Penn State Baseball Adds Two to Staff

University Park, Penn. — Penn State baseball head coach Rob Cooper announced the addition of two staff members Friday, as Sean Moore joins as the team’s director of operations and player development and Dallas Burke joins as a volunteer assistant coach.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Sean Moore and Dallas Burke to Penn State,” said Cooper. “Both are extremely dedicated to the mission of Penn State athletics and our baseball program. We believe they will make a positive impact on our program, both on and off the field.”

Sean Moore

Moore, an Iowa graduate, joins the Nittany Lions in a newly-created position after most recently spending two seasons as the volunteer assistant coach for the Hawkeyes as the teams’ hitting coach.

“Sean will be instrumental in the day to day operation of the baseball program, while also assisting our coaching staff in determining the best practices to develop our players,” said Cooper. “His experience with technology, research, and the most recent training protocols will be a tremendous asset. His experience coaching and playing in the Big Ten will be invaluable.”

“I am very excited for the opportunity to help out the Penn State baseball program moving forward,” said Moore. “I believe in what Coach Cooper is trying to do and the culture he has created. The additions to the coaching staff are only going to enhance what they have already done and take this program to the top of the Big Ten where it belongs.”

During the 2018 season, Moore helped guide Iowa to its fifth-straight 30-win season, three series wins against ranked opponents and eight victories against top 25 teams. He coached four All-Big Ten selections, including three first-team selections and Iowa had a record-tying five players selected in the 2018 MLB Draft.

Iowa won 39 games in 2017 — Moore’s first season on the coaching staff — claimed the first Big Ten Tournament title in school history, and advanced to NCAA Regional play — the program’s second in three seasons. The Hawkeyes saw five players garner All-Big Ten recognition, including unanimous first-team All-Big Ten first baseman and unanimous Big Ten Player of the Year honoree Jake Adams, who hit an NCAA leading, Iowa school and Big Ten-record 29 home runs. The Hawkeyes ranked among the top three in the Big Ten in nine difference offensive categories, including leading the league in hits, RBIs, and slugging percentage, while ranking second in runs, doubles, home runs, and total bases. Individually, Iowa players led the Big Ten in runs, slugging percentage, hits, RBIs, home runs, and total bases. Four Hawkeyes were drafted in the MLB Draft.

After wrapping up his own playing career in 2015, Moore joined the coaching staff at Des Moines Area Community College as the program’s hitting and strength and conditioning coach. The Bears won 30 games during the 2016 season, where they hit .331 as a team with 78 home runs, 126 doubles, and 15 triples.

The Coralville, Iowa, native has also served as director of baseball operations at Diamond Dreams Sports Academy, where he has continued researching the biomechanical movements of each phase of the swing.

Moore’s collegiate playing career consisted of three stops. He played two seasons at DMACC, where he helped the Bears to an NJCAA World Series berth in 2011 before earning All-Region XI honors in 2012. He spent the 2013 season at Wichita State before transferring and wrapping up his career as a Hawkeye in 2015. Iowa won 41 games in his lone season and advanced to NCAA Regional play for the first time since 1990.

Moore, a certified hitting instructor, graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in leisure studies in 2015.

Dallas Burke

Burke also has an Iowa connection as he played there two years before completing his career at Missouri Southern State University. He has been a volunteer assistant at Division I schools for the past two seasons, with stops at Bowling Green (2016-17) and West Virginia (2017-18).

“Dallas is a young energetic coach who will help coach the hitters and catchers,” said Cooper. “He has a great way of connecting with players and teaching them the game of baseball. His experience playing in the Big Ten is also a plus.”

“I am very excited for the opportunity to coach at Penn State University,” said Burke. “This is a place where something extremely special can happen. Rob Cooper has put together a staff that will make the environment here for a baseball student athlete second to none. Now it is time to get to work!”

Most recently with the Mountaineers, Burke’s primary responsibilities included coaching the catchers and assisting with hitters, with one catcher earning an honorable mention for the All-Big 12 team. At Bowling Green, Burke held similar responsibilities, and his catchers threw out 51 percent of base stealers overall and 59 percent in Mid-American Conference play. Both totals ranked No. 1 in the MAC.

Burke spent the three previous seasons at Black Hawk Junior College in Moline, Illinois, as the program’s assistant coach/recruiting coordinator and camp coordinator. The team captured two-consecutive conference championships during his tenure, and he coached 19 first team all-conference players, seven all-region players, two All-Americans and nine academic All-Americans. Burke also built a strong track record of sending players to the next level at BHCC. Twelve players over his three seasons moved on to Division I programs, including both starting catchers that he worked with.

A catcher during his playing days, Burke continued his career after college at the professional level. He played one season with the Roswell Invaders of the Pecos League (Independent Professional Baseball) in New Mexico in 2013, before spending parts of 2014 with the Cologne Cardinals in Germany as a player and coach. Along with playing in Cologne, Burke worked camps at MLB Academies across Europe to help develop the game throughout the continent.

Burke began his collegiate playing career at the University of Iowa from 2008-10, where he was named a Freshman All-Big Ten selection as a catcher in 2009. He finished his collegiate career at Missouri Southern State University. In three seasons at Missouri Southern, Burke was named an All-MIAA selection twice and is ranked No. 10 in school history for career batting average and No. 12 in career fielding percentage. In 2013, he helped Missouri Southern win its first conference title in 21 years.

A native of Davenport, Iowa, Burke graduated from Missouri Southern State University with a bachelor’s degree in arts in history.

Penn State Baseball Student-Athletes Begin Summer Action

University Park, Penn. –A total of 14 Penn State baseball student-athletes are continuing to take the diamond through the summer, playing in eight different collegiate summer leagues on 11 different teams.

Half of the Nittany Lions are concentrated in two leagues, with four rising sophomores playing in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League and three playing in the prestigious Northwoods League. Heading to the Midwest in the Northwoods League are outfielder Jordan Bowersox (Winter Springs, Fla.) and right-handed pitcher Kyle Virbitsky (Media, Pa.) with the Kalamazoo Growlers in Michigan, and right-handed pitcher Eric Mock (Shillington, Pa.) will join the La Crosse Loggers in Wisconsin. Heading to the mid-Atlantic are infielder Tommy Gibson (Williamstown, N.J.) and right-handed pitcher Conor Larkin (Royersford, Pa.) with the Rockville Express in Maryland, left-handed pitcher Jeff Taylor with the Baltimore Redbirds and infielder Kris Kremer (Hershey, Pa.) with the Alexandria Aces in Virginia.

All-Big Ten Freshman pick Parker Hendershot (Tioga, N.Y.) and classmate Derek Orndorff (Mill Run, Pa.) both joined the Oneonta Outlaws of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League New York’s Mohawk Valley. Classmate Curtis Robison (Dillsburg, Pa.) is also playing in the Empire State, joining the West Hampton Aviators in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League.

Two Nittany Lions are playing in Ohio, as outfielder Mason Nadeau (Lansdale, Pa.) joined the Southern Ohio Copperheads in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League and infielder Connor Klemann (Royersford, Pa.) joined the Chillicothe Paints of the Prospect League.

Two Lions are also headed to North Carolina. Charlotte-native Bailey Dees joined the Holly Springs Salamanders in the Coastal Plains League, while Logan Goodnight (Wheeling, W.Va.) will play in Charlotte with the Carolina Vipers of the Southern Collegiate Baseball League.

Check back to GoPSUSports.com for continued updates on Penn State Baseball. Follow on Twitter at @PennStateBASE and Facebook at Penn State Baseball.

 

League

Team

Kris Kremer

Cal Ripken

Alexandria Aces

Tommy Gibson

Cal Ripken

Rockville Express

Jeff Taylor

Cal Ripken

Baltimore Redbirds

Connor Larkin

Cal Ripken

Rockville Express

Bailey Dees

Coastal Plain

Holly Springs Salamanders

Mason Nadeau

Great Lakes

Southern Ohio Copperheads

Curtis Robison

Hamptons

Westhampton Aviators

Jordan Bowersox

Northwoods

Kalamazoo Growlers

Kyle Virbitsky

Northwoods

Kalamazoo Growlers

Erick Mock

Northwoods

La Crosse Loggers

Derek Orndorff

Perfect Game

Oneonta Outlaws

Parker Hendershot

Perfect Game

Oneonta Outlaws

Connor Klemann

Prospect League

Chillicothe Paints

Logan Goodnight

Southern Collegiate

Carolina Vipers

The Weekend 10

And just like that the regular season has come to an end. With Big Ten Tournament bids on the line, teams fighting for NCAA Tournament berths, and, unfortunately, the last round of collegiate at-bats and pitches for some players in the conference, from Rutgers to Iowa, and campuses in-between, big performances were found throughout the Big Ten.

Here’s the 10 weekend performances that caught the eye of 10 Innings.

Iowa Jr. LHP Nick Allgeyer

Allgeyer’s ledger held at 5-4, but the junior southpaw twirled a gem to open Iowa’s series against Penn State. Over seven innings, Allgeyer kept the Nittany Lions from crossing home, scattering five hits in a scoreless outing. Six Penn State batters went down on strikes, to two drawing walks, as Allgeyer ran his season total to 86 punchouts in 90 innings.

Purdue Sr. RHP Tanner Andrews

The final start of Andrews career at Alexander Field was a memorable. Helping Purdue take control of a key weekend series against Michigan, the senior pitched 7.1 innings of shutout baseball on Thursday. Holding the Wolverines to six hits and two walks, Andrews used five strikeouts in 107 pitches to move to 6-4 on the year, and lower his ERA to 2.71.

Ohio State Sr. 1B Bo Coolen

Providing Greg Beals with a late-season burst, Coolen went 3-for-5 with three doubles in Ohio State’s series-opening win against Michigan State on Thursday. The Buckeye first baseman scored a run and drove in two, before picking up two more hits over the weekend’s final two games.

Iowa Soph. SS Kyle Crowl

Crowl only went collected a single and a double over five at-bats, scoring three runs against Penn State. But Hawkeye had back-to-back games where he drew four walks, and added a hit by pitch in the weekend finale to reach base 11 times. It may not be the most offensive weekend, but it was an impressive weekend of plate discipline and pitch recognition by Crowl.

Penn State Fr. RHP Bailey Dees

Making his fourth start of the season, Dees saved his best outing for last. Grabbing the ball to start Penn State’s opener at Iowa, Dees kept the Hawkeyes off of the scoreboard in his five-inning outing. The rookie allowed only three hits, issued four walks, and struck out six batters. The fine outing in Iowa City nets Dees this week’s 10 Innings’ Freshman of the Week nod.

Illinois Jr. LHP Andy Fisher

Fisher held Nebraska in check on Friday, allowing one run off six hits, in six innings of work. In his first season of action, after transferring from Eastern Illinois, Fisher closed the regular season with his sixth win in eight decisions, striking out six batters to one walk.

Minnesota Jr. RHP Reggie Meyer

Meyer has been solid atop the Gopher pitching staff all season, the lone veteran in a rotation rounded out by freshmen. Perhaps fittingly, the upperclassmen’s best game of the year was the gem that clinched the 24th Big Ten championship in Minnesota’s history. On the road at Rutgers, on Thursday, Meyer, the Big Ten and 10 Innings Pitcher of the Week, tossed an efficient eight innings, in holding the Scarlet Knights off the scoreboard. Tossing 93 pitches, and allowing only three hits, Meyer improved to 6-3 on the year, thanks to out five strikeouts against one walk.

Indiana Jr. 3B Luke Miller

The Hoosiers are hot heading to Omaha, using a six-game winning streak to cap the regular season. Helping fuel Indiana’s sweep of Maryland was an offensive outburst from junior third baseman Luke Miller. The Big Ten and 10 Innings Player of the Week, Miller recorded a multi-hit game in each of Indiana’s three wins over the Terps. The weekend started with Miller going 2-for-3 with two home runs, a walk, and four RBI on Thursday. On Friday, Miller picked up his 11th home run of the season in a 2-for-4 game, before going 3-for-4 on Saturday with an double and his sixth RBI of the weekend.

Michigan State Soph. RHP Mike Mokma

With their postseason hopes on the line, Michigan State sophomore Mike Mokma turned in a dominant outing, lifting the Spartans past Ohio State, 8-3. Moving to 2-4 on the year, Mokma logged seven innings of work, holding the Buckeyes to one run off six hits. Mokma needed just 79 pitches to toss seven innings, issuing just one walk, while punching out four Buckeye batters.

Nebraska Jr. DH Jesse Wilkening

The Huskers weren’t able to find a last-weekend miracle, falling short of qualifying for the Big Ten Tournament. It was in no part due to the performance of Jesse Wilkening. In three games in Champaign, the junior collected six hits in 12 at-bats, drawing a pair of walks in two other plate appearances, recording two doubles and a home run, en route to driving in three runs and scoring twice.

Penn State Baseball Game Against Bucknell Canceled

University Park, Penn. — Penn State baseball’s game scheduled for Tuesday against Bucknell in Medlar Field at Lubrano Park has been canceled due to forecasted rain, Penn State head coach Rob Cooper announced
Tuesday afternoon.

Fans with tickets for the Bucknell game or any other postponed game this season can redeem them at the State College Spikes box office for any other 2018 Penn State baseball game. Those planning to bring non-perishable food items to donate to Lion’s Pantry can bring them to this Friday’s game against Northwestern slated for 6:30 p.m. The 90’s Night theme has been postponed to Friday, May 4 against Michigan State.

Penn State will next play Wednesday starting at 6:30 p.m. in the home of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Coca-Cola Park, to take on Lafayette. The Lions will then play their next six at home starting with Northwestern Friday.

Tickets for the 2018 Penn State baseball season, presented by Family Clothesline, are available online at GoPSUsports.com or by calling the Medlar Field at Lubrano Park ticket office at 814-272-1711.

Check back to GoPSUSports.com for continued updates on Penn State Baseball. Follow on Twitter at @PennStateBASE and Facebook at Penn State Baseball.

Minnesota vs. Penn State to be Relocated

Minneapolis –The Gopher Baseball team’s planned return to home outdoor baseball at Siebert Field will be delayed as Minnesota’s three-game Big Ten series against Penn State scheduled for this Friday-Sunday, April 6-8 will be relocated. The Gophers staff is currently working on finalizing options, and we will provide additional details, including the new location and game times, when available.

Minnesota (18-10, 2-1 Big Ten) will now host its Big Ten home-opening series against Iowa on April 20-22.

Wednesday’s Penn State-West Virginia Game Postponed

University Park, Penn. –Due to continuing inclement weather in the area, Tuesday’s Penn State baseball game against West Virginia in Medlar Field at Lubrano Park has been postponed to a date to be determined, Penn State head coach Rob Cooper announced Tuesday morning.

Fans with tickets for the West Virginia game can redeem them at the State College Spikes box office for any other 2018 Penn State baseball game. The scheduled 90’s Night promotion has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 24 during the Bucknell game.

Penn State next hosts St. Bonaventure Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.. At every Wednesday game, fans can enjoy wings at the ballpark at the following prices: Three wings for $3, six wings for $5.50 and 12 wings for $10.

Season, flex and single-game tickets for the 2018 season, presented by Family Clothesline, are available online at GoPSUsports.com or by calling the Medlar Field at Lubrano Park ticket office at 814-272-1711.

Check back to GoPSUSports.com for continued updates on Penn State Baseball. Follow on Twitter at @PennStateBASE and Facebook at Penn State Baseball.

Penn State Contest Against Binghamton Postponed

University Park, Penn. –Due to inclement weather, Tuesday’s Penn State baseball game against Binghamton in Medlar Field at Lubrano Park has been postponed to Wednesday, April 11 at 6:30 p.m., Penn State head coach Rob Cooper announced Tuesday morning.

Fans with tickets for the Binghamton game can redeem them at the State College Spikes box office for any other 2018 Penn State baseball game.

Penn State is next scheduled to play Wednesday against Cornell at 6:30 p.m. It will be “Wing Wednesday,” so fans can enjoy wings at the ballpark at the following prices: Three wings for $3, six wings for $5.50 and 12 wings for $10.

Season, flex and single-game tickets for the 2018 season, presented by Family Clothesline, are available online at GoPSUsports.com or by calling the Medlar Field at Lubrano Park ticket office at 814-272-1711.

Check back to GoPSUSports.com for continued updates on Penn State Baseball. Follow on Twitter at @PennStateBASE and Facebook at Penn State Baseball.

Friday Penn State Action Postponed to Saturday

University Park, Penn. — Due to forecasted cold temperatures, Penn State’s baseball series opener against NJIT, originally scheduled for Friday evening at 5 p.m. on Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, has been postponed to a Saturday doubleheader starting at noon, Penn State head coach Rob Cooper announced Thursday afternoon.

Fans with tickets for the Friday NJIT game can redeem them at the State College Spikes box office for any other 2018 Penn State baseball game.

The weekend series against NJIT will now feature a doubleheader starting at noon Saturday and one game Sunday, also starting at noon.

Both games will feature 2018 schedule poster giveaways. Saturday will also include a “Luck of the Lions” prize raffle to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. On Sunday, youths ages 12 and under who wear their Little League Jersey able to receive FREE admission and then all kids can run the bases postgame.

Penn State Home Opener Postponed

University Park, Pa. — Due to forecasted cold temperatures, Penn State’s non-conference baseball game scheduled for Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. against Mount St. Mary’s on Medlar Field at Lubrano Park has been postponed, Penn State head coach Rob Cooper announced Tuesday afternoon.

The game has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 17 at 6:30 p.m.

Fans with tickets for the Mount St. Mary’s game can redeem them at the State College Spikes box office for any other 2018 Penn State baseball game.

Penn State’s home opener is now scheduled for Friday at 5 p.m. against NJIT, which will also open a three-game series against the Highlanders. Schedule posters for the 2018 season will be given away at all three games, while Saturday (1 p.m.) will feature a “Luck of the Lions” prize raffle to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The series is set to conclude Sunday starting at noon with youths ages 12 and under who wear their Little League Jersey able to receive FREE admission and then all kids can run the bases postgame.

Season, flex and single-game tickets for the 2018 season, presented by Family Clothesline, are available online at GoPSUsports.com or by calling the Medlar Field at Lubrano Park ticket office at 814-272-1711.

Week 1 Weekend Observations

The opening weekend is in the books, and it was a fair weekend for the Big Ten, as the conference went 27-16. In five opportunities, the Big Ten picked up wins over nationally-ranked programs, Indiana topped South Alabama and Rutgers wrapped up their weekend with a victory over Miami. Three teams went 3-0, Iowa, Penn State, and Purdue, while Maryland and Michigan won weekend sets, with the Buckeyes and Cornhuskers joined the Hoosiers in going 3-1.

Digging deeper, here’s the top observations from the weekend that was.

Billy Phillips provides the weekend highlight

The box score may not garner a second look, it was a scoreless inning of relief in a lopsided defeat, allowing one hit with one strikeout, but Maryland junior left-handed pitcher Billy Phillips provided the highlight in all of college baseball this weekend.

From Wilmington, Del., Phillips’ sixth inning appearance in the Terrapins’ weekend finale against Tennessee was the first career outing for Phillips, as the southpaw has missed the prior two seasons fighting, recovering and winning a battle against leukemia, dating back to his senior year of high school in 2015.

In a conference where from Ohio State left-handed pitcher Zach Farmer valiantly fought leukemia, as well as former Minnesota pitching coach Todd Oakes, we’re once again reminded of the resolve in humans and the character of the individuals who play and coach in the sport. And as we learned with Farmer and Oakes, nobody fights alone and we’re all there to support Phillips as his leukemia fades more and more into the distance.

Do not question their commitment to baseball

There’s been a noticeable increase in the level of commitment Big Ten baseball programs have seen over the last decade. The most obvious example of the uptick in commitment are the stadium renovations or completely new stadiums seen around the conference. Less noticeable signs of backing are increased salary pools for assistant coaches, more members to support staffs in the form of director of baseball operations and video coordinators, and increased recruiting budgets.

The latest sign of Big Ten programs doing everything they can to field a competitive team was on display this weekend as weather forced Illinois, Northwestern and Purdue alter their schedules.

All three teams were set to fly out of Chicago on Thursday, but each saw their flight canceled. Ultimately Illinois and Purdue had to cancel their trips to Texas. Northwestern did make it to their destination and played three of four games against Omaha, but not before every option was exhausted to ensure games were played.

Purdue ended up with three games in Georgia, Illinois saw their opening day pushed back twice, forced to settle for games against Austin Peay and South Dakota State in St. Louis on Sunday, Northwestern was considering incurring a cost of $30,000 to join Cincinnati and Miami on a charted plane to points out west.

Obviously, no team wants to bag their games on opening weekend. But it does take an administration to sign off on additional costs that come with a change of travel plans at the last second, find transportation, food and lodging for 40 people. That willingness is another testament to the importance of baseball around the Big Ten.

Hoosiers have the necessary experience

As great as a team may look on paper, you never truly know how a team will be once the season starts. Indiana returned a lot of players from their Lexington Regional team, and as reflected in the preseason conference coaches’ poll, were deserving of their near consensus preseason ranking. There will be more than a few home runs hit between Matt Lloyd, Luke Miller and Logan Sowers, already the trio have combined for five, but perhaps more important than the offensive production from the bats, or the scoreless innings Pauly Milto, Cal Krueger and Lloyd can toss on the mound, is the experience Indiana has as a club that’s been in two of the last three NCAA Tournaments and knows what is necessary to win at a high level.

Indiana finished the weekend with a solid 3-1 record, but it wasn’t a weekend full of ease for Chris Lemonis and staff.

Indiana jumped out to a 2-0 lead after their first at-bat in the season opener against Oklahoma, but ultimately lost 6-3. Indiana showed no hangover in cruising to a 5-0 victory over Kansas State on Saturday. On Sunday, IU rallied from 3-0 first-inning deficit to South Alabama in walk-off fashion, 8-4, and after Coastal Carolina grabbed a 5-3 lead with a four-spot in the fourth, answered with two runs in their at-bat in the fifth, before winning 6-5.

The ability to take a blow and respond, to stay composed in a final at-bat and throw away a poor performance will go a long way as Indiana looks to make a deep postseason run in June.

Michigan’s weekend rotation will carry the team

If you were following Michigan’s weekend series against Army you probably lost track of how many Wolverines made their Michigan debut this weekend. Between freshmen, JUCO transfers or players who have been in the program but buried due to the depth Erik Bakich has built up, it was almost a day-to-night change in the team Michigan fielded compared to the team that ended the 2017 season in the Chapel Hill Regional. But there was comfort to be found in the starting pitchers Michigan rolled out, a group that will likely carry the club in 2018 as fresh faces get accumulated and up to speed to the college game.

Using a weekend rotation of a senior followed by two sophomores, Alec Rennard, Tommy Henry and Karl Kauffman each pitched at least five innings and recorded a scoreless start. The Right-left-right trio combined to pitch 16 innings, scattering 11 hits with two walks, holding Army batters to a .189 batting average. Each pitcher was a significant factor out of the Michigan bullpen in 2017, with Rennard garnering a few starts, and now, as three of the few Wolverines who know what it takes to win in the Big Ten, as starting pitchers the rotation will go a long way in how Michigan fares this year.

The perfect script for Penn State

Penn State head coach Rob Cooper could not have asked for a better opening weekend for the Nittany Lions. In a three-game series at Elon, Penn State swept the Phoenix, opening the season 3-0 for the first time since 1980. Each victory provided Cooper and company with reasons to be optimistic in Penn State’s quest to reach the postseason for the first time since 2012.

In the opener, Justin Hagenman surrendered four hits and struck out seven batters as he takes over the of staff ace following the departure of Sal Biasi. In total, PSU pitchers racked up 15 strikeouts in the 2-1 win. Penn State’s offense lifted the team to an 8-6 win on Saturday to clinch the series, the team picked up two doubles and two home runs in their 10 hits, noteworthy as Penn State only slugged .329 last season. After missing the 2017 recovering from Tommy John surgery, Sal’s younger brother Dante made his PSU debut, keeping the game close, before closer Eric Mock recorded his second save of the weekend with a hitless, three-inning effort, helping Penn State secure the 3-2 win.

The pitching was there, more pop was on display and Penn State did not commit an error over the three games. All aspects clicked this weekend for the Nittany Lions.

A Year Two JUCO bump can help Bucks bounce back

It would be an understatement to say the 2017 season did not go as Ohio State hoped. Coming off of an appearance in the 2016 Louisville Regional, Ohio State finished 22-34 overall, 8-16 in the Big Ten to finish in 11th place. A big factor in Ohio State unable to duplicate their 2016 success was the loss of six draft pictures and a handful of other multi-year starters who graduated. Ohio State tried to fill the holes left in the lineup with JUCO transfer, but newcomers Bo Coolen, Tyler Cowles, and Noah McGowan respectively batted .230, .190, and .214 between 384 at-bats. It’s only one weekend, but the numbers put up in the first weekend may sure an their second season in Columbus may fare a bit better.

Earning Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week honors by Collegiate Baseball, McGowan batted .400 with a double, two home runs and a nation-leading 13 RBI, 12 coming with two outs. McGowan drove in 19 runs for the 2017 season. Cowles picked up four hits in 12 at-bats while Coolen added a pair of singles in five at-bats.

Ohio State will face a drastic jump in competition in the upcoming weekend, Oregon State and Utah and considerably better than UW-Milwaukee and Canisius, but the starts are encouraging for three players who struggled a year ago, a core that Ohio State has enough pieces surrounding to create a potent lineup if everything clicks.