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NO. 24 OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
20-7, 6-2 Big Ten
16-12, 4-4 Big Ten
April 14-16, 2006
Ray Fisher Stadium (Capacity: 2,500)
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Friday, April 14, 6:35 p.m.
Saturday, April 15 (DH), 4:05 p.m.
Sunday, April 16, 1:05 p.m.
Series History: Michigan leads 145-88-2
OSU PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
Friday: Dan DeLucia (LHP)
Saturday: Cory Luebke (LHP) and Jake Hale (RHP)
Sunday: J.B. Shuck (LHP)
Games 1, 3 & 4 on AM 920 WMNI
GameTracker and Streaming Audio
No. 24 Ohio State takes a 20-7 overall record, the best in the Big Ten, on the road this weekend when it heads to Michigan for a four-game series at Ray Fisher Stadium in Ann Arbor. The Buckeyes defeated Central Michigan 8-5 Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium in a non-conference game, while the Wolverines fell 10-9 to Toledo in 10 innings to drop to 16-12 overall.
The Buckeyes remain in first place in the Big Ten standings with a 6-2 record after taking three of four games against each Iowa and Illinois. Michigan lost three of four to Northwestern to open the season and then won three of four games at Minnesota last weekend in the Metrodome. Last year, Ohio State and Minnesota split a pair of games, with the Wolverines winning 11-3 in the regular season and the Buckeyes winning 7-3 in 13 innings in the Big Ten tournament.
The series will be broadcast on the new home for Ohio State baseball, AM 920 WMNI in Columbus. Randy Rhinehart and former Buckeye Brian Mannino will call the action Friday and then for games three and four of the series, Rhinehart will be joined by Eric Welch. The three games will be available to Ohio State All-Access subscribers at ohiostatebuckeyes.com. The web site also will offer GameTracker for all four games.
IN THE RANKINGS
Ohio State remained 24th in this week’s Collegiate Baseball poll and was ranked for the first time this season by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, earning a No. 26 ranking in the organization’s Top 30 national poll. The Buckeyes also received votes in this week’s USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. Michigan is not ranked.
ABOUT THE BUCKEYES
Ohio State is off to its best start since the 2001 season when it began the year 21-6 thanks to a 17-game win streak. This year’s team is 20-7 and has won eight of the last 10 games and 12 of the last 14 to post the best overall record by a Big Ten team this season. After cracking the Top 25 last week, the Buckeyes went 4-1, beating Miami (Ohio) in a mid-week non-conference tilt before taking three of four games vs. Illinois, the 2005 Big Ten regular season champion, to stay atop the league standings with a 6-2 record. The Buckeyes beat Central Michigan 8-5 Wednesday night at Bill Davis Stadium.
After getting rained out against Illinois last Friday night, the teams were forced to play doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday, playing the series in order with a nine-inning and a seven-inning game Saturday followed by a seven-inning and a nine-inning game Sunday. Ohio State won 4-1 and 5-1 on Saturday. Down 6-0 in the first game Sunday, the Buckeyes tied the game in the bottom of the sixth before allowing two runs in the top of the ninth in an 8-6 extra-inning defeat. The Scarlet and Gray clinched the series with a 9-1 triumph in the nightcap.
For the weekend, the team batted .331 and was led by center fielder Matt Angle, who was 7-for-15 (.467) with a pair of doubles and four runs scored. Shortstop Jedidiah Stephen batted .462 and third baseman Ronnie Bourquin batted .429, while J.B. Shuck, who had one start at first and two in left field, batted .400. Shuck, also a freshman pitcher, went the distance to pitch his first career complete game in the series clinching victory on Sunday. He allowed only one run on seven hits and struck out five. Catcher/first baseman Eric Fryer batted .389 with six RBI and seven runs scored.
Six pitchers combined for a 2.12 ERA and struck out 30 Illini batters in 34.0 innings pitched and limited Illinois to a .203 batting average. Dan DeLucia and Cory Luebke joined Shuck in pitching complete games. DeLucia allowed one run on six hits with a career-high tying nine strikeouts, while Luebke allowed one run on three hits with seven strikeouts in his 7.0-inning complete game. Shuck and DeLucia both lead the Big Ten with five victories. Shuck is 5-0 with a 1.10 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 41.0 innings, while DeLucia is 5-1 with a 2.73 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 52.2 innings. Luebke is 4-2 with a 3.13 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 37.1 innings. DeLucia is 2-0 in the Big Ten with a 0.56 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 16.0 innings.
This weekend, Ohio State likely will pitch the same rotation it did last weekend with DeLucia in game one, Luebke and Jake Hale in games two and three and Shuck in game four.
BEST START SINCE 2001
Ohio State is off to its best start since the 2001 season when the team opened 3-4 before rattling off a 17-game win streak. It was 21-6 through 27 games, the same point where the current team is with its 20-7 record. The Buckeyes went on to finish 43-18 overall and 20-7 in the Big Ten to win the conference. Ohio State hosted the Big Ten tournament and an NCAA regional, which is the last time it has played host to either postseason tournament.
OHIO STATE BEATS CMU FOR 20TH WIN
Ohio State shortstop Jedidiah Stephen homered twice, including a three-run shot in the first inning as the 24th-ranked Buckeyes won for the 20th time this season with an 8-5 victory vs. Central Michigan Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium.
The Buckeyes had built an eight run lead on eight hits and rode the arm of midweek starter Dan Barker, who kept the Chippewas hitless through his five innings of work. But Central Michigan scored one in the sixth, three in the seventh and added a run in the eighth. Closer Rory Meister walked two and gave up a hit to load the bases in the top of the ninth, but he got a line out and struck out Tyler Stovall to end the game.
Central Michigan outhit Ohio State 10-9 in a far from stellar fielding effort by either team. The Buckeyes committed five errors to four by the Chippewas. Stephen led the Buckeyes with two hits and four RBI, while the team also had RBI from Eric Fryer and Ronnie Bourquin.
The game Wednesday against Central Michigan was the 3,600th game in Ohio State history. The Buckeyes are 2,173-1,389-38 all time for a win percentage of .609. The 2,173 victories rank 19th in college baseball history. This is the 123rd season of Ohio State, which began in 1881. The university did not field a team in 1887, 1908 and 1910.
AT HOME ON WEDNESDAY
Ohio State improved to 3-0 in non-conference home games after the 8-5 victory over Central Michigan. The Buckeyes also have beaten Toledo (8-5) and Miami (9-2). The Buckeyes have hit .336 in the three games and are led by Eric Fryer, who is 8-for-12 with six runs scored. He was 4-for-4 vs. Toledo, 3-for-4 vs. Miami and was 1-for-4 vs. Central Michigan this past Wednesday. Jedidiah Stephen is 6-for-12 with a pair of home runs and a team-best seven RBI. Dan Barker has all three wins in home midweek action and has not allowed a run on seven hits with nine strikeouts in 10 innings.
TWO HOMERS IN A GAME
Buckeye shortstop Jedidiah Stephen hit two home runs in the 8-5 win over Central Michigan Wednesday. He hit a three-run home run in the first inning and then followed with a solo shot to lead off the third. It was the first two-homer game by a Buckeye since he hit two in a 2004 game at Michigan State. It also was the first time an Ohio State player had hit home runs in consecutive at bats since Drew Anderson hit home runs in the third and fifth innings of the 10-8 victory over Clemson in the opening game of the 2003 NCAA Auburn Regional.
OHIO STATE HOME RUNS
Ohio State had hit only three home runs before it opened Big Ten play at Iowa on March 31. Jason Zoeller hit a long ball in that game to spark four home runs in the series by the Buckeyes. Since that game, a span of 10 games, Ohio State has hit seven home runs, including three by Jedidiah Stephen, who homered twice Wednesday vs. Central Michigan.
Michigan is 16-12 overall and is tied for fourth with a 4-4 record, just two games behind first-place Ohio State and Northwestern. The Wildcats opened by winning three of four games vs. the Wolverines in Ann Arbor and then Michigan went to the Metrodome and took three of four from Minnesota last weekend.
Leif Mahler leads the starters with a .356 batting average (32-for-90) though Doug Pickens and Derek VanBuskirk also lead the team with 32 hits. Pickens is battng .327 and leads the squad with 22 RBI and 25 runs scored. VanBuskirk also has 22 RBI and has scored 19 runs. Michigan is hitting .293 for the season and has outscored opponents 268-246. On the mound, the staff ERA is 4.99 and it is limited batters to a .271 average against it. Michigan is expected to toss right-hander Zach Putnam Friday and then go with lefty Paul Hammond and righty Chris Fetter in the doubleheader Saturday before closing with righty Andrew Hess on Sunday. Putnam is 1-0 with a 3.46 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 innings, while Hammond is 1-3 with a 4.23 ERA and a team-best 28 strikeouts in 27.2 innings. Fetter is 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 27.0 innings and Hess is 1-0 with a 5.08 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 33.2 innings.
Rich Maloney (Western Michigan, 1986) is 122-84 in his fourth season at Michigan and is 378-228-1 in his 11th season as a head coach.
AGAINST THE WOLVERINES
Michigan leads the all-time series against Ohio State 145-88-2, though under 19th-year head coach Bob Todd, the Buckeyes are 49-33. Since 2000, Michigan has a two-game edge in the series (14-12) after taking three of four games from Ohio State in 2000, 2003 and 2004. Ohio State eliminated Michigan from the 2004 Big Ten tournament and sen them to the loser’s bracket last year with a 7-3, 13-inning victory in the opening round.
OSU vs. Michigan Since 2000 (UM leads 14-12)
1-Big Ten Tournament, Columbus, Ohio
2-Big Ten Tournament, Minneapolis, Minn.
3-Big Ten Tournament, Champaign, Ill.
BIG TEN SERIES HISTORY VS. MICHIGAN
Since the league began playing four-game series in 1981, the teams are balanced. Each has three sweeps against the other and each has won six series by 3-1 counts. There have been six series splits. Last year, the Wolverines won the only regular season game the teams played after the final three games of the series were cancelled because of inclement weather.
Big Ten Series History vs. Michigan
|Ohio State||4-0||1996, 1995, 1994|
|Ohio State||3-1||2001, 1999, 1998, 1992, 1990, 1988|
|Split||2-2||2002, 1997, 1993, 1991, 1983, 1982|
|Michigan||3-1||2004, 2003, 2000, 1989, 1984, 1981|
|Michigan||4-0||1987, 1986, 1985|
LAST YEAR VS. MICHIGAN
Ohio State went to Ann Arbor, April 22-24, 2005, trying to claw its way back into contention for a bid to the Big Ten Tournament, instead the Buckeyes and Wolverines played only one of the four games in a snow-shortened series. Michigan relied on the arm of Jim Brauer, who fanned 10, and an eight-run fifth inning to hand Ohio State an 11-3 in the first ever night game at Ray Fisher Stadium. The game was the first nationally televised regular season Big Ten baseball game with ESPN picking up the game after the NHL cancelled its season.
BUCKEYES EXACT REVENGE IN TOURNEY
Ohio State scored four runs in the top of the 13th inning, including a three-run home run by Paul Farinacci to down Michigan to win their opening game of the Big Ten tournament. With the score knotted 3-3 after each team scored one run in the 12th, Jason Zoeller gave the Buckeyes the lead on an RBI double over the head of Michigan third baseman that sailed down the left-field line. Farinacci deposited his second home run of the season over the left-field fence and Rory Meister struck out the side to strand runners at the corners in the bottom of the inning. Ohio State went on to win the league’s automatic berth in to the NCAA tournament with its third Big Ten tournament championship in four years.
AGAINST 2005 NCAA TOURNEY TEAMS
Michigan is the last of five teams the Buckeyes are scheduled to face this year that advanced to the NCAA tournament last year. Ohio State is 2-2 after it lost to Florida (10-3), beat Missouri (4-2), lost to Illinois-Chicago (7-1) and beat Miami, Ohio (9-2). The meetings with Michigan will mark the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth games against 2005 postseason teams. Michigan finished 1-2 in the NCAA Atlanta Regional, hosted by Georgia Tech. The Wolverines lost to South Carolina by scores of 6-5 and 4-3 sandwiching a 6-3 win over Furman. Georgia Tech won the regional, but lost two straight games to Tennessee in Super Regional play.
IN THE BIG TEN
Ohio State continues to own the best overall record in the Big Ten at 20-7 and leads the league with a 6-2 record through Sunday games. Northwestern won its series with Indiana with a 4-3 series clincher on Monday to keep pace with Ohio State with just two losses in eight Big Ten games. The Boilermakers are second with a 5-3 record and are 17-9 overall. Michigan, Iowa and Michigan State are tied for fourth with 4-4 records. Michigan, which will play host to Ohio State this weekend, won three of four games at Minnesota in the Metrodome. This weekend, Michigan State is at Penn State, Purdue is at Indiana, Northwestern is at Illinois and Minnesota is at Iowa.
BIG TEN STATS
Ohio State continues to lead the Big Ten with a .343 batting average and 3.29 ERA. Purdue is batting .316 as the next closes team, while Michigan is fifth with its .293 average. The Buckeyes are the only team with a sub-4.00 ERA. Purdue has a 4.03 ERA while Minnesota is next at 4.05. Michigan is fifth at 4.99. The Wolverines are the best fielding team in the Big Ten with a .971 fielding percentage. Ohio State is eighth at .953 after committing five errors Wednesday in the win vs. Central Michigan. In conference games only, Ohio State leads the Big Ten with a .325 batting average, but its 2.49 ERA is second, only to Northwestern, which has a 2.29 ERA.
Individually, Ronnie Bourquin and Jacob Howell continue their 1-2 hold on the batting chart. Bourquin is batting .425 to pace the league, while Howell is second with his .416 average. Matt Angle is fifth with a .400 batting average, while Jedidiah Stephen is sixth (.396) and Eric Fryer is seventh (.392), giving the Buckeyes five of the Top 7 batting averages in the league. Bourquin leads the conference with 48 hits, while Stephen and Angle are tied with Purdue’s Mitch Hilligoss with 42 hits. Angle is first in the league with 39 runs scored, while Bourquin is third. Fryer and Bourquin are tied for the Big Ten lead with 35 RBI, while Stephen paces the league with 13 doubles. He has touched 70 bases for the league standard. J.B. Shuck leads the league with his 1.10 ERA and Dan DeLucia is seventh in the league with his 2.73 ERA.
When the official NCAA stats were released Tuesday, the Buckeyes were prevalent. The Top 5 hitters on the team, which rank in the Top 7 of the league, are ranked in the Top 100 nationally. Ronnie Bourquin’s .431 batting average after the Illinois series last week ranked 16th in the nation. Jacob Howell was 34th at .416, Matt Angle was 63rd at .402, Eric Fryer was 78th at .398 and Jedidiah Stephen was 94th at .392. J.B. Shuck’s 1.10 ERA was the fourth best in the nation. College of Charleston’s Josh McLaughlin leads the nation at 0.53. As a team, the .359 batting average ranked fifth and the team’s .731 won-loss percentage was 21st. Ohio State’s 8.1 runs per game ranked 20th.
FRYER NAMED CO-BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK AND TO CBF HONOR ROLL
Eric Fryer, who led the Buckeyes with 10 hits in five games last week, was named to the College Baseball Foundation National Honor Roll and was the Co-Big Ten Player of the Week. The sophomore from Reynoldsburg, Ohio (Reynoldsburg), was 10-for-22 (.455) with a team-best six RBI and six runs scored. He had two doubles and his third home run of the season, a solo shot in the series opener vs. Illinois. Fryer was 2-for-5 in that game and then was 2-for-5 with two RBI in game three and 3-for-5 with three RBI in game four. The catcher/first baseman had a slugging percentage of .682 and an on-base percentage of .455
Fryer leading the team in its last 10 games with his .463 batting average (19-for-41) and his 19 hits during that span is three better than anyone on the team. His 11 runs scored paces the squad and his 11 RBI is second. For the season, Fryer is batting .392 and is tied for the team lead with three home runs and 35 RBI.
BUCKEYES EARN BIG TEN WEEKLY HONORS
Four players have earned Big Ten Player or Pitcher of the Week honors this season, including Cory Luebke (pitcher, March 7), Matt Angle (player, March 14), Ronnie Bourquin (player, March 20) and Eric Fryer (player, April 11).
BUCKEYES MAKE NATIONAL HONOR ROLL
Four different Ohio State players have been named to the College Baseball Foundation National Honor Roll, which recognizes the top national performances each week in college baseball. Dan DeLucia and Jake Hale were mentioned March 21 after getting the Buckeyes off to a strong start on the spring trip with solid pitching performances against UMass and Cornell. Eric Fryer gained mention last week (April 11) after leading the team vs. Illinois. Pitcher/first baseman/left fielder J.B. Shuck is the only Buckeye to have appeared more than once on the list, gaining mention Feb. 28 after he beat then-No. 12 Missouri in his first college start and again April 4 after taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning in a 15-1 victory vs. Iowa.
SHUCK DOES IT ALL FOR THE BUCKEYES
When J.B. Shuck started in left field in the second game of the Illinois series last weekend, it was the third position the Buckeye freshman has played. He has made six starts as a pitcher, 11 at first base and two in left field. He was an outfielder in high school and had not played in the infield until OSU coach Bob Todd asked him to share responsibilities at first base at the start of the season after the departure of three-year starter Paul Farinacci.
Shuck’s exploits as a pitcher have been well documented, earning mention on the College Baseball Foundation National Honor twice this season. The first time came after he earned the win over then-No. 12 Missouri in his first collegiate start the opening weekend of the season. The next time, April 4, after he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in a 15-1 victory over Iowa to clinch the series. He leads the Big Ten with five wins (no losses) and sports a 1.10 ERA, which is fourth in the nation, and 31 strikeouts in 41.0 innings. In his 12 starts at first and in left field, he boasts an admirable .370 batting average with 20 hits in 54 at bats with 14 RBI and 11 runs scored. He has a hit in all but two of the 17 games he has batted, including his first six games to start the season. In his first collegiate at bat, as a pinch hitter in the season opener vs. Wake Forest, he had a single.
BUCKEYES FIND EARLY GAME SUCCESS
Ohio State has managed to build early leads against its opponents. Through the first four innings, the Buckeyes have outscored their opposition 116-41, including a margin of 17-4 in the second inning. Only nine times this season in 27 games has an opponent scored in the first inning. The sixth inning also has been particularly potent for the Buckeyes, which have outscored opponents 39-7.
Every coach preaches getting hits with two outs, but Ohio State players really seems to be taking it to heart this season. The team has 96 two-out hits and has driven in 80 runs with two outs. The Buckeyes are batting .304 (96-for-316) with two outs.
DELUCIA TOPS 175 CAREER INNINGS
Dan DeLucia has pitched 193.1 career innings. When he topped 175 career innings on the team’s spring break trip, he reached the stat minimum for several career pitching stats. DeLucia has allowed 185 hits, the seventh lowest total by a Buckeye. He has walked just 57 batters, which is the third fewest by an Ohio State pitcher. He has allowed 96 runs (eighth lowest) and 82 earned runs (sixth lowest). DeLucia is 14-9 with a 3.82 ERA and 114 strikeouts, though this year he is 5-1 with a 2.73 ERA and leads the team with 35 strikeouts.
CRACKING THE TOP 10 IN APPEARANCES
Ohio State reliever Trey Fausnaugh has made five appearances this season, including a 1.2-inning outing Wednesday in the 8-5 win vs. Central Michigan. That appearance was the 62nd of his career and he now ninth in school history. The all-time record for appearances is 96 held by Cory Cox (1998-2001). He needs two more appearances to tie Justin Fry for eighth.
SPEED YIELDING MORE TRIPLES
Ohio State has hit five triples in its last six games, including one by Wes Schirtzinger in the first inning Wednesday vs. Central Michigan. Jonathan Zizzo and Jedidiah Stephen each reached third against Miami (Ohio) and then against Illinois, Stephen tripled again. He was joined in the game by freshman J.B. Shuck, who tripled for the first time in his career.
The school record for three-baggers is 25 set in 1991 and the team already has matched last year’s total with 16, which is the 10th most in school history. Jacob Howell and Stephen lead the team with three this season. Howell has nine career triples to sit in an eighth-place tie on the school’s career list. Stephen has eight in his career, while Jason Zoeller has five career triples.
The team is averaging 0.58 triples per game, which is the fourth highest figure in the nation and Howell’s 0.14 triples per game is the 37th best figure.
SPEED ALSO WORKING ON BASE PATHS
Buckeye center fielder Matt Angle has stolen 15 of 17 bases this season after swiping two bases in the win over Central Michigan. Jacob Howell and Wes Schirtzinger, the other two outfielders, also are a threat to steal. Howell is perfect in six attempts, while Schirtzinger has been thrown out once on seven tries. The team is 35 for 42 in stolen bases this season. Howell has 30 career stolen bases and is tied for 17th on the career list.
BUCKEYES OPEN LEAGUE PLAY 3-1 AT IOWA
Ohio State won three of four games from Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, March 31-April 2. Ohio State won the first, third and fourth games of the series by respective scores of 12-5, 6-4 and 15-1, with the only blemish of the week coming in game two, a 7-1 loss. The most dominating win was the 15-1 series clincher on Sunday that kept the Buckeyes on top of the Big Ten standings.
While the offense pounded out 17 hits, it was the pitching that grabbed national headlines as freshman pitcher J.B. Shuck took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before giving up a solo home run to the lead-off batter that inning. It was the only hit allowed by Buckeye pitching. Shuck struck out eight batters in the game and turned the game over to Dan Barker, who pitched the ninth without a hit.
The team outscored the Hawkeyes 34-17 while 15 of the team’s 44 hits were for extra bases. The team had nine doubles, two triples and four home runs after entering the weekend with only three round-trippers the first 17 games of the season. Ronnie Bourquin batted .438 in the four games, going 7-for-16 with three doubles, a home run, five RBI and six runs scored. He had an .813 slugging percentage and a .500 on-base percentage. He did not strikeout in the series and drew two walks. Jason Zoeller also had a strong series, batting .417.
SHUCK MAKES NATIONAL HONOR ROLL
For the second time this season freshman pitcher J.B. Shuck made the College Baseball Foundation National Honor Roll April 4. Shuck, a left-handed pitcher from Galion, Ohio (Galion), took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in a 15-1 victory in the series at Iowa. The Hawkeyes broke it up with a solo-home run to lead off the eighth inning, but he retired the next three batters to get out of the inning and handed the game over to a reliever who did not allow a hit in the ninth. The two pitchers combined to allow only the one hit. Shuck struck out a season-high eight batters, equaling the most by a Buckeye this season, and did not issue a walk.
Shuck also started the midweek game against Toledo, but pitched only three innings after allowing one earned run on five hits in the short start. After beating Iowa, Shuck improved to 4-0 and boasts a 1.12 ERA, the lowest in the Big Ten. Opposing hitters are batting just .161. He has allowed only four earned runs this season and also holds his own at first base, where he has made eight starts. Shuck is batting .400 in 12 games (14-for-35) with 10 RBI.
The multi-position player also made the honor roll after his first win of the season, a 4-2 win over Missouri the opening weekend of the season, when the Tigers were ranked No. 12 in the nation.
ZOELLER HIT FOR SERIES CYCLE AT IOWA
In the four games at Iowa, Ohio State second baseman Jason Zoeller hit for the cycle. He was 5-for-12 with two singles, a double, a triple and a home run. He also had a sacrifice bunt and finished the series with five RBI and scored two runs.
IN BIG TEN OPENERS
With the 12-5 win in the Big Ten opener March 31 at Iowa, the Buckeyes improved to 12-7 in conference openers since head coach Bob Todd arrived in Columbus prior to the 1988 season. Prior to last year’s loss at Illinois, Ohio State had won six Big Ten openers. When opening league play at home, the Buckeyes are 8-4 under Todd. Since 1988, when the team is on the road to open Big Ten play it is 3-3 and at a neutral site, the team is 1-0.
IN HOME OPENERS
An 8-5 win over Toledo at Bill Davis Stadium March 29 was the 14th home opening victory for Ohio State since Bob Todd arrived to Ohio State prior to the 1988 season. The Buckeyes are 14-5 in home openers in his 19 seasons. The Scarlet and Gray have beaten Toledo each of the last two years in the home opener to improve to 7-3 all-time in openers at Bill Davis Stadium.
DELUCIA, HOWELL & STEPHEN ARE CAPTAINS
Junior left-handed pitcher Dan DeLucia, junior outfielder Jacob Howell and senior short stop Jedidiah Stephen will serve as tri-captains for the 2006 baseball team. DeLucia, a third-team All-Big Ten pick last season, led the Buckeyes with a 2.92 ERA, 95.2 innings pitched and 55 strikeouts to go with a 6-5 record in 15 starts. Howell was a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American in 2004 and made 31 starts in 39 games last season after missing 12 games because of a shoulder injury. Howell ended up batting .270 with 31 hits and 16 RBI in 2005 after batting .336 in 58 starts as a freshman. Stephen is one of three seniors on the squad. Stephen batted .305 last season with 52 hits, including 13 doubles, two triples and five home runs to go along with 46 RBI, the second best on the team.
In addition to their on-field exploits, all three captains have excelled in the classroom as well. DeLucia is a two-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and was an Academic All-Big Ten honoree in 2005, while Howell is a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. Stephen has been named an Academic All-Big Ten selection and an OSU Scholar-Athlete each of the last two years.
OSU AMONG BEST ALL-TIME CWS TEAMS
Ohio State has been named one of the top College World Series teams of all-time in a story that appeared in the Omaha World-Herald last summer. Ohio State was listed No. 22 in the Top 25 rankings. The Buckeyes have made four appearances in the College World Series, winning the national championship in 1966 after a runner-up finish in 1965. Southern California was ranked as the top CWS team of all time.
As for Ohio State, the World-Herald said, “(Steve) Arlin was selected as one of the two pitchers on the CWS’ 50-year anniversary team for his work in the 1965 and 1966 tournaments. Arlin still holds the CWS career record for ERA (0.96), and his four victories and 47 innings pitched are tied for the all-time lead. In leading the Buckeyes to the 1966 title, Arlin finished all five of their wins – two on complete games. His most memorable performance might have come the year before, when he pitched a 15-inning, 1-0 victory over Washington State after lasting just one-third of an inning in his first CWS start against Arizona State.”
The 1966 national championship is the last won by a team in the Big Ten.
BUCKEYES HAVE 15 TRUE FRESHMEN
Ohio State welcomed 15 true freshmen to the roster this season. Six players are pitchers: Taylor Barnes, Josh Barrera, Eric Best, Jake Hale, Brad Hays and Jake Weber; three are catchers: Shawn Forsythe, Justin Miller and Nick Steponovich; four are infielders: Matt Curran, Seth Sanders, J.B. Shuck (also a pitcher) and Ben Toussant; and two are outfielders: Chris Griffin and Zach Hurley.
Add to that a group of three red-shirt freshmen – pitcher Matthew Selhorst, catcher Josh Hula and infielder Michael Arp – and the Buckeyes have 18 players who have not played college baseball before this season. Ohio State is believed to be among the national leaders in number of freshmen on 2006 rosters. Arkansas and Auburn also have 15 true freshmen on their rosters.
But as many new faces on the Ohio State roster, the total is not as high as it was in 1993 when Todd welcomed 19 true freshmen and another four redshirt freshmen for a total of 23 freshmen. The Buckeyes went 44-19 overall and 19-9 to finish atop the Big Ten regular season standings.
10TH SEASON AT BILL DAVIS STADIUM
This year marks the 10th season of Ohio State baseball at Bill Davis Stadium. One of the best college baseball stadiums has been quite an advantage for the Buckeyes, who have a 171-67 (.718) overall record there. The venue has played host to two Big Ten tournament championships (1999 and 2001), two regional championships (1999 and 2001) and two super regional championships (1999 and 2003).
BUCKEYES LEAD BIG TEN IN ATTENDANCE
Ohio State baseball led the Big Ten in attendance in 2005 by welcoming an average of 2,570 in 18 home dates at Bill Davis Stadium, NCAA attendance figures released last November revealed.
The Buckeyes welcomed a total of 46,266 fans to Columbus last season which was the 36th best overall figure in the NCAA. The 2,570 average ranked 23rd among NCAA institutions.
No other Big Ten team ranked in the Top 50 either in total or average attendance. Notre Dame averaged 1,991 fans to rank 28th and drew a total of 43,798 fans for the season to rank 38th. No school in the Mid-American Conference or other Ohio school cracked the Top 50. LSU led in both categories, drawing a total of 270,300 fans over 36 dates for an average of 7,508. The Buckeyes’ drew a season-high crowd of 5,128 for the doubleheader against Minnesota the final series of the regular season. That weekend, Ohio State drew 10,876 fans over three dates, outdistancing previous weekends of 7,782 vs. Indiana, 7,370 vs. Purdue and 6,839 vs. Michigan State.
OHIO STATE BASEBALL ON WMNI-AM IN 2006
Ohio State baseball games will be broadcast this season on WMNI Radio (920 AM), Gene Smith, Ohio State athletics director, announced March 9. The station will carry a minimum of 27 regular-season games and any postseason games the team could play in 2006, including the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments.
Games one, three and four of six Big Ten series – Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Purdue, Minnesota and Penn State – as well as two games of the series at Indiana and Michigan State will be available on WMNI. The station also will carry five home midweek evening games against Miami (Ohio), Central Michigan, Oakland, Eastern Michigan and Pittsburgh.
The WMNI broadcast schedule begins Friday, March 31 at 7:05 p.m. when the team opens a four-game series at Iowa, and continues through the regular season, which ends Sunday, May 21 against Penn State. Any postseason games the team would qualify for also would be carried by the station.
WMNI has a long-standing history of sports coverage since it went on the air in 1958 and that has included Ohio State basketball, football, men’s hockey and now baseball.
In addition, the complete WMNI broadcast inventory of OSU baseball games also will be available on the Internet at the official web site of the Ohio State athletics, ohiostatebuckeys.com.
ALL-ACCESS PASS THE KEY TO ONLINE AUDIO, VIDEO COVERAGE
The official web site of Ohio State athletics, ohiostatebuckeyes.com, in conjunction with College Sports Television, is offering subscription coverage for streaming audio and video of select Buckeye baseball games this spring.
For $6.95 per month, fans can receive streaming audio for a minimum of 27 regular-season baseball games that will be carried on the radio in the Columbus market at AM 920 WMNI. The station also is committed to all of Ohio State’s postseason games and those, too, would be available to subscribers of the CSTV All-Access pass. All Ohio State programming is included in the monthly subscription price, not just baseball coverage.
Included in the CSTV All-Access package is streaming video for nine Ohio State home games.
Available Games in Streaming Video
|March 29||Wed.||Toledo||2 p.m.|
|April 5||Wed.||Miami (Ohio)||6:35 p.m.|
|April 9||Sun.||Illinois||1:05 p.m.|
|April 26||Wed.||Cleveland State||Noon|
|April 28||Fri.||Purdue||6:35 p.m.|
|April 30||Sun.||Purdue||1:05 p.m.|
|May 12||Fri.||Minnesota||6:35 p.m.|
|May 14||Sun.||Minnesota||1:05 p.m.|
|May 19||Fri.||Penn State||6:35 p.m.|
|May 21||Sun.||Penn State||1:05 p.m.|
Bob Todd RADIO SHOW
The Bob Todd weekly radio show, hosted by Skip Mosic on WBNS Radio 1460 The Fan, will run each week for 10 weeks with the final program broadcast on Monday, May 22. The nights of the show vary this year because of station conflicts with either Columbus Blue Jackets or Cleveland Indians broadcasts. Six shows will be broadcast on Monday with two shows each on Tuesday and Thursday. Each of the remaining 30-minute shows will begin at 7 p.m. To participate, dial (614) 821-1460.
Bob Todd Radio Show Remaining Schedule
Monday, April 17 @ 7 p.m.
Monday, April 24 @ 8 p.m.
Tuesday, May 2 @ 7 p.m.
Thursday, May 11 @ 7 p.m.
Thursday, May 18 @ 7 p.m.
Monday, May 22 @ 7 p.m.
UP NEXT FOR THE BUCKEYES
Ohio State returns home Wednesday for the sixth straight game against a team from Michigan. The Buckeyes will play host to Oakland at 6:35 p.m. at Bill Davis Stadium for the first Buck-A-Burger night of the season. The Scarlet and Gray head return to Big Ten play next weekend with a four-game series at Indiana.