The Ohio State baseball team looks to continue its recent trend of jumping out to early leads Wednesday against Xavier.
“[We have] got to come out ready to play the first couple of innings and try to bury them,” said Cory Rupert, a utility infielder who has been splitting time at third base.
Seven hits from Rupert in three games against Northwestern over the weekend helped the Buckeyes score first in each game and open the Big Ten season with a 2-1 record.
Rupert has been able to stay in the starting lineup over the last four games due in large part to his hot bat.
“I’ve felt really comfortable at the plate lately. I’ve been working hard in the cages during the week getting extra hitting in and when I’m up at the plate I have the confidence right now,” he said.
Rupert and the Buckeyes, who totaled 24 runs in the Northwestern series, hope the bats continue to sizzle when the Musketeers come to town.
Xavier brings a 7-21 record to the first night game of the season at Bill Davis Stadium. The Buckeyes lead the all-time series with their in-state rivals 27-8.
Still, coach Bob Todd insists that “Xavier’s got a good ball club … and this should be a real good challenge for us.”
Todd said that despite the potential challenge, the Buckeyes will not do anything to disrupt their Big Ten schedule and affect a player’s ability for this weekend’s series with Indiana.
Big Ten game or not, Rupert hopes to help his team to an early lead once again.
“If I’m in the lineup, I’ll go out there and play hard,” Rupert said. “But if I’m not, I’ll be in the dugout supporting my teammates.”
The first pitch is tonight at 6:35 p.m. at Bill Davis Stadium.