Thursday, October 2, 2008

Buckeye Nine Q&A with Michael Arp

Being capped with the best-of-five Scarlet and Gray World Series that will start Monday, Oct. 13, fall practice is in its final stages. With little over 2 weeks left, The Buckeye Nine checked in with Senior Michael Arp to get a feel on how practice has been, ask what personal goals he might have, and how the team looks and expects to handle their 2009 season, the programs 126th.

As many know, Arp has been one of the Buckeyes most clutch players over the past two seasons. Regardless if his bat is in the starting lineup, or coming off the bench, few players can produced as often as Arp. This past season, in just 79 at-bats, Arp had 29 hits, for a stoutly .367 average, with 1 HR and 15 RBI.

It was also Arp who had the pinch-hit, game-winning 2-run double against Minnesota to capture the 2007 Big Ten Tournament title. Arps heroics helped the Buckeyes become the first 6th-seed to win the Tournament crown in Big Ten baseball history.

The Buckeye Nine thanks Arp for taking to time give us insight and a closer look at the team this fall.

-There's been rumors that the intensity has really picked up and the players feel closer this fall opposed to those past, how do you feel about that? is it an accurate statement? The intensity has definitely picked up, more so than any other four years I have been here. Everyone is busting their butt and are pushing each other to go harder. It is a very good feeling to show up to practice daily with this attitude present.

-Though Justin Miller a captain last season returns, the team loses the only three-time captain in Dan DeLucia, have you noticed any players taking a leadership role filling that void? I think with leadership, a lot of players are leading whether it's by example or vocally. This is going to be a very close knit team come season time and this team is going to have a lot of leadership.

-What goals has the team set this season, and what would be a successful year for Ohio State Baseball? Our goal as a team, like every year is to win a Big Ten Championship. We have what it takes, but we have to do what it takes to get to that goal. This team has the right attitude for the title run and I think as a team this year we are paying attention to detail and the little things which we believe will pay off with big outcomes.

-You've been pretty clutch in your playing career, most notable the pinch-hit game winning double against Minnesota to win the 2007 Big Ten Tournament title, what role do you expect to take this season, and what personal goals do you have? This year I am excited to be the older guy out there and lead and teach the younger guys. I really enjoy the fact that guys are coming to me for advice and it shows how much some of these younger guys want to learn our system. My personal goal is to make myself the best I can possibly be this offseason so that I can contribute to the team as much as possible. If everyone can have that same goal, we will end up having a great outcome.

-Last season was the beginning of the universal start date where all DI schools started their seasons on the same date. Did that have provide more of a level playing field, is it something you favor? The national start date is definitely a must. It levels the playing field more than before, but obviously the advantage will still be in the south since they never have to leave the field. It takes a little while to get used to seeing the ball outside. It was a very good decision to change that rule as most sports follow an opening day.

-Being a part of 2 teams that have made the NCAA tournament, in 2005 and 2007, do you believe this team is tournament bound, and ultimately able to make a run at Omaha? I believe this team has what it takes to get to the tournament. I think our attitude and competitiveness as a team can take us a long way. Again, we must maintain this attitude and be able to overcome obstacles the season may bring.

-What does the team do to stay loose and avoid becoming bored when going through fall practice, especially when class weren't in session? I think this team stays loose by joking around in the clubhouse some and playing some practical jokes on each other. This team is satisfied being on the field though. There is not much down time during practices.

-Is it true pound for pound for the toughest and strongest player on the team? I am not sure, everyone seems to want to think they are, but, we have some strong guys on the team and we are looking to have more extra base hits this season.


BaseballBucks33 said...

Chris, nice Q & A with Arp. I hope he has a great season. He is such a good guy and great ballplayer.

The Buckeyes will host Michigan, Iowa, Northwestern and Michigan State at Bill Davis for the (Big Ten) home schedule. The Iowa series is the last Big Ten weekend on May 14-16. Looks like a Thur-Sat series if i am looking at this right. The Michigan weekend will be May 1-3. About time the Maize and Blue has to come to Columbus.

The road series will be at Purdue, Minnesota, Penn State and Illinois. The 2009 baseball season kicks off on Feb 20 vs. Notre Dame in Florida. Hopefully next week, i will get to see a full season schedule.

As far as i know the Scarlet and Gray World Series will start Monday Oct 13 around 3 pm (i would guess). I know the Wed. Oct 15 game will be at 6:30pm.

It is bad when you have to go to other Big Ten school's baseball (web page) to find out the Buckeyes schedule for 2009.

Can't wait till next week to see some OSU baseball in the fall. I am exicted to see the JUCO kid (Stephens) and the other new freshman. I have some high hopes for the 2009 Buckeyes after what Michigan, Minny and Purdue lost.

Go Bucks!!

Chris Webb said...

I think Ryan Dew can really make or break the team with his power potential.

Figure the OF/DH role will be filled with Arp, Hurley, Dew, DeLucia.

Pretty good core to go with Kovanda and Miller,

If Dew can be a Bourquin type and develop into a legit power hitter the bats might be special again.

This should a solid team.

A few questions in relief pitching, and the defense on the left side of the IF needs improved but there should be optimism going into the year.

4 of the last 6 said...

Chris ... good analysis. Agree with all. Would add that there may be some concerns with the youth in the starting pitching ranks. Assuming Zack is gone, I think we are set with Wolo at #1; but AA and Rucinski need to step up. Anyone know the status of Popadak or Barrera?

BaseballBucks33 said...

Who is the Zack you are referring too? Have not heard about Josh B or Tom Popadak status for this fall.

Guillermo said...

I believe that Popadak is living in FL and no longer playing for the Bucks.

BaseballBucks33 said...

Baseball: Scarlet & Gray World Series Starts Monday

Game 1: Monday, Oct. 13 – 3 p.m. at Bill Davis Stadium
Game 2: Tuesday, Oct. 14 – 3 p.m. at Bill Davis Stadium
Game 3: Wednesday, Oct. 15 – 6:30 p.m. at Bill Davis Stadium

Game 1: Scarlet Jr. LHP Josh Edgin (32.0 IP) vs. Gray So. RHP Dean Wolosiansky (7-4; 4.22 ERA)
Game 2: Gray Jr. LHP Eric Best (35.2 IP; 8 Saves) vs. Scarlet So. RHP Alex Wimmers (40.0 IP; 51 SO)
Game 3: Scarlet So. LHP Andrew Armstrong (4-3; 4.42 ERA) vs. Gray So. Drew Rucincki

Anonymous said...

Nice interview with Arp. We need more players like him who know their role and how to get the job done when it counts.

cweb - I would love to see Dew come though with some production and power but I just do not see it happening based on the last two years.

Hurley has developed nicely and I think he could have a breakout year in 09