COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team hits the road this week to begin the month of May. The Buckeyes (28-13, 9-6 B1G) travel to play Ball State at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Merchants Ballpark Complex in Muncie, Ind. The contest vs. Cardinals (22-20, 10-8 MAC) marks the first time the Scarlet and Gray have played at Ball State since 1970. Following its midweek game with the Cardinals, the team stays on the road, traveling to Champaign, Ill., for another big weekend of conference play against Illinois Friday-Sunday.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Live stats links can be found by going to the schedule page of Ohio State Baseball on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Fans can also follow the action on Twitter via @OhioState_BASE. The game will be streamed on ballstatesports.com. There will be no radio broadcast in Muncie.
– Ohio State is 28-13 overall and 9-6 in league play heading into week No. 12 of the college baseball season. According to Baseball America, the Buckeyes have had the fourth-best turnaround in the country in 2018 after finishing 22-34 a year ago
– The Buckeyes sit in sixth in the conference standings as the team heads to play fourth-place Illinois (25-14, 10-5 B1G) this weekend in Champaign, Ill.
– The game at Ball State marks the first time the Buckeyes and Cardinals have played in Muncie, Ind., in 48 years.
– The Buckeyes are 13-7 all-time vs. the Cardinals and hold a 3-1 record in road games.
– Greg Beals returns to Ball State this week for the first time since becoming head coach for the Buckeyes. Beals spent eight seasons as head coach at Ball State, posting a 225-179-1 record. He guided Ball State to a 38-22 record and NCAA Regional appearance in 2006.
– Beals is four wins shy of 500 in his coaching career. His career record sits at 496-394-1 in 16 seasons.
– Last time out, Ohio State rallied to beat No. 21 Minnesota, 6-5, in walk-off fashion on Sunday at Bill Davis Stadium to avoid a series sweep by the Golden Gophers.
– Ohio State is No. 37 in the latest NCAA RPI rankings.
– The Buckeyes sit in the Top 5 in multiple Big Ten offensive categories, including second in batting (.290), runs scored (280), hits (415), third in on-base percentage (.383) and fourth in slugging (.421).
– The OSU pitching staff has combined for a 3.70 ERA, good for fourth in the league. The staff is second in the conference in strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.42).
– Senior Noah McGowan is first in the Big Ten in doubles (17) and RBI (48), second in hits (62), third in batting (.385), fourth in slugging (.652) and seventh in on-base percentage (.458) and runs scored (38).
– Dominic Canzone is third in runs scored (41) and hits (60).
– Senior reliever Seth Kinker is the Big Ten leader in ERA (1.08). He is 6-1 with nine saves in 20 appearances. He has not allowed a run in his last 16.0 innings of work.
– The 2018 Buckeyes return 22 letterwinners this season, including 13 members from the 2016 Big Ten championship team. The team welcomed 10 newcomers in the fall.
– The team had 26 OSU Scholar-Athletes for the 2017-18 academic year.
Seth Kinker is one of 10 finalists for the 2018 Senior CLASS Award, the organization announced Tuesday. Kinker, who has made 99 career appearances and leads the Big Ten in ERA at 1.08, is majoring in sport industry. He is from Huntington, W. Va., and Cabell-Midland High School. Fans can vote for Seth Kinker on the award’s official website at www.seniorclassaward.com through May 28. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner. This year’s Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2018 College World Series® in June.
OHIO STATE AS OF LATE
The team is 7-3 in the last 10 games. The Buckeye pitching staff has collected a 2.90 ERA with 85 strikeouts in 93.0 innings of work. Noah McGowan is hitting .333 with five runs, two doubles, one home runs and eight RBI. Dillon Dingler is batting .316 with seven runs, two doubles, one triple, one home run and two RBI. Seth Kinker has thrown 12.0 scoreless innings of relief with eight strikeouts.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
2018 Record: 22-20 (10-8 MAC)
Team Stats: .263, 66 2B, 11 3B, 28 HR, 45-65 in SB
Top Hitter: Jeff Riedel, .361, 11 2B, 5 3B, 4 HR, 31 RBI
Top Pitcher: Nolan Gazouski, 2-3, 2.45 ERA, 51 K in 33.0 IP
Last Time Out: Swept Northern Illinois in home series last weekend in Muncie
Ohio State sits at No. 37 in the latest NCAA RPI rankings, which were released on Wednesday. The Buckeyes are the third-highest ranked team in the Big Ten. Ohio State has six wins over Top 50 RPI teams.
Ohio State and Illinois meet Friday-Sunday at Illini Field in Champaign, Ill. All three games will be streamed on BTN Plus ($). Fans can also listen on AM 1460 ESPN. Matt Andrews and Bob Spears will have the call.