Ohio State Opens 10-Game Homestand With Three Against Big Ten-Leading Minnesota
Aaron Gretz

April 5, 2012

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team opens a 10-game homestand with a three-game set against Minnesota beginning Friday at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. The opener is slated for 6:35 p.m. Friday followed by a 3:05 p.m. matchup Saturday. The finale is slated for noon Sunday and will be televised live on Big Ten Network.

The Buckeyes topped Miami (Ohio), 9-2, Wednesday evening in Oxford. Greg Greve picked up the win, allowing one earned over six innings while Brad Hallberg, David Corna, Mike Carroll and Aaron Gretz each recorded two hits.

Game 1: RHP Jaron Long (1-1, 2.58 ERA)
          vs. RHP TJ Oakes (5-1, 1.33 ERA)
Game 2: LHP Brian King (2-3, 5.01 ERA)
          vs. LHP DJ Snelten (3-1, 2.01 ERA)
Game 3: TBA
          vs. RHP Austin Lubinsky (1-2, 3.93 ERA)

Minnesota enters the weekend with a 17-13 overall record, 3-0 in Big Ten play, after sweeping Michigan in a three-game set last week. Dan Olinger leads the Golden Gophers with a .355 batting average, nine doubles and 17 RBI. The pitching duo of TJ Oakes (1.33 ERA, 36 Ks) and DJ Snelten (3-1, 27 Ks) has combined to post an 8-2 record in 13 starts.

Ohio State trails Minnesota in the all-time series, 84-82-2, after taking three of five games last season.

The Buckeyes enter the weekend with a 15-12 overall record, 2-4 in the Big Ten Conference. Ohio State ranks fourth in runs scored (164), fifth in home runs (13) and on-base percentage (.367), and first in walks (131) and stolen bases (49).

Individually, Josh Dezse sits tied for third in the Big Ten with five home runs and ninth with a .450 on-base percentage while Ryan Cypret leads the Big Ten with 25 walks and ranks 10th with a .435 on-base percentage. Kirby Pellant is second with 17 stolen bases while Joe Ciamacco sits seventh with nine. Tim Wetzel is third in the Big Ten with 21 walks and 10th with seven stolen bases.

On the mound, Jaron Long sits sixth with a 2.58 ERA and seventh with 45.1 innings pitched. John Kuchno is tied for fifth in the Big Ten with four wins while Andrew Armstrong and David Fathalikhani are tied for fourth with 14 appearances.

The complete game shutout by Jaron Long against MSU was the first nine-inning complete game shutout since Alex Wimmers’ no-hitter against Michigan in 2009 and the first complete game shutout of any kind since Dean Wolosiansky threw a seven-inning shutout against Akron last season ... Long needed just 88 pitches for the complete game victory. He allowed just one baserunner to reach second base, and that was Kevin Goergen who pinch-ran after Joel Fisher reached on an error in the eighth ... Josh Dezse was hit by two pitches Sunday, moving his total to a team-high nine ... Patrick Porter earned his third career multi-hit game against MSU ... Ohio State was not retired in order once against Miami and all nine Buckeye starters recorded a hit ... Brad Hallberg recorded his team-high 10th multi-hit game of the season against the RedHawks.

The Buckeyes are 49 of 56 in stolen base attempts this season. They were 35 of 57 all of last season ... With one walk last Saturday, Jaron Long has now walked only four batters in 45.1 innings pitched. He has struck out 30 and posted a 2.58 ERA ... The Buckeyes are 11-0 when leading after seven innings and 10-0 when out-hitting the opponent ... Ohio State is 10-1 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 26 of 27 contests while Tim Wetzel has reached in 23 of 27 games this season ... Brad Hallberg’s nine extra-base hits in 90 at-bats this season eclipse his total of eight in 251 at-bats over his first three seasons.

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 284-241 career record and in his 10th season as a collegiate head coach.

Ohio State is 250-125 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 host Ohio Tuesday and Akron Wednesday before taking on Nebraska in a Big Ten series next weekend.