December 6, 2021

Smith and Dezenzo Named 2022 Captains


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State baseball head coach Greg Beals announced that this year’s team will be led by two captains – Zach Dezenzo and, for the second consecutive season, Griffan Smith.

“These two Buckeyes were voted on by the team and represent everything we stand for in our brotherhood: outstanding student-athletes, well prepared competitors and obviously great teammates,” said Beals. “Griffan is now a two-time captain who will be a big part of our pitching staff. We are so excited that Zach is back for his senior year. He has attacked this opportunity to get better and help drive our program towards a championship.”

Smith was named a captain before the 2021 season, his fourth as a Buckeye, and is back for a fifth after using the extra year of eligibility granted due to the pandemic. The two-time captain has appeared in a team-high 58 games for Ohio State in his four years, including 24 starts and two complete games. He was named to the 2019 Big Ten All-Tournament Team after going 2-0 with a combined 1.42 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 12.2 innings. He also got the start in the B1G tournament title game against Nebraska that season. Smith primarily came out of the bullpen in 2021, with 10 total appearances and one start, striking out 16 batters over 18.2 innings pitched. As a logistics major in the Fisher College of Business, Smith has been named an OSU Scholar-Athlete as well as an Academic All-Big Ten selection each of the last three seasons.

Dezenzo has been a staple on the left side of the infield for the Buckeyes in each of the last three seasons. He returns for his senior season with 24 starts at third base and 90 starts at shortstop, including all 42 games during the 2021 season. Dezenzo finished his junior year on a high note, recording hits in six of his final eight games to bring his average for the year to .302, good for second on the team. His 114 games played, 65 runs, 115 hits, 19 home runs and 75 RBI to this point in his career lead all returning players. A Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection in 2019, Dezenzo was twice named Big Ten Player of the Week in 2021 in the weeks of April 7th and June 1st. In each of the last two seasons, Dezenzo has been named an OSU Scholar-Athlete, Academic All-Big Ten, and a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar for his work in the classroom.

The Buckeyes had a great fall and set to open the season against Marshall at the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Feb. 18. A total of 22 letterwinners return this season which include six of eight positional starters and 10 pitchers.