-0 pitch a deposited it over the right field wall to give the Buckeyes a 2-1 lead on their way to a 5-1 victory.

He did it again at Michigan State, hitting his first career grand slam in the top of the ninth inning, lifting Ohio State to a 10-9 win over the Spartans.

This season though, Snavely has become the Buckeyes most relied upon hitter. Entering this past Tuesday’s game vs. Florida International, the sophomore from Defiance, Ohio, led the team with a .423 batting average. He also had at least one hit in his previous 13 games. Snavely had 22 hits, six of which had gone for extra bases, in 52 at bats. He led the team in slugging percentage with a .615 mark.

While he takes a little pride in his success this season, he quickly deflects a lot of the attention to his teammates.

“Right now, guys are hitting in front of me and are helping out a lot,” Snavely said on the team’s Spring Break trip to Homestead, Fla., for the Homestead Challenge. “They help me see quite a few good pitches.”

Snavely became the starting second baseman this season after playing a little in the outfield or as the designated hitter last season. That, too, has helped him become a more consistent player.

“Playing the infield helps me to stay much more into the game,” Snavely said. “There, you are always involved in the action. I enjoy playing second. I just want to learn as much as I can and get better and better each day.”

A Louisville Slugger honorable-mention Freshman All-American last year, he finished with a .307 batting average with eight home runs and 39 RBI. He upped the average in the Big Ten, batting .339 with six home runs and 20 RBI. His only home run so far this season was a solo shot in the eighth inning vs. Toledo in New Mexico. It was the 38th run in the Buckeyes’ record-setting 38-15 victory in Albuquerque. N.M.

A triple this past Saturday against Harvard in Homestead shows what Snavely is even more about. With the game tied 2-2, he led off the eighth inning of the game with his second triple of the season. He later scored on a single up the middle by Doug Larason to give Ohio State the lead and an eventual 5-3 victory.

For Snavely, team comes first.