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Greenville Regional Preview: Ohio State Buckeyes

The Buckeyes are the #3 seed in the Regional

Brutus Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Buckeyes are the #3 seed in the Greenville Regional and enter the tournament with a 36-22 (14-10 B1G) record. They made a run to the semifinals last weekend in the Big Ten Tournament. After several years without an NCAA Tournament appearance, this is the second for the Buckeyes in three years.

The offense has been the strength for Ohio State this year, as the Buckeyes hit .287 with a .383 OBP and a .411 slugging percentage. Noah McGowan (.359/.449/.581) leads the team in nearly every statistical category offensively, including a team-high 9 home runs and 19 doubles. With only 40 team home runs this season, the Buckeyes don’t have eye-catching power. But they have another trio of strong hitters supporting McGowan in Kobie Foppe (.344/.444/.396), Dominic Canzone (.329/.399/.458), and Tyler Cowles (.327/.403/.532).

The Ohio State defense has been rough this season and the team has a .958 fielding percentage. The team’s ERA is 4.58 with teams hitting .277 against them. The big strength of the Buckeye pitching staff is senior relief pitcher Seth Kinker (1.49 ERA, 59 SO, 5 BB), who received second team All-American honors this season.

The Buckeyes have not advanced past the Regional round since 2003 when they won the Auburn Regional. But they’ll be coming into Greenville this weekend hoping to pull together a strong enough performance to change that. It’ll be a tough task for them, as they have a couple of more obvious weaknesses than the top two seeds, but they are talented enough to be a threat.