Columbus, Ohio — The Ohio State baseball team released its 2018 schedule Tuesday. The Buckeyes will play 26 home games at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium, while 13 contests are against 2017 NCAA Tournament teams.
“Once again we have put together a demanding schedule to accomplish two main objectives: prepare us to play for a Big Ten championship and drive our RPI into a position to qualify for the NCAA tournament,” head coach Greg Beals said. “I believe this schedule and this team has the ability to earn an at-large bid. We are excited to continue our development throughout the fall and winter. We will be ready to compete and make a championship run in 2018.”
Ohio State opens the 2018 season Feb. 16-18 at the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla., with contests against UW-Milwaukee and Canisius. The Buckeyes will then travel west for the second year in a row to Surprise, Ariz., for the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge to face Utah and Oregon State. Last season, the Buckeyes posted a 6-1 upset over the Beavers, who finished the year with a 56-6 overall record. The Buckeyes start the month of March at the Cox Diamond Invitational in Pensacola, Fla., with games against Nicholls, Southern Miss and Virginia Tech March 2-4. The squad will then spend spring break on the coast of the Carolinas for six non-conference games. Ohio State will play four games March 9-11 at the Coastal Carolina Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C., with two games against High Point and two contests against the Chanticleers, the 2016 national champions. The team will then travel up the coast for a two-game road series at UNC-Wilmington March 13-14.
The Buckeyes open the 22nd season at Bill Davis Stadium with a 12-game homestand. The 2018 home opener is set for March 16 as the Scarlet and Gray host a three-game, non-conference series against Cal-State Northridge in Columbus. After a midweek game vs. Eastern Michigan March 21, Ohio State welcomes Georgetown for a three-game set March 23-25. Toledo makes a trip to campus March 28 before the Buckeyes open up Big Ten play against Nebraska March 30-April 1. The team wraps up the homestand with an in-state battle vs. Kent State April 4. Ohio State hits the road to Iowa City, Iowa, April 6-8. After a home game vs. Ohio April 10, the team continues its road conference slate at Penn State April 13-15.
Ohio State will then begin an eight-game home swing, opening with Miami (Ohio) April 17 and Youngstown State April 18. The team will host back-to-back Big Ten series against Indiana April 20-22 and Minnesota April 27-29. The Buckeyes begin the month of May on the road with a matchup at Ball State May 2 and three-game series at Illinois May 4-6. Ohio State welcomes Campbell for the first time to Columbus May 8-9 before wrapping up the home schedule May 11-13 against Purdue. The Buckeyes will travel south for a final midweek game at Cincinnati May 15 and will conclude the regular season with a three-game series at Michigan State May 17-19.
The 2018 Big Ten Tournament is back at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., May 23-27. The Buckeyes claimed their ninth Big Ten tournament championship last time out in Omaha during the 2016 campaign. The Scarlet and Gray return 23 letterwinners, including 11 position players and 11 pitchers that saw significant playing time in 2017. Beals and his staff welcomed 10 newcomers, including two junior college transfers and seven true freshmen this fall.
NOTES ON THE 2018 SCHEDULE
• The Buckeyes shortest trip of the early non-conference schedule is to Coastal Carolina (580 miles), while the longest trip is to Surprise, Ariz. (1,927 miles).
• The Scarlet and Gray are 113-68 (.624) at home under eight-year head coach Greg Beals.
• The Buckeyes return 12 players, including five key pitchers, which were a part of the 2016 Big Ten tournament title and NCAA Tournament team.
• CANISIUS – Finished 35-22 overall and 16-9 in MAAC play a year ago.
• OREGON STATE – Tallied a 56-6 overall record, the best mark in program history. A College World Series participant, Oregon State’s season-ending winning percentage of .903 was the NCAA’s best since Texas posted a .908 winning percentage in 1982.
• SOUTHERN MISS – Advanced to Hattiesburg Regional and finished with a 50-16 overall record.
• VIRGINIA TECH – Led by first-year head coach John Szefc, who led Maryland to three NCAA appearances and a 180-122 (.596) overall record.
• COASTAL CAROLINA – Won the 2016 NCAA College World Series. The Buckeyes went 1-1 against the Chanticleers during the 2016 campaign in Conway, S.C. Coastal has played in eight NCAA Regionals and three NCAA Super Regionals over the past 10 years.
• CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE – Will be making its first trip to Columbus in program history.
• NEBRASKA – Posted 35 wins and made its third NCAA Regional in the last four seasons.
• IOWA – Won the Big Ten Tournament title for the first time in its history and advanced to its second NCAA Regional appearance in three seasons with a 39-22 overall record.
• OHIO – Fell to Indiana in the Lexington Regional after claiming its third MAC tournament title in school history.
• INDIANA – Advanced to the Lexington Regional with a 34-24-2 overall record.