Ohio State Travels to Indiana With Big Ten Tournament Spot on the Line
Kirby Pellant

May 16, 2012

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State baseball team travels to Bloomington, Ind., for a three-game set with Indiana beginning Thursday at Sembower Field. All three games start at 3 p.m. with Friday's game streamed live on BTN.com and Saturday's finale televised live on BTN.

The Buckeyes topped Toledo, 10-1, as head coach Greg Beals earned his 300th career victory Tuesday. Ryan Cypret went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBI while Kirby Pellant and Brad Hutton recorded two hits apiece. Trace Dempsey earned the win with three scoreless innings in relief.

Game 1: RHP Jaron Long (6-2, 1.85 ERA)
          vs. LHP Joey DeNato (7-3, 2.70 ERA)
Game 2: LHP Brian King (4-4, 4.33)
          vs. LHP Kyle Hart (4-4, 3.52)
Game 3: RHP John Kuchno (8-3, 4.65)
          vs. RHP Chad Martin (2-3, 5.43)

Led by sixth-year head coach Tracy Smith, Indiana is 27-26 on the season, tied for second in the Big Ten with a 13-8 record. Sam Travis leads the Hoosiers offensively, batting .325 with 14 doubles, eight home runs, 45 RBI and 35 runs scored. Left-hander Joey DeNato is 7-3 with a 2.70 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 80.0 innings pitched.

Ohio State holds a 157-101 lead in the all-time series with Indiana.

The Buckeyes enter the weekend with a 31-22 overall record. Ohio State currently sits sixth in the Big Ten Conference with an 11-10 ledger, a game up on Minnesota and two games up on Illinois for the last Big Ten tournament spot heading into the final weekend. The Buckeyes rank fourth in on-base percentage (.373), fourth in runs scored (297) and sixth in batting average (.269). Ohio State leads the Big Ten with 255 walks and 82 stolen bases.

Individually, Josh Dezse sits seventh with a .434 on-base percentage while Brad Hallberg is tied for fifth with 14 doubles. Tim Wetzel is tied for tops in the Big Ten with 38 walks while Ryan Cypret sits fourth with 35. Kirby Pellant sits second with 29 stolen bases and Joe Ciamacco is tied for eighth with 14.

On the mound, Jaron Long ranks in several categories, including ERA (1.85, 2nd), innings pitched (92.1, t-2nd) and wins (6, t-9th) while John Kuchno is tied for first with eight wins and Josh Dezse is tied for third with seven saves. Andrew Armstrong leads the Big Ten with 30 appearances and David Fathalikhani is second with 28.

In addition, the Buckeyes rank seventh nationally in walks and Long sits 15th in walks per nine innings at 1.06.

John Kuchno tallied a career-high seven strikeouts in a personal best 7.0 innings pitched Sunday ... Brad Hallberg tallied his team-high 20th multi-hit game Sunday ... Jaron Long allowed one earned run in 7.0 innings Friday to move to 6-2 on the season ... Hallberg went 5-for-10 with a double, a triple and three runs scored against the Redhawks ... The win against Toledo  was the 300th victory in Greg Beals' coaching career ... The Buckeyes moved to 17-8 at home with the win against the Rockets.

The Buckeyes are 82 of 103 in stolen base attempts this season. They were 35 of 57 all of last season ... Jaron Long has allowed just 10 walks (two intentional) in 92.1 innings pitched this season. He has struck out 59 and allowed opponents to hit .252 while posting a 1.85 ERA ... Long has gone at least 7.0 innings and allowed two earned runs or less in 10 of his 11 starts ... The sophomore has allowed six earned runs while striking out 30 over 55.0 innings pitched over his last seven starts (0.98 ERA) ... The Buckeyes are 26-0 when leading after seven innings, 16-7 at home and 22-4 when out-hitting the opponent ... Ohio State is 18-3 when scoring six or more runs and 23-9 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 48 of 51 contests ... Brad Hallberg's 17 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 15.0 innings pitched over his last five appearances ... Kirby Pellant has reached base safely in his last 24 games ... only five of 28 inherited runners have reached base against reliever David Fathalikhani ... Andrew Armstrong sits sixth on the Ohio State career list with 86 career appearances ... the senior left-hander has not allowed an earned run over his last 11 appearances.

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 300-251 career record and is in his 10th season as a collegiate head coach.

Ohio State is 263-130 all-time at Bill Davis Stadium for a fine .670 winning percentage. Ohio State is 150-82 vs. the Big Ten Conference at home.