No. 6 Seed Ohio State Opens Big Ten Tournament Wednesday Against No. 3 Seed Penn State
Jaron Long

May 22, 2012

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team enters the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 6 seed against No. 3 seed Penn State at 3:35 p.m. Wednesday at Huntington Park in Columbus. If the Buckeyes win, they will take on No. 1 seed Purdue at 7:05 p.m. Thursday. If Ohio State loses, it will take on the loser of No. 4 seed Nebraska/No. 5 Michigan State at 12:05 p.m. Thursday.

All Big Ten Tournament games will be televised live on BTN.

This is the third time the Big Ten Tournament will be contested at Huntington Park, after initially being held there in 2009. That 2009 tournament, won by Indiana, represented the first time since 1994 the Big Ten tournament was played at a neutral park and hosted by neutral parties - the Columbus Sports Commission and the Columbus Clippers, in addition to the Big Ten Conference. The tournament remained in Columbus in 2010 at Bill Davis Stadium before returning to Huntington Park in 2011.

Single-game tickets are $10 each for adults and $7 each for youth and senior citizens. Single-game VIP tickets, which are seated behind home plate and grant access to the Tansky Club Area, are $15 each. All-Tournament passes to the event’s 11 games cost $100 each. Tickets are available at the Huntington Park box office,, and

Ohio State has been one of the most successful teams in Big Ten Tournament play. The Buckeyes have won eight tournament titles - 1991-94-95-97 and 2002-03-05-07 - to rank second to Minnesota’s nine. Ohio State also ranks second in Big Ten Tournament wins (50), winning percentage (.589; 50-35) and most tournaments (25). When Ohio State failed to qualify for the 2010 Big Ten Tournament, it snapped a Big Ten record streak of 13 consecutive tournaments for the Buckeyes.

Ohio State leads the all-time series with No. 1 Purdue, 138-59-1. Last tourney game: 2-1 OSU, 2006.
- Ohio State holds a 157-104 lead in the all-time series with No. 2 Indiana. Last tourney game: 13-3 IU, 2009.
- Ohio State leads the series with No. 3 Penn State, 56-34. Last tourney game: 10-3 OSU, 2007.
- Ohio State trails the all-time series with No. 4 Nebraska by a narrow 2-3 margin. Last tourney game: never met.
- Ohio State is 134-86-1 vs. No. 5 Michigan State. Last tourney game: 8-3 OSU, 2004.

Complete stats for all the 2012 series against Big Ten Tournament teams are included within this release.

RHP Jaron Long (6-2, 2.29 ERA)
LHP Joe Kurrasch (4-2, 1.98 ERA)

Long and Kurrasch squared off April 27 in University Park, a 4-1 Ohio State win. Long allowed one earned run, scattering six hits over 8.0 innings to pick up the win while Kurrasch also pitched well, allowing two hits and one unearned run over 6.2 innings pitched in a no-decision.

Under the direction of eighth-year head coach Robbie Wine, Penn State finished the regular season with a 29-25 overall record, 15-9 in Big Ten play. Jordan Steranka is fifth in the Big Ten with a .362 batting average and is tied for second with teammate Sean Deegan in home runs with 11. On the mound, Joe Kurrasch is second in the Big Ten with a 1.98 ERA and has struck out 72 batters in 81.2 innings pitched.

Ohio State holds a 56-34 advantage in the alltime series but the Nittany Lions took two of three games earlier this season in University Park.

The Buckeyes finished the regular season with a 31-25 overall record, 11-13 in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes rank fourth in on-base percentage (.372) and sixth in runs scored (307), batting average (.269) and doubles (83). Ohio State leads the Big Ten with 264 walks and 84 stolen bases.

Individually, Josh Dezse sits 10th with a .419 on-base percentage while Brad Hallberg is tied for fifth with 15 doubles. Tim Wetzel is second in the Big Ten with 40 walks while Ryan Cypret sits fifth with 36. walks and ninth with 45 runs scored Kirby Pellant sits second with 30 stolen bases and Joe Ciamacco is tied for ninth with 14.

On the mound, Jaron Long ranks in several categories, including ERA (2.29, 3rd) and innings pitched (98.1, 2nd) while John Kuchno is tied for second with eight wins and Josh Dezse is tied for third with seven saves. Andrew Armstrong leads the Big Ten with 32 appearances and David Fathalikhani is second with 29.

In addition, the Buckeyes rank sixth nationally in walks and fifth in double plays turned while Long sits 13th in walks per nine innings at 1.1.

Brad Hallberg went 5-for-12 with two runs scored, two RBI, a double and a home run in the series against Indiana … Tim Wetzel also finished the series 5-for-12 with a double, a run scored and two RBI ... John Kuchno allowed one earned run while striking out four over 6.0 innings pitched in a no-decision Saturday ... Tim Wetzel started his 100th career game Saturday ... 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 84 of 109 in stolen base attempts this season. They were 35 of 57 all of last season ... Jaron Long has allowed just 12 walks (two intentional) in 98.1 innings pitched this season. He has struck out 61 and allowed opponents to hit .264 while posting a 2.29 ERA ... Long has gone at least 7.0 innings and allowed two earned runs or less in 11 of his 12 starts ... The Buckeyes are 26-1 when leading after seven innings, 16-7 at home and 22-5 when out-hitting the opponent ... Ohio State is 18-4 when scoring six or more runs and 23-11 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 49 of 54 contests ... Brad Hallberg’s 19 extra-base hits this season eclipse his total of eight in 251 at-bats over his first three seasons ... Kirby Pellant has reached base safely in 26 of his last 27 games ... only six of 29 inherited runners have reached base against reliever David Fathalikhani ... Andrew Armstrong sits fourth on the Ohio State career list with 88 career appearances ... the 32 appearances this season tie him for sixth on the OSU single-season list ... the 30 stolen bases for Pellant put him fifth on the OSU single-season list.

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 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 301-254 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.