Buckeyes host Rockets at 2:35
2006: Ohio State 18, Toledo 5. Times have changed.
With all due respect to Toledo, this normally wouldn't be anything other than a quick prep for the conference weekend.
Unfortunately times have changed.
While the Bucks have struggled against Non-DI schools, Ivy League schools, HBCU's, and other really bad teams, Toledo has put together a quality season under Coach Cory Mee. If there was a Vegas line on the game, it would be a push in my opinion.
Ohio State is 13-7 with a RPI of 95 as of this morning.
Toledo is 13-8 with a RPI of 99 as of this morning.
In common opponents Toledo took 2 of 3 on the road against Cincinnati.
A bit hard to tell which is the supposed "premier program" in Ohio.
While the Buckeyes have struggled with pitching outside of Wimmers, Rucinski, and a recovering Best, Toledo boasts Ohio's deepest and best pitching staff (ok top 3 with Akron and Cincinnati). Yes, weekend starters Kyle Shaw, Lincoln Rassi, and Mike Hamann will not be taking to the mound for the midweek competition, the quality arms are not limited to weekend starters. (Something that has eluded Ohio State since 2006)
It appears Alex Radon will start the game for Toledo. Radon sports a 2.38 ERA on the year, appearing in six games overall which includes one start, totalling 11.1 innings, limiting the opposition to a .262 batting average. Out of the pen Matt Suschak has a 1.35 ERA in 13.1 innings, Mike Inselmann is 1-1 with a save and a 2.77 ERA, while closer Matt Zahel has three saves and a 3.38 ERA. As a whole the staff boasts an ERA of 4.01.
Offensively the Buckeyes are the better team, but Toledo isn't to be taken lightly.
Shortstop Jared Hoying is one of Ohio's top prospects and enters the game with eight home runs, 22 RBI, six stolen bases, and a .277 average. While Hoying brings the power, you might be surprised to know he is the team's leadoff hitter. Behind him a slew of solid bats are in the lineup, including Matt Delewski (.362, 0, 8), Aaron Dudley (.358, 1, 12), Jason Edwards (.340, 2, 8) and more. As a team the Rockets are hitting .301 with 20 home runs. On the bases they 25 steals in 35 attempts.
As you can see Toledo is a fairly solid ballclub.
Still this is a game Ohio State should win. The guys are back at home, they know they need to regroup and refocus to avoid from really having the season go down the drain.
No official word in the gamenotes, but I would assume Brett McKinney is the pitcher for Ohio State. While the freshman has guady strikeout numbers, too many balls are being squared up. While some might say "freshman will struggle" I don't recall JB Shuck, Cory Luebke, Jake Hale, and the like, sporting ERAs near 6 as rookies. While not having as stellar of freshman seasons as the above players Wimmers, Wolosiansky, and Armstrong had more success than McKinney has seen. Being a freshman cannot be an excuse, and consistency needs improved for McKinney.
That probably isn't a ringing endorsement on why they should win is it?
While it is again a game Ohio State should win, I mean we're Ohio State we have won 14 in a row over the Rockets, I can't help but be very nervous of the game. Given the midweek struggles of last year, we all have learned to not take Tuesday and Wednesday games for granted. Unfortunately Toledo offers more reasons to be leery. That combined with Hell Week, who knows what is in store.
With weather in the upper 60s and sunshine abound it will be great to catch a Buckeye baseball game. Will the end result be as promising as the weather? In this season, until the tide has changed for good, your guess is as good as mine.