COLUMBUS, Ohio Senior left-handed pitcher Dan DeLucia and junior catcher/first baseman Justin Miller have been named captains of the 2008 Ohio State baseball team. In addition, catcher Dan Burkhart and pitcher Drew Rucinski were selected by their freshmen peers as the team’s freshmen captains.
This will be the third consecutive year in which DeLucia will be team captain. The fifth-year senior from Columbus has posted a 21-10 record with a 3.76 ERA in 47 games during his career at Ohio State. He won 10 games and was a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2006 but had his season end prematurely last year due to an elbow injury.
“It is a real honor to be named captain for a third time,” DeLucia said. “There are a lot great players at Ohio State who have been two-time captains. Even though I am a three-time captain by default [due to being injured last season and getting another year], I am pleased that the team has confidence in my being a leader this year.”
“There is a simple reason that Dan is a three-year captain and that is because he is a tremendous leader,” Bob Todd, Ohio State head coach, said.
DeLucia’s season ended last year after just three starts, a 2-0 record and a 3.18 ERA. He had left elbow surgery April 10. According to DeLucia, his recovery and rehab have gone very well and he expects to be throwing in games this spring, although no definitive return date has been determined.
Miller, from Dayton, Va., enjoyed a fine second season for the Buckeyes in 2007. He led the team in RBI with 51 and finished second on the team in batting average (.346). He elevated his performance against Big Ten foes, batting a team-best .417 with 28 RBI in 30 conference games. He was named third-team All-Big Ten Conference.
The 10-member freshman class chose Burkhart and Rucinski as their freshman captains for 2008. A product of Cincinnati Moeller H.S., Burkhart brings a strong bat and arm to the catcher position for Ohio State. He hit .415 with three home runs and 23 RBI during his senior season at Moeller. Rucinski is a hard-throwing right-hander from Broken Arrow, Okla. He finished his senior season with an 8-2 record and a 1.57 ERA.