Ohio State Welcomes Eastern Michigan to Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium Tuesday
Greg Greve

March 26, 2012

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team hosts Eastern Michigan in a midweek matchup at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium.

The Buckeyes went 1-2 in their Big Ten opening series over the weekend against No. 24 Purdue. Ohio State dropped the first two games before winning a back-and-forth series finale, 5-4, Sunday afternoon. Brett McKinney allowed one earned run over 6.0 innings and John Kuchno picked up his team-high fourth win of the season with 3.0 innings of relief.

RHP Greg Greve (1-2, 6.59 ERA)
RHP Brian Valente (0-2, 6.06 ERA)

Eastern Michigan enters the week with an 8-14 record after taking two of three games in their first MAC series of the year against Miami (OH). Lee Longo leads the Eagles with a .361 batting average with four doubles, a triple, a home run, 14 RBI and 13 runs scored while Sam Ott is batting .325 with five doubles, three triples, two home runs and 13 RBI.

Ohio State holds a 9-3 advantage in the all-time series, but the Eagles won the last matchup between the two teams, 9-5, in Columbus in 2009.

The Buckeyes enter the weekend with a 12-10 overall record, 1-2 in the Big Ten conference. Ohio State ranks third in runs scored (135), fourth in home runs (13) and on-base percentage (.367), tied for first in walks (108) and first in stolen bases (40). Over the first weekend of conference play, the Buckeyes ranked third in batting average (.307) and second in stolen bases (6).

Individually, Josh Dezse sits in the Top 10 in on-base percentage (.453, 10th) and home runs (5, t-3rd). Ryan Cypret also ranks in multiple categories including walks (21, 2nd) doubles (7, t-6th) and runs scored (21, t-6th). Kirby Pellant is tied for the Big Ten lead with 15 stolen bases while Joe Ciamacco sits tied for fifth with eight.

On the mound, Jaron Long sits ninth with 28 strikeouts. John Kuchno is tied for the Big Ten lead with four wins while Andrew Armstrong and David Fathalikhani are tied for sixth with 10 appearances.

Kirby Pellant extended his hitting streak to five consecutive games with two hits Sunday. His streak is the longest current streak on the team. He’s also nabbed hits in eight of his previous nine games played ... Brad Hallberg went 5-for-11 with four RBI and a run scored in the series against Purdue ... Mike Carroll finished the series with the Boilermakers 4-for-10 with three RBI and a run scored ... Pellant and Ryan Cypret each had two stolen bases against Purdue and the Buckeyes were a combined 6-of-7 as a team ... Phil Jaskot recorded his first career hit with a ninth-inning single against Louisville.

Brett McKinney has allowed only five earned runs in his last 30.1 innings pitched ... The Buckeyes are 40 of 45 in stolen base attempts after going 35 of 57 all last year ... With one intentional walk Saturday, Jaron Long has now walked only three batters in 36.1 innings pitched. He has struck out 28 and posted a 3.22 ERA ... The Buckeyes are 9-0 when leading after seven innings and 8-0 when out-hitting the opponent ... Ohio State is 8-1 when scoring six or more runs ... Junior Joe Ciamacco has eight multi-hit games this season after recording one before this season ... Josh Dezse has reached base safely in 21 of 22 contests while Tim Wetzel has reached in 19 of 22 games this season ... Relievers David Fathalikhani and Andrew Armstrong have combined to go 15 consecutive appearances without allowing an earned run ... The Buckeyes drew a season-high 11 walks last Wednesday against Dayton.

Josh Dezse tied an Ohio State single-game record with three home runs Feb. 24. The feat was last accomplished by Chad Ehrnsberger on May 3, 1998 against Indiana. Dezse gave the Buckeyes the early lead in the top of the second, added a mammoth shot to left in the sixth and tied the record with one to right field in the seventh.

Josh Dezse was named Big Ten Player of the Week, the conference office announced Feb. 20.

Dezse went 7-for-14 on the weekend with a home run, five RBI and four runs scored as the Buckeyes went 2-1 in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge. The Powell, Ohio, native had multi-hit games in all three contests Feb. 17-19, highlighted by a three-hit performance Friday against USF and a 2-for-4 effort with a home run and four RBI Feb. 19 against Connecticut.

Dezse was named an NCBWA third team preseason All-American and a third team preseason All-American by CollegeSportsMadness.com. Dezse also was named to the watch list for the Golden Spikes Award, given to the top amateur baseball player in the country.

The Powell, Ohio, native led the Buckeyes with a .332 batting average and 42 runs batted in last season. He tied for the team lead with four home runs while going 4-2 with a team-high six saves and 32 strikeouts in 27.2 innings pitched. Dezse led the Buckeyes with 12 multiple RBI games and tied for third on the team with 17 multi-hit games.

Dezse became the 10th Buckeye to garner Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors after earning Big Ten Freshman of the Week laurels four times during the season and Player of the Week honors twice. In addition, he was named a Freshman All-American by the NCBWA and Louisville Slugger.

The Ohio State baseball program honored Nick Swisher with a field dedication ceremony Nov. 3 at the newly-renovated Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. Current Buckeyes, fans and media were on hand to recognize Swisher for his generosity in giving the program $500,000 to help install a new turf field.

Selected by the Oakland Athletics with the 16th overall pick of the 2002 Major League Baseball draft, Swisher also spent time with the White Sox before heading to his current home with the New York Yankees where he was a part of the 2009 World Champion team and named an American League All-Star the following season. In his professional career, the Columbus native has seen action in 1,061 games and has amassed 185 home runs.

Head coach Greg Beals is just the 11th head coach in Ohio State history and only the fourth in the last 60 years. He has a 281-239 career record and in his 10th season as a collegiate head coach.

Ohio State is 249-125 all-time at Bill Davis Stadium for a fine .670 winning percentage. Ohio State is 143-81 vs. the Big Ten Conference at home.

The Buckeyes travel to East Lansing for a three-game set against Michigan State beginning Friday.