COLUMBUS, Ohio – A rare doubleheader is on tap Wednesday as Ohio State plays host to the Akron Zips in a pair of seven-inning games. The teams had a game cancelled March 8 in Forest City, N.C., because of rain so the coaches – Greg Beals at Ohio State and Pat Bangtson of Akron – agreed recently to play two games. Ohio State has had four games cancelled because of bad weather conditions so far this season.
In addition, Wednesday will be buck-a-burger night at Bill Davis Stadium.
Game 1 – Buckeye Vision stream
Game 2 – BigTenNetwork.com stream (TV Tape-Delay re-air at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 14)
THE TWO TEAMS TODAY
Ohio State won the first game of a road series at Indiana over the weekend, 6-1, but dropped the next two to have its Big Ten record evened at 3-3. The Buckeyes are 11-14 overall. Akron dropped a third consecutive Mid-American Conference series to open the season last week vs. Central Michigan. The Zips are now 6-23.
Ohio State and Akron have met only 31 times on the ball diamond. The teams first met in 1890, back when Akron was known as Akron Buchtel. Ohio State leads the all-time series in wins, 20-11, but Akron has won two of the last three meetings: 7-3 in 2008 and 10-7 in 2010 sandwiched around a 7-3 Ohio State win in 2009.
The last seven games between the teams have been played at Bill Davis Stadium. Ohio State owns only a 4-3 edge in wins at BDS…perhaps because Akron coming to Ohio State has taken on a special significance of late.
WELCOME A TRIO OF FORMER BUCKS
Akron’s coaching staff is rife with former Buckeyes. Head coach Pat Bangtson was an assistant at Ohio State from 1991-2006. Hitting coach Greg Cypret, father of Ohio State second baseman Ryan Cypret, was a member of Bob Todd’s staff at Ohio State for 23 years. And Zip volunteer assistant coach Justin Miller was a four-year Ohio State letterman (2006-09) and a team captain as a junior and senior.
WETZEL NABS BIG TEN HONOR
Freshman centerfielder Tim Wetzel was named Big Ten Conference co-Freshman of the Week this week. The Mayfield, Ohio, native hit .466 for the week (7-for-15) with five runs scored. Wetzel had the first three-hit game of his career and first multi-RBI game Sunday against Indiana while extending his hitting streak to six consecutive games.
Ohio State’s 2011 Big Ten honorees:
Josh Dezse – Freshman of the Week (2/21, 3/7)
Greg Solomon- Player of the Week (4/4)
Tim Wetzel – Freshman of the Week (4/11)
THE INDIANA SERIES
Drew Rucinski was solid on the mound for the second consecutive Friday, limiting the Hoosiers to just seven hits, one run, no walks and five strikeouts to lead the 6-1 Game 1 win. The Buckeyes also got 9.2 combined innings out of Game 2 and 3 starters Brett McKinney and Greg Greve against the Hoosiers. The staff posted a fine 3.16 ERA for the weekend and recorded 19 strikeouts vs. five walks.
Offensively, two Buckeyes joined Wetzel by hitting over .400 in the series: Matt Streng was 5 for 11 (.455) with four runs scored and Greg Solomon hit .400 (4 for 10) with three runs scored and three RBI. Brad Hutton hit a home run in Game 3, his second of the season.
Ohio Stats will start Sr. RHP Dean Wolosiansky in Game 1 and Fr. RHP John Kuchno in Game 2. The Buckeye starters:
Wolosiansky: Making his first start since 4/2 vs. Northwestern … has come out of the bullpen his last two appearances, 4/6 vs. Miami and 4/10 at Indiana … pitched 1.2 innings in each game … 1-5 on the season with a 5.79 ERA … 23-19 career mark … nearing 300 innings pitched.
Kuchno: Wednesday starter for second consecutive week … went 3.0 innings 4/6 vs. Miami, allowing four hits, four ER and two walks but striking out a career-high five … today will be his fifth career start … is 0-3 with a 9.56 ERA.
Matt Streng and Tim Wetzel are each on six-game hitting streaks. Streng is 11 for 25 (.440) with nine runs scored in his streak … Wetzel is 10 for 23 (.435) with eight runs scored. He has raised his average 80 points during that time to his current .271 … RHP David Fathalikhani hasn’t allowed a run in his last six appearances and has just one walk during that time … Ryan Cypret has struck out just three times in the last 21 games and 80 at-bats … Ohio State was 10-0 in games it led after eight innings, until Sunday at Indiana.
Greg Solomon leads the team with a .384 overall batting average and a .500 average in Big Ten games … Matt Streng is hitting .417 in the Big Ten and .284 overall … Ryan Cypret (.366) and Tim Wetzel (.360) also have fine averages in Big Ten games.
Ohio State is averaging 916 paying fans through its first five home games … Solomon leads all players in multi-hit (9) and multi-RBI (6) games … nine different Buckeyes had an RBI in the Indiana series … four pitchers – Rucinski, Theron Minium, Wolosiansky and Fathalikhani – had 0.00 ERAs last weekend … Rucinski’s 1.83 ERA leads the Big Ten Conference … Ohio State’s .308 batting average and 43 runs scored in Big Ten games only are each second in the league … Ohio State is 10-1 when leading after six innings; 0-11 when trailing … the team is being outscored in the first inning, 21-11 … Ohio State is 7-2 in games its scores first; 4-12 when the opponent scores first.
HEAD COACH GREG BEALS
Head coach Greg Beals is just the 11th head coach in Ohio State history and only the fourth in the last 60 years. He has a 254-216 career record and is in his ninth season as a collegiate head coach.
OSU/MSU BROADCAST INFO
The 6:35 p.m. game Friday vs. MSU will be streamed to BigTenNetwork.com, as will the 1:05 p.m. game Sunday. Game 2 – Saturday at 2:05 p.m. – will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.
15th SEASON AT BILL DAVIS STADIUM
Ohio State is 236-116 all-time at Bill Davis Stadium for a fine .670 winning percentage. Ohio State 136-76 vs. the Big Ten Conference.
The Buckeyes host Michigan State for a three-game series beginning Friday evening at Bill Davis Stadium.