Ohio State Hosts Xavier and Cincinnati to Conclude 10-Game Homestand
Patrick Porter

April 16, 2012

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team welcomes Xavier and Cincinnati to Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium for a pair of midweek matchups. The Buckeyes will take on Xavier at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday before hosting Cincinnati at 7 p.m. Wednesday in a game that will be televised live on Big Ten Network.

The Buckeyes dropped two of three games against Nebraska over the weekend. Jaron Long earned the win Friday, tossing his second complete game in three starts, allowing two runs on eight hits while striking out five to move to 3-1 on the season. Josh Dezse went 7-for-15 on the weekend with three doubles and two RBI while Greg Solomon went 4-for-9 with a triple, a home run, five RBI and three runs scored.

Xavier, under the direction of Scott Googins, enters the week with a 15-21 overall record. Mark Elwell is batting .317 with three doubles, 15 RBI and nine runs scored while Tres Eberhardt is hitting .304 with seven doubles, 17 runs scored and five RBI. Starter Vinny Nittoli is 3-3 with a 3.83 ERA and 24 strikeouts in nine starts.

Ohio State holds a 29-18 lead in the all-time series with the Musketeers after winning, 4-1, last season in Columbus.

Cincinnati has posted a 12-23 record on the season entering play this week. Justin Glass is batting .377 with 14 doubles, two home runs, 31 runs scored and 21 RBI while Joey Bielek is hitting .364 with 12 doubles, 21 RBI and 20 runs scored. Zach Morris is 2-2 with a 3.02 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 47.2 innings pitched.

Ohio State dropped the last meeting with Cincinnati, 11-5, in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge last season but still holds a 65-22-2 lead in the all-time series.

The Buckeyes enter the week with a 21-14 overall record, tied for fifth with a 6-6 ledger in the Big Ten Conference. Ohio State ranks third in on-base percentage (.377), fourth in runs scored (211) and doubles (59), fifth in batting average (.274) and home runs (17), first in walks (168) and second in stolen bases (56).

Individually, Josh Dezse sits tied for seventh in the Big Ten with five home runs and ninth with a .442 on-base percentage while Ryan Cypret leads the Big Ten with 30 walks. Brad Hallberg is tied for third in the conference with 11 doubles. Kirby Pellant is second with 19 stolen bases while Joe Ciamacco sits eighth with 11. Tim Wetzel is tied for fourth in the Big Ten with 25 walks.

On the mound, Jaron Long sits fifth with a 2.31 ERA and seventh with 43 strikeouts. John Kuchno is tied for fifth with five wins while David Fathalikhani and Andrew Armstrong are tied for first in the Big Ten with 18 appearances.

Jaron Long tossed his second complete game in three starts, allowing two runs on eight hits while striking out five to move to 3-1 on the season Friday against Nebraska ... Josh Dezse went 7-for-15 with three doubles and two RBI in the Nebraska series while Greg Solomon went 4-for-9 with a triple, a home run, five RBI and three runs scored ... Ryan Leffel went 2-for-2 and Phil Jaskot went 1-for-1 in a pinch-hit appearance Sunday against the Cornhuskers ... Patrick Porter went 4-for-10 with a triple, four runs scored, two RBI and two walks in the Nebraska series ... Brad Hallberg produced his team-leading 13th multiple-hit game of the season with a single and a double Wednesday against the Zips ... The Buckeyes are averaging 10 runs in four Wednesday games this season.

The Buckeyes are 56 of 69 in stolen base attempts this season. They were 35 of 57 all of last season ... Jaron Long has allowed just six walks in 62.1 innings pitched this season. He has struck out 43 and allowed opponents to hits .246 while posting a 2.31 ERA ... Long has gone at least 7.0 innings in all seven of his starts and allowed two earned runs or less in six of those seven ... The sophomore has allowed three earneds run while striking out 15 over 26.0 innings pitched over his last three starts ... The Buckeyes are 17-0 when leading after seven innings and 14-1 when out-hitting the opponent ... Ohio State is 13-2 when scoring six or more runs and 17-6 when scoring first ... Junior Joe Ciamacco has nine multi-hit games this season after recording one before this season ... Josh Dezse has reached base safely in 34 of 35 contests and 17 in a row while Brad Hallberg has reached in 31 of 34 starts this season ... David Fathalikhani has not allowed an earned run or walked a batter over his last 15 appearances ... Hallberg’s 13 extra-base hits this season eclipse his total of eight in 251 at-bats over his first three seasons ... Greg Greve has allowed three earned runs in 13.0 innings pitched over his last three appearances ... Ohio State is 8-1 in night games and is batting .310 with a .418 on-base percentage ... Patrick Porter, Joe Ciamacco, Mike Carroll and Brad Hallberg are all batting over .400 in night contests.

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 290-243 career record and in his 10th season as a collegiate head coach.

Ohio State is 256-127 all-time at Bill Davis Stadium for a fine .670 winning percentage. Ohio State is 147-82 vs. the Big Ten Conference at home.

The Buckeyes travel to Champaign for a three-game set this weekend against Illinois.