Shelby Lum / Lantern photographer
The Ohio State baseball team has a sheet of objectives hanging in the players’ lounge to remind them of the goals they set out to accomplish in 2012. Near the top of the list is for OSU baseball to go 10-0 in games against other Ohio teams.
Half of OSU’s 32 players went to high school in Ohio, as did coach Greg Beals. Beals said it’s necessary to win each game against in-state opponents to prove the Buckeyes are the best in the state.
“It’s defending Buckeye Nation,” Beals said when asked the significance of the goal. “Defending the t-h-e in the title: it’s The Ohio State. If we claim to be and want to be the best baseball program and the best university in the state, then we need to prove it on gamedays.”
Even for the players who are not from the state of Ohio, many believe OSU’s mission of being the best in the state begins with beating every other team from Ohio on the schedule.
“It’s big, it’s big time at the top of our goal sheet,” said junior catcher Greg Solomon, from Litchfield Park, Ariz. “We’re The Ohio State, so we have to be the best team in Ohio. Last year, we didn’t have that mindset and Miami (OH) came in and whooped our butt at home. It’s good to have that mindset that we know we’re the best and we just have to play as the best.”
OSU went 3-3 against Ohio schools in 2011 including a 12-4 home loss to the Miami (OH) RedHawks. OSU also lost an exhibition to the Columbus Clippers at Huntington Park, 4-3. OSU scheduled games against Ohio, Akron and Toledo, all of which were cancelled.
OSU is 5-0 against teams from Ohio beating Toledo, Dayton, Miami (OH), Ohio and Akron in 2012.
OSU has games remaining against Toledo again, Youngstown State, Bowling Green, Cincinnati and Xavier.
The Buckeyes said they are preparing for the two teams from Cincinnati after the Nebraska series Sunday.
“We don’t know much about this year’s Xavier and Cincinnati teams yet,” said junior second baseman Ryan Cypret, from Powell, Ohio. “We’re getting our scouting report together and I’m sure we will soon.”
OSU plays the Xavier Musketeers (15-21, 5-4 A-10) Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. and the Cincinnati Bearcats (12-23, 2-10 Big East) Wednesday at 7 p.m.