After a 1-2 start, Ohio State returns to Florida for four games. Looking to right the ship, the Buckeyes will encounter easier competition with two games each against South Dakota State and Mount St. Mary's. South Dakota State enters the weekend 2-0 after a pair of victories against NAIA Waldorf College. Mount St. Mary's is 2-1 after opening the season with a series victory at Iona.
A member of the Northeast Conference, Mount St. Mary's went 14-40 in 2012, finishing with an RPI of 285. The Summit League's South Dakota State finished with an RPI of 276 after a 18-33 campaign.
In Port Charlotte, Ohio State will hope the bats come alive. The Buckeyes carried .233 average through 99 at-bats in the season's opening weekend. Through three games Ohio State pitchers have a 5.14 ERA, the bulk of the damage coming in a 13-3 loss to Notre Dame.
After a 3-for-3 game in the season-opening 6-5 loss to Mercer, sophomore outfielder Patrick Porter leads the Buckeyes with a .400 average and one home run. Classmate catcher Aaron Gretz has a .375 while senior Greg Solomon and junior Mike Carroll are each batting .333.
Ohio State received a strong pitching performance from senior right-handed pitcher Brad Goldberg against St. John's. As Ohio State avoided a winless weekend, Goldberg pitched seven scoreless-innings while allowing just two hits, striking out seven. Goldberg was named the Big Ten's Pitcher of the Week for his effort in the 3-1 win. Ohio State ace Jaron Long surrendered two runs while scattering six hits over 5.2 innings in a no-decision against Mercer.
The weekend probables for Ohio State are as followed:
Fri. 4 PM: RHP Jaron Long (0-0, 3.18) vs. South Dakota State RHP Layne Somsen (0-0, 0.00)
Sat. 2:30 PM: LHP Brian King (0-1, 9.00) vs. South Dakota State RHP Kolton Emery (-)
Sat. 7 PM: RHP Brad Goldberg (1-0, 0.00) vs. Mount St. Mary's RHP Thomas Williams (1-0, 1.80)
Sun. 1 PM: RHP Jake Post (0-0, 27.00) vs. Mount St. Mary's LHP Jordan Lawson (0-0, 0.00)