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Baseball: Streaking Buckeyes Look to Continue Success in Texas

Ohio State then-junior infielder Kobie Foppe (2) connects with a pitch in the third inning of the game against Ohio University in April 10. Ohio State won 4-0. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor

A confident Ohio State baseball team will aim to continue its red-hot start this weekend.  

Ohio State (4-0) will travel to Corpus Christi, Texas, as part of the Kleberg Bank College Classic. The Buckeyes will face off against BYU (2-2) on Friday, Texas A&M Corpus Christi (2-3) on Saturday and Monday and Oral Roberts University(3-0) on Sunday.

The Buckeyes scored 17 runs this past weekend, while only allowing six runs in four games. The success of young pitchers like redshirt freshman Seth Lonsway, freshman Garrett Burhenn and freshman Bayden Root showed dominance during the team’s weekend success.

Although Ohio State has only played four games this season, junior shortstop Noah West said the game experience allowed the offense the opportunity to see the ball well and become fastball-ready.

“I feel like we’re going to carry that momentum into next week, and it’s going to be a good weekend,” West said.

Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said the weekend will be about the importance of players staying within themselves moving forward.

He said the Buckeyes need to continue preparing at an elite level and that it was crucial they continued to approach each game as they had in the past.

Beals emphasized the new message for the group moving forward.

“Better is more consistent,” Beals said.

With eight players making their collegiate debuts in the Snowbird Classic, consistency will be a crucial barometer to how the season goes. Beals said preparation is the main way to put the players in the best positions to succeed.

Unlike last weekend, the Buckeyes will be tasked with preparing for three teams instead of two. The preparation time has also drastically been reduced.

“It means there is not a lot of sleep for the coaching staff during the week,” Beals said. “Scouting reports are flying all over our office.”

BYU is coming off a 22-28 season, but has its best starting pitcher, senior Jordan Wood, returning from the previous season. Wood had a 2.66 ERA last year, and allowed three runs in the team’s opening game against Northwestern.  

Outfielder Brock Hale, who had .342 batting average in 2018, returned to the Cougars for his senior season. Hale hit .375 during opening weekend this season.

Texas A&M Corpus Christi will face off against the Buckeyes twice. The Islanders scored 33 runs in five games, while allowing 31 runs to start the season.

The Islanders are returning their two highest batting averages from last season. This past weekend, junior second baseman Itchy Burns hit .381 and senior infielder Enrique Sanchez Jr. had a .333 batting average.

Ohio State’s third opponent, Oral Roberts, brings a potent offense against the Buckeyes’ talented pitching staff. The Golden Eagles scored 35 runs in three games against Murray State.

Winning 38 games or more in each of the past four seasons, Oral Roberts comes in with a combined .350 batting average.

The Buckeyes will begin the Kleberg Bank College Classic against BYU at 3 p.m. Friday. That contest will be followed by a 7 p.m. Saturday matchup against Texas A&M Corpus Christi and a noon bout against Oral Roberts on Sunday.

On Monday, Ohio State will once again play Texas A&M Corpus Christi in a true road game at 3 p.m.  

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