Nationally ranked and unbeaten Ohio State, 7-0 on the season and riding a wave of confidence and karma, travels to Winter Haven, Fla., this week for four single games against Rhode Island, Northeastern, Maine and Central Michigan.
The games are part of the RussMatt Baseball Central Florida Invitational and all four will be played at Chain of Lakes Field, the former spring training home of the Cleveland Indians, who have relocated their spring training to Phoenix this year.
For more information on the games, visit the RussMatt Baseball web site at www.russmattbaseball.com
Ohio State will play Rhode Island and Northeastern for the first time in baseball, at 3 p.m. Friday and 12:30 p.m. Saturday, respectively before renewing series’ with Maine at 4 p.m. Saturday and Central Michigan at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.
The team will depart Thursday afternoon via commercial airline and return home Sunday evening.
Ohio State probable weekend rotation:
Fri. vs. Rhode Island - LHP Andrew Armstrong (1-0; 3.27)
Sat. vs. Northeastern - RHP Ross Oltorik (0-0; 9.00)
Sat. vs. Maine - RHP Dean Wolosiansky (1-0; 9.90)
Sun. vs. Central Michigan - RHP Alex Wimmers (2-0; 0.77)
NEWS ON THE OPPONENTS
Rhode Island will be one “ram tough” opponent. The team is coming off the biggest win in program history: a 3-0 win at No. 8 Miami Tuesday night as Jr. Eric Smith threw eight shutout innings. The 5-2 Rams also have a win at NC State this year. Team BA is .339 and the ERA is 4.21. Four regulars are hitting over .400: Zoey Angulo is hitting .571 and is followed by Milan Adams (.500), Dan Rhault (.464) and Jeff Cammans (.429). The team has some power, too, with 10 home runs. RHP Tim Boyce (1-0 with a 6.30 ERA and 10 IP with two starts) is expected to go against the Buckeyes.
Northeastern, which lost to Ohio State, 8-3, in 1991 in the only meeting between the two schools, is off to a 4-1 start, including 6-4 and 4-3 wins over Northwestern earlier this week in Winter Haven, Fla. Huskies RF Matt Miller is CAA Rookie of the Week after going 7-14 over the week with a .650 on-base percentage. LHP Ryan Quiqley (0-0; 2.08 ERA; 4.1 IP) is the scheduled starter. Matt Miller (.526) and Mike Tamson (.450) have combined for 19 of the team's 47 hits. Northeastern is hitting .272 as a team with a team ERA of 2.80. The staff has 49 strikeouts and only 17 walks in 45.0 IP.
Maine and Ohio State have also met just once: an 8-7 Black Bear win last year in West Palm Beach. Maine is 3-4 heading into two games against Fairfield before the Ohio State game. The Black Bears have not indicated a starter against Ohio State, but the staff has a 5.82 ERA. Myckie Lugbauer (.448 with 10 RBI) and Danny Menendez (.409 and 5-6 in SBs) lead the team's offense.
Central Michigan, which owns a 3-2 series edge over Ohio State, is 3-4 this season and owns a win over nationally-ranked Wichita State already. Matt Faiman, Scott PHillion and Casey Ingle are all hitting better than .400 to lead the Chippewas. CMU has also not declared a starter for the Ohio State game.
CLIMBING IN THE RANKINGS
On the strength of its 7-0 start, Ohio State is ranked in two of the four major polls with the highest ranking No. 25 by Collegiate Baseball. Ohio State is also ranked No. 27 this week by PingBaseball.
FOLLOW THE ACTION via LIVE STATS
Track the action through Live Stats, available on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Click on the Live Stats link on the main home page in the upper right hand corner or through the baseball schedule page to access.
Full weekend release courtesy Ohiostatebuckeyes.com