Ohio State Opens 131st Season of Baseball Against Connecticut, Auburn and Indiana State
Feb. 12, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State baseball team opens its 131st season when it travels to Port Charlotte, Fla., for four games beginning Friday as part of the Snowbird Classic. The Buckeyes face Connecticut at 5 p.m. Friday, Auburn at noon Saturday and Indiana State at 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
The game against Connecticut will be played at Charlotte Sports Park while the final three contests will be played at North Charlotte Regional Park.
The 2014 Buckeyes return 13 letterwinners from a season ago, including five starting position players and five pitchers. All-American closer Trace Dempsey is back along with outfielder Pat Porter, who led or tied for the team lead in doubles, triples, home runs, runs scored and RBI in 2013.
ON THE BUMP
Ohio State holds a 7-4 lead in the all-time series but dropped a 5-2 decision last year in Deland, Fla.
Ohio State trails the all-time series, 4-3, but has won the last two meetings, both coming in an NCAA Regional at Auburn in 2003.
SCOUTING INDIANA STATE
Ohio State and Indiana State have never met on the diamond.
DEMPSEY, DEZSE PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS
Dempsey, also named an NCBWA preseason All-American, garnered multiple All-America laurels a season ago after he went 3-0 with a 1.02 ERA and 17 saves in 31 appearances. A first team All-Big Ten selection from Huntington, W.Va., Dempsey struck out 28 and allowed opponents to hit .180 in 35.1 innings pitched. His 17 saves were the most in the Big Ten and finished one shy of tying Jake Hale's Big Ten and Ohio State record of 18 set in 2009. Dempsey went 30.1 innings without allowing an earned run between Feb. 17 and May 17.
Dezse, a redshirt junior this season, sat out the 2013 season with a stress reaction in his back. As a sophomore in 2012, Dezse finished second on the team with a .306 batting average and five home runs to go along with nine doubles, 33 RBI and 31 runs scored. The Powell, Ohio, native also made 24 appearances on the mound, going 1-2 with a 2.86 ERA and tied for third in the Big Ten with seven saves as he allowed opponents to hit a paltry .188.
ON THE ROAD
BUCKS PICKED THIRD IN PRESEASON POLL
Indiana enters the season as the conference favorite followed by Nebraska, Ohio State and Michigan State. Illinois and Michigan were picked in a tie for fifth.
TRIO NAMED 2014 CAPTAINS
"These three young men are great ambassadors of Ohio State baseball in the locker room, on the field and on campus," Beals said. "Greg, Josh and Tim have been with this coaching staff from day one, they have a great understanding of the expectations and direction we are moving and will be great leaders of this team."
Dezse, who redshirted the 2013 campaign after suffering a stress reaction in his back, has appeared in 111 career games, including 50 appearances on the mound. At the plate, the Powell, Ohio, native has a .318 career batting average with 20 doubles and nine home runs. On the mound, Dezse has gone 5-4 with a 4.82 ERA and 13 saves.
Greve, from Cleveland, Ohio, has appeared in 46 career games on the mound, making 20 starts. The senior is 10-7 with a 4.82 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 143.2 career innings. As a junior a season ago, Greve with 4-1 with a 3.65 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 24.2 innings pitched out of the bullpen.
Wetzel has appeared in 161 career games, starting all of them. The Mayfield, Ohio, native has a .258 career average to go along with 16 doubles, four triples, four home runs and 27 stolen bases.
B1G TOURNAMENT EXPANDS TO EIGHT
The tournament's double-elimination format will culminate with a single championship game on Sunday, with the winner earning the tournament title and the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Championship. All eight teams will begin play in one of two brackets, with the No. 1, No. 4, No. 5 and No. 8 seeds appearing in one bracket and the No. 2, No. 3, No. 6 and No. 7 seeds appearing in the other bracket.
HEAD COACH Greg Beals
18th SEASON AT BILL DAVIS STADIUM