Buckeyes travel to Minnesota

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Last updated: 04/05/2013 2:18 PM
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Talkin’ Baseball: Buckeyes Look To Rebound Against Minnesota 
By Andrew Lind

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State baseball team takes the road this weekend, traveling to Minnesota for a three game set against the Golden Gophers.  

Coming off two-consecutive shutouts during the midweek games, the Buckeyes look to improve upon their best season under Head Coach Greg Beals.

The Buckeyes (18-8, 4-2 Big Ten) dropped their Big Ten home opener last weekend, as the Michigan State Spartans took two of three at Bill Davis Stadium.  However, there was no time to sulk as the Buckeyes hosted Youngstown State and Miami University for midweek contests. 

As is the usual procedure for midweek games, the Buckeyes relied on their bullpen heavily. Reliever Brett McKinney got the start against the Penguins, while Jake Post took the mound against the Redhawks. The staff impressed as nine pitchers combined to throw 18 innings in the shutout victories. The shutouts, 3-0 and 1-0 respectively, were Ohio State's 3rd and 4th of the season.

Jaron Long
Photo by Jim Davidson
Jaron Long

For the series against the Golden Gophers, Beals will once again rely upon a starting rotation that has worked for the Buckeyes all season. On Friday, Ohio State’s ace Jaron Long (4-1, 2.61 ERA) will take the mound. Long had difficulty keeping runners off the bases against the Spartans last weekend, and the Gophers offer a similar challenge.  

Even with the struggles, the right-handed junior out of Scottsdale, Ariz. was in line for a win before the bullpen gave the game away. Brad Goldberg and Brian King fill out the rotation for Ohio State this weekend. Like Long, both Goldberg and King pitched well over the weekend, but only Goldberg was victorious. 

Minnesota, like Michigan State, offers many similarities to the Buckeyes. The Gophers took two of three from Michigan and enter the weekend with a 17-12 record overall and a 2-1 in Big Ten play. 

Friday night will be a battle between the aces of each staff. Minnesota will send left-hander Tom Windle to the mound. Windle comes into the game with a team-leading four wins.  

Leading the Gophers offensively is infielder Dan Olinger. The junior out of Montana comes into the weekend leading the team with a .314 batting average and 14 runs batted in this season. They trail Indiana (6-0) and Nebraska (5-1), the surprise of the early conference season.

After sweeping the Golden Gophers last season, the Buckeyes hold a slim 85-84-2 lead in the all-time series. The Buckeyes and Gophers are tied with Michigan State for third place in the Big Ten Standings.

First pitch for the weekend contests are scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET on Friday and 2:05 p.m. ET on both Saturday and Sunday.

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