Ohio State Travels to East Carolina for Keith LeClair Classic
Greg Greve

Feb. 27, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team travels to Greenville, N.C., this weekend for the Keith LeClair Classic. The Buckeyes take on Pittsburgh at 1:05 p.m. Friday before facing Western Kentucky at 11:05 a.m. Saturday and wrapping up the weekend against host East Carolina at 2:05 p.m. Sunday.

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 won all three games last weekend at the UCF Tournament, topping UCF, 9-3, in 13 innings in the Friday opener before defeating The Citadel, 5-4, Saturday and wrapping up the weekend with a 6-3 victory over Oklahoma.

Freshman left-hander Zach Farmer pitched well to get the win Sunday, allowing two runs, neither of them earned, over 5.1 innings pitched Sunday against Oklahoma. Pat Porter went 5-for-13 with three RBI and two runs scored over the weekend while Ronnie Dawson went 5-for-14 with a double, two RBI and a walk-off single against The Citadel.

PITT: RHP Greg Greve (1-0, 3.18 ERA)
  vs. RHP Matt Wotherspoon (2-0, 3.48)
WKU: LHP Ryan Riga (1-0, 3.27)
    vs. LHP Austin Clay (2-0, 3.48)
ECU: LHP Zach Farmer (1-1, 3.86)
 vs. RHP Davis Kirkpatrick (1-0, 3.60)

- The 13-inning win Friday marked the Buckeyes first extra-inning game since May 17 of last season and their first win since a 7-6, 10-inning win over Illinois April 20 of last year.
- Travis Lakins has pitched well in his second collegiate appearance, picking up the win Friday in three scoreless, hitless innings of relief.
- The Ohio State relievers combined to allow one earned run on seven hits with nine strikeouts in 15.1 innings pitched over the weekend.
- The Buckeye pitching staff posted a 2.03 ERA with a .192 opponent batting average for the weekend. Ohio State allowed just one extra-base hit over the three contests.

Pittsburgh is 4-2 on the season after picking up a pair of wins last weekend. Dylan Wolsonovich leads the Panthers offensively with a .421 average with three doubles while right-hander Matt Wotherspoon is 2-0 with a 3.48 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 10.1 innings pitched.

Ohio State holds a 17-1 lead in the all-time series with Pittsburgh.

Western Kentucky is 6-2 on the season after a 3-2 Tuesday win at No. 4 Vanderbilt. Infielder Scott Wilcox leads the Hilltoppers with a .483 average with three doubles, two home runs, eight RBI and eight runs scored while left-hander Austin Clay is 2-0 with a 3.48 ERA in 10.1 innings pitched.

The Buckeyes and Hilltoppers have never met on the diamond.

East Carolina is 3-5 on the season after dropping a Tuesday game at VCU. Catcher Travis Watkins leads the Pirates with a .333 average with four RBI while right-hander Tyler Bolton is 0-1 with a 1.80 ERA in 10.0 innings pitched over two starts.

Ohio State has won all three previous meetings with East Carolina, the last a 10-7 win in 1999.

Ryan Riga - PiOW (2/18)

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 342-281 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 Oregon for a three-game set March 7-9 followed by a single game at Oregon State March 11.