COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team released its 2013 schedule Friday, including 27 home games at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. The Buckeyes take on seven NCAA tournament teams from last season, including nine home games against those opponents.
“We made a schedule that has a competition level that will warrant an NCAA at-large bid provided we win our share of baseball games,” head coach Greg Beals said. “Regardless of what happens in the Big Ten, if we’re able to win 38 games with this schedule, I think we’ll be in a very good situation to be an at-large team.”
Ohio State opens the season against Mercer Feb. 15 before taking on Notre Dame Feb. 16 and 2012 NCAA Super Regional team St. John’s Feb. 17 in Sarasota, Fla. The Buckeyes then travel to Port Charlotte, Fla., the following weekend for a pair of games against South Dakota St. and one each against St. Bonaventure and Mount St. Mary’s. A trip to Deland, Fla., for a game against Connecticut, Stetson and Central Michigan March 1-3 opens the second month of the season before the Buckeyes head to South Carolina March 8-12. Ohio State will play two road contests at Coastal Carolina and one at Charleston Southern along with games against Harvard and Ball State at BB&T Park.
The Buckeyes’ home slate opens March 15-17 against Bryant with Big Ten play beginning March 22-24 at reigning Big Ten regular season and tournament champion Purdue. Midweek games against Toledo March 26 and at Ohio March 27 followed by a visit from Michigan State March 29-31 end the month.
Ohio State hosts non-conference opponents Miami, West Virginia, Marshall and Akron with a trip to Cincinnati in April. The Buckeyes travel to Minnesota April 5-7 and make their first trip to Nebraska April 12-14 before wrapping up the month with home series against Illinois April 19-21 and Penn State April 26-28.
The Buckeyes host Northern Kentucky May 1 before the last Big Ten road trip at Northwestern May 3-5. Ohio State then finishes the final two weeks of the regular season with home games against Georgia Tech May 7-8, Oregon May 10-12, a single contest against Louisville May 14 and the final Big Ten regular season series against Indiana May 16-18.
“One of the things that stick out beyond all of our conference series is the six-game homestand with two games against Georgia Tech, three against Oregon and finish up with one game with Louisville,” Beals added. “That’s a national-caliber six-game stretch that will certainly test our players. The nice thing is it will all be here in Columbus.”
The 2013 Big Ten tournament is slated for May 22-26 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn., before the NCAA tournament begins May 31.
A couple notes on the 2013 schedule:
Mercer – Finished 38-21; lost in Atlantic Sun championship game to Belmont
Notre Dame – Went 31-27 in 2012 before falling in Big East tournament semifinal
St. John’s – Finished season 40-23 and ranked 15th nationally; swept Chapel Hill Regional before falling to Arizona in Super Regional
Central Michigan – Went 34-29 before losing in MAC championship
Coastal Carolina – Went 42-19 and advanced to Columbia Regional; went 2-0 against Ohio State in 2012
Ball State – Marks first time Ohio State head coach Greg Beals faces former school
Purdue – Finished 2012 with a 45-14 record before falling in Ft. Wayne Regional; won Big Ten regular season and tournament championships; ranked 23rd nationally
Michigan State – Went 37-23 last season, advancing to Palo Alto Regional
Nebraska – Finished its first season of Big Ten play with a 35-23 overall record; will mark Buckeyes’ first trip to Lincoln
Georgia Tech – Went 38-26 in 2012, winning ACC Tournament championship and advancing to Gainesville Regional
Oregon – Finished 46-19 and ranked 11th nationally; won Eugene Regional before falling to Kent State in Super Regional
Louisville – Went 41-22 en route to Big East regular season championship; advanced to Tucson Regional
Buckeyes Blank Bobcats, 3-0