Ohio State Heads to Orlando to Face UCF, The Citadel and Oklahoma
Greg Greve

Feb. 20, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team travels to Orlando, Fla., this weekend for the UCF Tournament. The Buckeyes take on host Central Florida at 7:05 p.m. Friday before facing The Citadel at 12:05 p.m. Saturday and Oklahoma at 10:05 a.m. Sunday at Jay Bergman Field.

Live results for all three contests and a live video stream can be found on the baseball schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com or fans can follow twitter.com/OhioState_BASE for updates.

The Buckeyes opened the 2014 season by splitting four contests last weekend in Port Charlotte, Fla. Ohio State picked up an 8-2 win over Connecticut in the opener and followed that up with a 1-0 victory over Auburn before dropping 7-3 and 8-6 decisions to Indiana State to close the weekend.

Junior left-hander Ryan Riga tossed 6.0 scoreless innings, striking out three to pick up the win over Auburn. Freshman outfielder Ronnie Dawson went 5-for-8 with a double, a home run, three RBI and three runs scored while senior outfielder Tim Wetzel went 4-for-11 with three doubles, three RBI and two runs scored.

UCF: RHP Greg Greve (1-0, 3.00 ERA)
   vs. LHP Eric Skoglund (1-0, 1.50)
Citadel: LHP Ryan Riga (1-0, 0.00)
        vs. LHP James Reeves (1-0, 0.00)
OU: LHP Zach Farmer (0-1, 9.00)
 vs. RHP Jake Elliott (1-0, 3.60)

- Freshman Travis Lakins pitched 3.0 innings of scoreless relief, allowing one hit and striking out three
- The Buckeyes caught four of six potential base stealers
- Josh Dezse, Troy Kuhn and Pat Porter reached base in all four games
- After one weekend, Ohio State leads the Big Ten with nine doubles and is tied for third with two home runs.
- On the mound, Ohio State sits third with a 3.50 team ERA and a .273 opposing batting average.

Ryan Riga has been named Big Ten Co-Pitcher of the Week, the conference office announced Tuesday. The award, which is shared with Indiana’s Joey DeNato, is Riga’s first Big Ten weekly honor and the first Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honor since Brian King April 15 of last season.

Riga, from Fairfield, Ohio, tossed 6.0 shutout innings in a 1-0 win over Auburn Saturday afternoon in Port Charlotte, Fla. He struck out three batters while allowing four hits and walking one.

UCF swept Siena in a three-game set last weekend before falling, 5-1, Tuesday at Florida. The Knights hit .367 as a team over the first weekend, led by Kam Gellinger, who went 4-for-5 with a triple, a home run and four runs scored. Left-hander Eric Skoglund allowed one earned run while striking out four in 6.0 innings to get the win in the opener.

Ohio State trails the all-time series, 2-1, after picking up an 11-8 in the last meeting in 1992.

The Citadel went 2-1 with wins over Virginia Tech and Louisville last weekend before dropping a midweek at USC Upstate. Infielder Calvin Orth went 4-for-9 with two RBI while left-hander James Reeves with 6.0 shutout frames for the win in the opener last weekend.

The Buckeyes and Bulldogs have never met on the diamond.

Oklahoma took two of three games from Seton Hall the opening weekend before taking two games from Arkansas-Pine Bluff this week. Mac James went 4-for-9 with two RBI and two runs scored last weekend while left-hander Adam Choplick allowed one earned run while striking out five over 6.0 innings to pick up the Game 2 win.

Oklahoma has won all three previous meeting, the last a 5-1 victory in 2003.

Trace Dempsey and Josh Dezse have been named third team preseason All-Americans by Louisville Slugger and Collegiate Baseball. Dempsey was named a third team relief pitcher while Dezse earned third team honors as a utility player.

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.

Ohio State plays its first 14 games on the road in 2014, opening the season against 2013 NCAA Tournament participant Connecticut Feb. 14 in Port Charlotte, Fla., before facing Auburn Feb. 15 and playing two contests to wrap up the weekend against Indiana State. The Buckeyes travel to Orlando, Fla., Feb. 21-23 to play host Central Florida, The Citadel and Oklahoma, an NCAA Super Regional team a season ago.  Ohio State then hits the road to Greenville, N.C., Feb. 28-March 2 to take on Pittsburgh, Western Kentucky and East Carolina before concluding the road string with a three-game set at sixth-ranked Oregon March 7-9 a single game at fourth-ranked Oregon State March 11.

Ohio State has been selected third in the Big Ten preseason coaches’ poll, the conference office announced Feb. 12. In addition, Trace Dempsey, Josh Dezse and Pat Porter have been named players to watch in the conference.

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.

Josh Dezse, Greg Greve and Tim Wetzel have been named captains of the 2014 Ohio State baseball team, head coach Greg Beals announced Feb. 7. The trio, selected as captains by their teammates, has combined to appear in 318 career games.

“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.”

The conference office announced Feb. 7 that the Big Ten Baseball Tournament will feature an eight-team field for the first time in conference history, beginning with the 2014 event. The 2014 Big Ten Baseball Tournament will be held May 21-25 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., home of the College World Series.

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 is the 11th head coach in Ohio State history and only the fourth in the last 60 years. He has a 339-281 career record and is in his 12th season as a collegiate head coach.

Ohio State is 279-141 all-time at Bill Davis Stadium for a fine .670 winning percentage. Ohio State is 157-86 vs. the Big Ten Conference at home.

Ohio State travels to Greenville, N.C., to face Pittsburgh, Western Kentucky and host East Carolina Feb. 28-March 2.