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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Following a road series win, the Ohio State baseball team returns to action Friday when it opens a five-game spring break trip at No. 24 Florida Gulf Coast in Fort Myers, Fla. The road trip is the last of the spring in the state of Florida, where the Buckeyes will have played nine games to open the season.
Ohio State will play five games in six days on its spring trip, beginning with a three-game series at No. 24 Florida Gulf Coast at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Game two vs. the Eagles is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday. The series concludes at 1 p.m. ET Sunday. All three games will be played at Swanson Stadium. The Eagles (12-2) have made headlines this week after sweeping No. 2 Florida in a midweek series and extended their win streak to eight-consecutive games. The 12-2 start by the Blue and Green is the best in program history.
Following the game Sunday, the Buckeyes will travel north 45 miles to Port Charlotte, Fla., to play two midweek games against Patriot League opponents at the 2017 Snowbird Classic. The Scarlet Gray will face Lehigh at 2:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, March 14, and close out the trip against Bucknell at 10 a.m. ET Wednesday, March 15. Both games will be played at Field No. 6 at North Charlotte Regional Park.
FGCU SERIES TICKETS
Single game tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for youth (12 and under), military and groups at Swanson Stadium. For questions or more information, please contact the FGCU Ticket Office at 239-590-7145.
Day passes are available for $8 per person. Parking is free at North Charlotte Regional Park.
FRIDAY: RHP Jake Post (1-1, 3.38 ERA) vs. RHP Garrett Anderson (1-0, 3.00 ERA)
SATURDAY: RHP Ryan Feltner (0-2, 4.41 ERA) vs. RHP Kutter Crawford (3-0, 1.35 ERA)
SUNDAY: RHP Adam Niemeyer vs. (1-2, 5.14 ERA) vs. LHP Josh Dye (3-0, 1.86 ERA)
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Video for game one will be available on ASUN.TV through Eversport. Links can be found above. A link to live stats links can also be found by going to the schedule page of Ohio State Baseball on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Fans should follow the action on Twitter via @OhioState_BASE.
- Ohio State is 5-6 overall after winning two of three games last weekend at Campbell. Ohio State fell in game one 7-2, before rebounding with a 7-1 victory in game two. The Buckeyes claimed their first series win of the year with a 7-6 victory on Sunday in Buies Creek, N.C.
- Head coach Greg Beals claimed his 450th career win last Saturday against the Fighting Camels.
- Ohio State went 1-3 at the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge Feb. 23-26 in Surprise, Ariz. Highlighting the weekend was a 5-1 upset win over No. 5 Oregon State.
- The Buckeyes began their 134th season of baseball with a 2-2 record during the opening weekend at Sunshine State Classic Series Feb. 17-19 in Kissimmee, Fla. Twelve Buckeyes made their Ohio State debuts.
- Sixty-two percent (30-of-52) of the team’s hits have gone for extra-bases. Ohio State is fourth in the Big Ten in doubles (20) and tied for fifth in home runs (10).
- Junior outfielder Tre’ Gantt leads the team with a .325 average (13-for-40) with four doubles, one triple, one home run, four RBI and two stolen bases. The OSU lead-off hitter has reached base in all 11 games.
- Fifth-year senior Zach Ratcliff has powered his way to a team-high four home runs, which is tied for the conference lead. He is slugging a team-best .634.
- Fifth-year senior right-handed pitcher Jake Post earned his first win of the season last Sunday, striking out a career-high eight batters.
- Redshirt junior right-hander Yianni Pavlopoulos was named Big Ten Co-Pitcher of the Week Feb. 27.
- Junior right-hander Seth Kinker and redshirt junior right-hander Kyle Michalik have both made four appearances out of the bullpen.
- The 2017 Buckeyes return 17 letterwinners this season, including a five-member senior class, from the squad that won 44 games, tied for fifth all-time in program history and the most since 2003, and advanced to a NCAA Regional after claiming the program’s ninth Big Ten tournament title. The team also welcomed 17 newcomers last fall.
- Last season, the Buckeyes broke single-season records in stolen bases (101) and strikeouts by a staff (495).
- The 2016 team’s fielding percentage was second-best all time at .975. A Big Ten-best six Buckeyes were taken in the MLB Draft.
- Ohio State will play its first 16 games away from the friendly confines of Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. This is the second trip to Florida this spring for the boys.
- Senior infielder Jalen Washington and redshirt junior pitcher Adam Niemeyer were each named captains.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
FLORIDA GULF COAST EAGLES
2017 Record: 12-2
2016 Record: 27-32
2016 ASUN Finish: Fifth
Top Hitter: Julio Gonzalez, .346 (18-for-52), 10 R, 16 RBI
Top Pitcher: Kutter Crawford, 3-0, 1.35 ERA, 30 strikeouts in 20.0 IP
All-Time Series Record: First meeting
LEHIGH MOUTAIN HAWKS
2017 Record: 1-5
2016 Record: 25-29
2016 ASUN Finish: Patriot League semifinals
Top Hitter: James Bleming, .364 (8-for-22), 5 R, 3 RBI
Top Pitcher: Ethan Frohman, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 10 strikeouts in 10.1 IP
All-Time Series Record: 3-0, OSU leads
Last Meeting: March 10, 2006 – 17-10 win (Clearwater, Fla.)
2017 Record: 4-5
2016 Record: 18-34
2016 ASUN Finish: Patriot League semifinals
Top Hitter: Danny Rafferty, .353 (12-for-34), 4 R, 8 RBI
Top Pitcher: Jack Simpson, 0-0, 1.00 ERA, 14 strikeouts in 9.0 IP
All-Time Series Record: 4-0, OSU leads
Last Meeting: March 19, 2010 – 10-7 win (Lewisburg, Pa.)
A LOOK BACK AT CAMPBELL SERIES
Ohio State won two of three games in its first trip to Buies Creek, N.C., at Campbell March 3-5. After a loss in game one, the Buckeyes rebounded with back-to-back road wins. Jake Post got the team back on track when he tossed a career-high eight strikeouts in six innings of work. It marked his first win in nearly two years after recovering from Tommy John surgery in 2016. Zach Ratcliff homered twice, while Jalen Washington also hit his first home run of the year in game two. Ohio State held on to a 7-6 win in the series finale last Sunday. Seth Kinker improved to 1-0 on the year, throwing two innings and allowing one run on three hits with three strikeouts. Yianni Pavlopoulos tossed a scoreless ninth to claim his first save of the year. Tre’ Gantt had the go-ahead RBI in the top of the eighth on a sacrifice fly. Jacob Barnwell registered his first three-hit day of his career in the win. Gantt led the team at the dish with a .400 average (4-for-10) with a run scored, double and two RBI.
- Ohio State is 5-1 when scoring first and 4-0 when leading after seven innings.
- Right-handed reliever Kyle Michalik heads into the weekend with an earned run scoreless streak of 19.1 innings (dating back to 2016).
- Brady Cherry and Tre’ Gantt are both on career-high 11-game reached base streaks, while Gantt also has a career-high nine-game hit streak heading into the weekend.
- Zach Ratcliff leads the team with five multi-hit games. Tyler Cowles joins Cherry and Ratcliff with two-multi RBI games each.
BIG TEN CO-PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Redshirt junior pitcher Yianni Pavlopoulos was named Big Ten Co-Pitcher of the Week, the conference office announced Feb. 27. Pavlopoulos, from Homer Glen, Ill., led the Buckeyes to a Top 10 win in a 6-1 win over No. 5 Oregon State Feb. 24 in Surprise, Ariz. The right-hander threw six shutout innings and scattered three hits with four strikeouts to claim his first career win as a Buckeye starter. Named to the Big Ten Players to Watch List, Pavlopoulos led the Big Ten with 14 saves in 2016.
PAVLOPOULOS CLIMBING CAREER SAVES LIST
Redshirt junior right-hander Yianni Pavlopoulos is currently climbing the Ohio State all-time career saves list. With his first save last time out at Campbell, Pavlopoulos tied Rory Meister (2005-08) for fourth with 15 saves.
- Trace Dempsey .................................2012-15 ......................33
- Jake Hale ..........................................2006-09 ......................29
- Cory Cox............................................1998-01 ......................27
- Rory Meister.......................................2005-08 ......................15
- Yianni Pavlopoulos.................... 2014-Present .....................15
B1G/PAC-12 CHALLENGE RECAP
Ohio State had a challenging set of games out west at the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge Feb. 23-26 in Surprise, Ariz.. The Buckeyes fell in two games against the defending Pac-12 Champions Utah, and split two games against No. 5 Oregon State. At the plate, Jacob Barnwell batted .455 (5-for-11) with two doubles, while Tre’ Gantt hit .375 (6-for-16) with two doubles and one home run. Pavlopoulos claimed the win in game two vs. the Beavers and Seth Kinker picked up his second save of the season, throwing the final three innings vs. Oregon State. Brady Cherry also homered vs. the Beavers.
OPENING WEEKEND REWIND
Ohio State went 2-2 to open the 2017 campaign Feb. 17-19 at the Sunshine State Classic Series in Kissimmee, Fla. The Buckeyes defeated Kansas State, 6-3, in game one before coming from behind to beat Delaware, 15-10, in game one Saturday. Ohio State dropped the final two games of the weekend, losing 7-3 against Pitt in the nightcap Saturday and was edged, 3-2, by the Wildcats on getaway day Sunday.
Zach Ratcliff, Jalen Washington and Adam Niemeyer were each named to the All-Tournament Team. Ratcliff made a statement in his return to the lineup, batting .438 (7-for-16) with five runs scored, one double, two home runs and six RBI. Washington, a two-time captain, registered a .385 average (.5-for-13) with three runs scored, two doubles and was also hit four times. Niemeyer, a 2017 captain, improved to 1-0 after limiting Kansas State to one unearned run with a strikeout and no walks in six innings of work.
GRAND SLAMS FOR THE BOYS
For the first time in 23 years, a Buckeye duo each blasted a grand slam in the same game. Noah McGowan hit his first home run as a Buckeye in the seventh inning, while Brady Cherry rocketed his second career grand slam in the eighth inning during the Buckeyes’ 15-10 comeback win over Delaware Feb. 17. The OSU infielders became the first duo to each hit a grand slam in the same game since former Buckeyes Brian Mannino and Mike Repasky each hit grand slams in an 18-5 win over Dayton April 27, 1994, in Columbus.
KINKER NAMED TO PRESEASON STOPPER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST
After a breakout sophomore campaign, junior pitcher Seth Kinker has been named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Preseason Stopper of the Year Watch List, announced Feb 14. The Huntington, W. Va., native is one of 55 student-athletes on the list. Last season, the native of Huntington, W. Va., went 6-1 out of the bullpen with a 1.65 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 54.2 innings pitched. He led the Big Ten with 38 appearances at the plate, which ranked second in OSU single-season history in 2016. Kinker also earned two saves for the Scarlet and Gray. A mid-season watch list will be released on April 28 followed by the award announcement on June 18.
TRIO OF BUCKEYES NAMED TO B1G PLAYERS TO WATCH LIST
Senior Jalen Washington, redshirt junior Yianni Pavlopoulos and junior Seth Kinker have been named to the B1G Players to Watch list, announced by the conference office Feb. 15. Washington, a 2016 Big Ten All-Tournament selection and fall MVP, returns to shortstop this season after starting in 59 games from behind the dish during his junior campaign. Pavlopoulos, a right-hander from Homer Glen, Ill., led the Big Ten in saves with 14 last season, including five saves in conference play. Kinker, a junior pitcher, also added to his preseason honors list.
WASHINGTON & NEIMEYER NAMED 2017 CAPTAINS
Senior infielder Jalen Washington and redshirt junior pitcher Adam Niemeyer were named captains of the 2017 squad, head coach Greg Beals announced last month. Washington, a two-time Ohio State captain, led the team to 44 overall wins last spring, including a Big Ten Tournament title and NCAA Regional appearance. Niemeyer, a native of Minster, Ohio, helped to guide the OSU pitching staff last season to a Big Ten-best 2.63 ERA and 3.07 strikeout-to-walk ratio, which ranked sixth in the country.
Ohio State welcomed 15 newcomers to the 35-man roster, including seven junior college transfers: Junior Noah McGowan (McLenann; Houston, Texas), Nate Romans (Meridian College; Canton, Ohio), Tyler Cowles (Sinclair; Grove City, Ohio), Thomas Waning (Lincoln Trail, Maple City, Mich.), Reece Calvert (McLennan; Plano, Texas), Dustin Jourdan (McLennan; Austin Texas) and Bo Coolen (Cypress College, Honolulu Hawaii). The Buckeyes welcomed seven freshmen with five of them pitchers: Noah West (Westerville, Ohio), Michael McDonough (Columbiana, Ohio), Collin Lollar (Columbus, Ind.), Gavin Lyon (Westerville, Ohio), Dominic Canzone (Sagamore Hills, Ohio), Andrew Magno (Dublin, Ohio), Jake Vance (Canton, Ohio) and Conner Pohl (Arcanum, Ohio).
Seventh-year head coach Greg Beals is the 11th head coach in Ohio State history and the fourth in the last 60 years. In his 15th year as a collegiate head coach, he is 451-353-1 and 208-151-1 at the helm of the Buckeyes.
BTN PLUS HOME GAMES
Ohio State will have 17 home games on BTN Plus this spring, beginning vs. Youngstown State March 21. Game one and two of the Minnesota series, the team’s conference opener, will also be featured on BTN Plus. Fans can purchase a subscription by visiting www.btn2go.com.
Home Games on BTN Plus: Youngstown State (3/21), Minnesota (3/24), Minnesota (3/25), Ohio (3/28), Kent State (4/5), Cincinnati (4/11), Eastern Michigan (4/12), Northern Kentucky (4/19), UNC-Greensboro (4/21-23), Bowling Green (5/9), Ball State (5/10), Toledo (5/16), Indiana (5/18-20).
NINE GAMES ON BUCKEYE VISION
Starting with its home opener vs. Xavier March 17, the Buckeyes will have nine home games streamed live on Buckeye Vision. Fans can purchase either monthly or yearly subscriptions by visiting this page.
Home games on Buckeye Vision: Xavier (3/17-18), Purdue (3/31), Purdue (4/2), Nebraska (4/28-30) and Texas Tech (5/2-3).
OHIO STATE BASEBALL TICKETS ON SALE NOW
Ohio State single game and season tickets are now on sale. Season tickets are the best value with a 38% savings off of the single game ticket price for all 28 home games. Single-game tickets are available for $8 for general admission and $11 for reserved seats for adults, $8 (Reserved) and $5 (GA) for seniors (62+) and $8 (6 & under) and free (GA) for children 6 and under. Students can get in free with Buck ID. Family packs are also available for purchase for every Saturday and Sunday regular season home game. Other promotions throughout the season include, Triple Play Package, Buy One, Get One & Dollar Dog Night. Click here for more info.
Buckeyes Make BTN Season Debut March 30