COLUMBUS, Ohio – After taking all three games in Jacksonville the opening weekend of the 2010 season, No. 13 Ohio State looks to pick up where it left off at the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge.
The Buckeyes will open the weekend Friday at 4:30 p.m. against South Florida and take on Notre Dame at 4 p.m. Saturday. The weekend will close with a matchup against in-state foe Cincinnati at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Ohio State rotation:
Fri. vs. USF – RHP A. Wimmers
Sat. vs. Notre Dame – RHP D. Wolosiansky
Sun. vs. Cincinnati – RHP B. McKinney
OHIO STATE NATIONALLY RANKED
The Buckeyes garnered Top 25 recognition in almost every preseason poll with a ranking as high as No. 14 (Collegiate Baseball). This week, Ohio State is ranked No. 13 (Collegiate Baseball), No. 22 (Rivals), No. 23 (NCBWA) and No. 25 (PING! Baseball).
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A GRAND OCCASION
After a 42-win campaign in 2009, Ohio State head coach Bob Todd picked up win No. 1,000 against Richmond Sunday afternoon in Jacksonville. The NABC Hall of Famer became the 41st coach in NCAA history to reach 1,000 victories.
HITTING THE ROAD
The Buckeyes will play their first 21 games on the road – 18 in Florida and three in Tennessee – before the home opener against Toledo March 31. In all, 24 of the Buckeyes’ first 25 games will be away from home.
BUCKEYES SELECT CAPTAINS
Seniors Zach Hurley and Cory Kovanda were elected 2010 co-captains by their teammates at the Scarlet and Gray World Series victory dinner in October.
BUCKS SWEEP FIRST THREE
After defeating North Florida in the opener, 4-2, the Buckeyes proceeded to outscore the final two first weekend opponents 36-10. Alex Wimmers garnered Big Ten Pitcher of the Week laurels after going six scoreless innings, giving up just one hit and striking out nine while picking up the win against North Florida.
IT ALSO SHOULD BE NOTED THAT…
Michael Stephens, Brad Hallberg and Brian DeLucia all went deep for the Buckeyes last weekend. Stephens batted .429 (6-for-14) with three runs scored and a team-leading six RBI. Hallberg also came up big at the plate. In two games (one start) the redshirt freshman went 3-for-7 including his solo home run. In all, nine Buckeyes left Jacksonville with a batting average of .300 or better.
STRONG OFF THE BENCH
Chris Griffin, Hallberg, Cory Rupert and Ryan Cypret each made major contributions either splitting time or off the bench in the first three games. The four combined to go 11-for-23 with three doubles, a home run and nine RBI.
ULTIMATELY, IT WAS A TEAM EFFORT
The Buckeyes came through the first weekend unbeaten behind excellent pitching and timely hitting. Ohio State outscored their opponents 40-12. The 40 runs scored were the most in the first three games of the season since 1996. The Buckeyes batted .364 compared to just .254 for opponents and Ohio State pitchers posted a 2.33 ERA while opponents had a 10.73 ERA. Ohio State pitchers struck out 33 batters while walking just seven the opening weekend.
ROUND AND ROUND THEY GO
11 Buckeyes scored a run in the 20-9 win over Richmond including six crossing home plate more than once. Junior Matt Streng scored five runs against the Spiders.
A LOOK AT THE BULLS
USF is 0-3 on the young season after being swept by No. 7 Florida last weekend. Catcher Eric Sim leads the Bulls with a .429 batting average (3-for-7). Freshman Ray Delphey threw well in a Saturday loss to the Gators, going five innings while giving up two earned runs and striking out eight.
The Bulls lead the all-time series, 4-3, with USF taking two of three from the Buckeyes in a series in Tampa in 1997.
SCOUTING THE FIGHTING IRISH
Notre Dame won all three on the road at Mississippi Valley State to open the season, outscoring their opponents 39-10. Casey Martin leads the team with a .500 average (8-for-16), two home runs and seven RBI. The Fighting Irish pitching staff posted a 3.00 ERA over the weekend and struck out 22 batters in 27.0 innings pitched.
Notre Dame holds a 26-19 lead in the all-time series but the Buckeyes took last year’s meeting, 2-0, in the 2009 opener.
OHIO STATE vs. CINCINNATI
The Bearcats are lost two of three the opening weekend of the season at Florida Atlantic. Dan Jensen leads the Cincinnati pitching staff after going five innings, giving up one earned run and striking out four while picking up the win against the Owls.
The Buckeyes hold a 65-20-2 lead in the all-time series between the in-state foes, winning last year’s matchup 6-5.