Friday, April 24, 2009

The Lantern: OSU looks to gain 30th win of season

Alex Kopilow
Issue date: 4/24/09

The Ohio State baseball team will play the Northwestern Wildcats in a weekend series with hopes of bouncing back from a miserable performance against Ball State Wednesday.

The Buckeyes have a 29-9 overall record and are first place in the Big Ten (9-3). They have won their last six Big Ten games, two three-game sweeps against Michigan State and Purdue, in consecutive weekends.

The Buckeyes have not lost a weekend game at home.

The Northwestern Wildcats are in last place in the Big Ten (2-8). They have lost eight of their last 10 games, earning an overall record of 11-24.

OSU had its worst loss of the season Wednesday against the Ball State Cardinals. The Buckeye bullpen allowed 20 runs in four innings in the 20-8 loss. Twelve of the Cardinals' 16 hits were for extra bases. The Buckeyes have lost consecutive mid-week non-conference games.

"The most important thing for us is to be competitive in the league," coach Bob Todd said. "We're in first place and that's how we have to approach it."

In Wednesday's loss, the Buckeyes had 15 hits but were unable to capitalize on many run-scoring opportunities.

Cardinal center fielder Jeremy Hazelbaker saved a run in the second inning when he made a leaping catch at the wall to take away what would have been a home run for Michael Arp.

"I thought to myself, 'Where's the karma?' " Todd said.

But there is still a light at the end of the tunnel for OSU.

Northwestern ranks last in five out of the six major hitting categories in the Big Ten. The Wildcats are last in the Big Ten in batting average, on base percentage, runs scored, hits and runs batted in.

The Buckeyes split last year's series in Evanston, Ill. Pitchers Jake Hale and Dean Wolosiansky earned wins in the series.

Friday's game will start at 6:35 p.m., with the Saturday and Sunday games beginning at 1:05 p.m.

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