Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ohio State vs. N'western Weekend Hype

Ohio State Buckeyes
(20-16, 8-7 Big Ten)
Northwestern Wildcats
(14-17; 8-8 Big Ten)

Weekend Schedule:
Friday: 4 p.m., ET
Saturday (DH): 1 p.m., ET
Sunday: 2 p.m., ET

Following the Team:
As usual, the audio broadcast for all four games will be available for a fee at AM 920 WMNI will have games one, two and four. The Big Ten Network has both games of the Saturday doubleheader, which begins at 1 p.m., ET. also will offer live stats.

Probable Starters from
G1: RHP Jake Hale (4-1, 5.06 ERA) vs. LHP Joe Muraski (4-3, 5.14 ERA)
G2: LHP Dan DeLucia (1-2, 5.28) vs. RHP Bo Schultz (3-5, 7.34 ERA)
G3: RHP Dean Wolosiansky (5-2, 3.09) vs. LHP Eric Jokisch (4-2, 4.72 ERA)
G4: LHP J.B. Shuck (4-2, 2.86) vs. LHP David Jensen ( 1-3, 10.05)

Ohio State vs. Northwestern
The Ohio State vs. Northwestern rivalry dates to 1913 and includes 120 games. Ohio State leads the all-time series, 80-40. Coach Bob Todd’s Buckeyes are 28-12 all-time vs. Northwestern. Ohio State has won four straight against Northwestern and eight of the last nine. Ohio State has won the last two series - played in 2004 and 2005 - by 3-1 counts. The teams have met just twice in the last two years. The Buckeyes claimed a 9-0 decision over the second-seeded Wildcats in the 2006 Big Ten Tournament and then won a “non-conference” game last year 11-6 in Bradenton.

Team Comparison
• The Buckeyes are in fourth place in the Big Ten at 8-7 and only one-half game up on Northwestern and Penn State (both are 8-8).
• Northwestern is on a roll with nine wins in its last 12 games, including a 7-3 record in its last 10 Big Ten games after last weekend’s 3-1 series win vs. Iowa.
• The Buckeyes have lost four of their last five Big Ten games.
• The two teams are hitting an identical .292 in Big Ten play.
• Ohio State has posted a team ERA of 3.85 in Big Ten games (second in the league) and Northwestern is 6th with a 5.88 ERA.
• The Buckeyes play three of their final four Big Ten series on the road (at Northwestern; at Michigan; home vs. Illinois and at Iowa) so making the Big Ten tournament is going to require the team to be road warriors.
• Northwestern’s schedule is also tough: it travels to Illinois next week, hosts Indiana and closes the season at Michigan.

More from the Ohio State game notes
The Buckeyes will be looking to put the brakes on a skid that has them just 2-6 in their past eight games and 1-4 in the last five Big Ten games. Ohio State is third among Big Ten teams with an overall batting average of .321 and it is third in team ERA at 4.44. The team is 15-1 when it has a lead after eight innings. Six everyday players are hitting at least .300 and six have at least 15 RBI. The staff is limiting opponents to a .261 overall batting average. Four pitchers with at least 20.0 innings have ERAs under 4.00.

Big Ten Standings

Games This Weekend in the Big Ten:
Ohio State (8-7) at Northwestern (8-8); Michigan (15-1) at Indiana (4-12); Penn State (8-8) at Illinois (9-7); Minnesota (6-10) at Purdue (12-4); Iowa (5-11) at Michigan State (4-11).

1 comment:

rockybuckeye said...

Get your brooms out. We're taking all 4.