COLUMBUS, Ohio – After 17 games on the road and four cancellations, the Ohio State baseball team returns home to host Xavier in the 2011 home opener at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at Bill Davis Stadium. The Buckeyes have won their last five home openers including a 4-3 win over Toledo last season and a 9-7 victory over the Musketeers the season before.
Ohio State is coming off a tough spring break trip in which it went 1-5 against a rugged schedule at No. 15 California, No. 10 Fresno State and Cal State Bakersfield.
After having his career-best 14-game hitting streak snapped March 25 against Cal State Bakersfield, Ryan Cypret bounced back with a 3-for-5 outing with five RBI the following day … After getting off to a slow start with a .176 batting average through the first four games, Cypret has gone 23 for his last 51 to push his average to .382 … Brad Hallberg has reached base safely in 15 of the 16 games he has played in … Brian DeLucia has reached base safely in seven of his last nine games, including three multi-hit outings.
OHIO STATE TODAY
The Buckeyes enter the week with a 7-10 record. First-year Ohio State coach Greg Beals and his staff are working with a completely overhauled roster, one that includes 15 newcomers and returned just three everyday starters from last season. So far the Buckeyes are hitting .284 as a team and slugging at a .377 clip – percentages that both rank fifth in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes have scored 94 runs, good for fifth in the conference while recording a .368 on-base percentage, the fourth-best in the Big Ten. The pitching staff is sporting a 5.47 team ERA and but has limited opponents to a batting average of .277.
15th SEASON AT BILL DAVIS STADIUM
Ohio State is 232-124 all-time at Bill Davis Stadium for a fine .652 winning percentage.
SCOUTING THE MUSKETEERS
Xavier, under the direction of sixth-year head coach Scott Googins, is 16-9 this season, including a pair of wins at nationally-ranked Louisville and a series win against Atlantic-10 foe Temple. Ben Thomas leads the Musketeers with a .435 batting average with six doubles, seven long balls and 26 runs batted in. Left-hander Jon Richard is 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA and 21 strikeouts in six starts.
Ohio State holds a 28-8 lead in the all-time series with Xavier including a 12-7 victory last season and a 9-7 win in 2009.