Friday, October 2, 2009

OSU Athletics Fall Ball Update: Fundamentally Sound

Coach Bob Todd likes the enthusiasm and effort his team is exhibiting

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Two weeks ago, coach Bob Todd stressed how the fall practice sessions were an opportunity to stress fundamentals and teach technique. Now nearing the midpoint of the fall sessions, the team is indeed getting its fill of both fundamental and technique work. And that is not so much out of necessity. The team, after all, returns an experienced, veteran unit with 19 seniors and juniors, and nine-of-10 every day starters from last year intact.

All that fundamental work is being increased because of a lack of pitching arms to throw intra-squad games on a daily basis. At least three Buckeyes are not throwing at all and the coaches want to be very careful with how much they utilize the rest of the staff this fall.

“We’re finding it tough to play some intra-squad games because of our pitching situation,” Todd said. “We are nursing some arms this fall. Eric Best, Andrew Armstrong and Cole Brown aren’t throwing at all and we are even going to take it easy with guys like Alex Wimmers, Dean Wolosiansky and Drew Rucincki. They threw a lot last spring and then again this summer. We are really going to take care of their arms.”

Regardless of the lack of intra-squad games, Todd is pleased with the direction fall ball has gone so far.

“I’m pleased with our practices. The players are working hard and there is a great team attitude. I really like the enthusiasm of the entire squad. We are having some upbeat practices.”

The players agreed with the coach’s assessment.

“Practices are going great,” junior pitcher Wolosiansky said. His comments were echoed by senior outfielders Zach Hurley and Michael Stephens. The three of them were enjoying a recent Sunday afternoon by taking in some of the Scarlet & Gray day action at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The women’s soccer team was in the midst of a 1-0 win over Michigan to improve their record to 8-1-1 on the season.

Although Bill Davis Stadium was next door, the players weren’t heading over to the park for some additional Sunday work. They’ve had plenty of work so far and, besides, the field hockey team was playing on North Turf Field so there was more sports for the three to watch.

And they saw another win, too. Ohio State defeated Indiana, 3-2, for its sixth win in succession to improve to 7-3-0 on the season.

Random Notes from the Diamond:

Zach Hurley and Michael Stephens both said that freshman right-hander Brett McKinney has looked good on the mound so far. Dean Wolosiansky said he thinks the first-year Buckeye is positioning himself to be a weekday starter this season.

Coach Bob Todd on Ryan Dew’s transition to first base: “Ryan played first base some as a freshman and also in high school, so the position is not foreign to him. There are things he’s got to work on and get better at…but we have four months [until the start of the season].”

Todd on Brian DeLucia’s outfield work: “Although Brian DeLucia couldn’t throw in the spring because of his injured finger, he did practice some in the outfield so he’s had some experience seeing the ball, going after it and learning about the necessary adjustments. He needs more time out there but he is coming along.”

This much is known about the Scarlet & Gray World Series schedule: Wednesday, Oct. 14will be the series game under the lights with the Diamond Club hosting their BBQ for the fans. Coaches are thinking of starting the World Series on a Friday (Oct. 9) and then continuing on the following Monday (Oct. 12) to get two days rest for the pitchers and conclude the three-game series on a Wednesday. Stay tuned.

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