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Ohio State baseball: Buckeyes ready for home opener vs. IPFW

After playing the first 11 games on the road, the baseball Bucks take the field at Bill Davis Stadium for the first time this season

Ohio State Athletics

Update, 11:16 a.m.: Ohio State's season opener's been canceled due to inclement weather.

After winning its truncated series with Western Kentucky, Ohio State finally gets a home game. The Buckeyes played the first 11 games of the season on the road, and come in to Tuesday's midweek matchup with Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Worth with a record of 7-4.

Because of the series with the Hilltoppers being pushed back due to the weather, Ohio State has a quick turnaround. The Buckeyes won 6-4 at WKU yesterday afternoon.

"We have the bus ride home today and we are excited to be back at Bill Davis Stadium tomorrow," head coach Greg Beals said after yesterday's game.

Taking the ball Tuesday for the first time in his collegiate career will be freshman Jacob Niggemeyer. The righty from Olentangy Liberty was one of the stars of Ohio State's fall ball season, allowing just five hits while fanning five in 13 shutout innings during the Scarlet and Gray Series, posting a 2-0 record.

Niggemeyer will have his work cut out for him in his Buckeye debut, though, as IPFW is as dangerous offensively as any team in the country. Heading into the weekend, the Mastodons, who compete in the Summit League, were first in the nation in scoring (9.2 runs per game), third in team batting average (.340) and on base percentage (.439), and fourth in slugging (.533). Eight regulars in the lineup are batting .300 or better.

Center fielder Brandon Soat has been on a tear, leading the Mastodons in nearly every appreciable offensive category. The junior is hitting .444 with five doubles, three triples, two home runs, 17 RBIs, and 15 runs scored. Soat's OPS is an astronomical 1.332, but he's not the alone in feasting on opposing pitching this season. As a team, IPFW has a .972 OPS.

The Mastodons have to score runs in bunches because their pitching staff has gotten knocked around in the early season. No starting hurler has an ERA lower than 5.79, and the team as a whole gives up over six runs per game. Given the awakening at the plate that Ohio State experienced against WKU, this could be a very high-scoring game.

First pitch Tuesday afternoon at Nick Swisher Field is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. ET.