Jody Victor: Here's some great Buckeye baseball news from osu.edu.
After 17 games on the road and four cancellations, the Ohio State baseball team returns home to host Xavier in the 2011 home opener at 6:35 p.m. tonight at Bill Davis Stadium. The Buckeyes have won their last five home openers including a 4-3 win over Toledo last season and a 9-7 victory over the Musketeers the season before.
The Buckeyes enter the week with a 7-10 record. First-year Ohio State coach Greg Beals and his staff are working with a completely overhauled roster, one that includes 15 newcomers and returned just three everyday starters from last season. So far the Buckeyes are hitting .284 as a team and slugging at a .377 clip – percentages that both rank fifth in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes have scored 94 runs, good for fifth in the conference while recording a .368 on-base percentage, the fourth-best in the Big Ten. The pitching staff is sporting a 5.47 team ERA and has limited opponents to a batting average of .277.
Xavier, under the direction of sixth-year head coach Scott Googins, is 16-9 this season, including a pair of wins at nationally-ranked Louisville and a series win against Atlantic-10 foe Temple. Ben Thomas leads the Musketeers with a .435 batting average with six doubles, seven long balls and 26 runs batted in. Left-hander Jon Richard is 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA and 21 strikeouts in six starts.
Ohio State holds a 28-8 lead in the all-time series with Xavier including a 12-7 victory last season and a 9-7 win in 2009.