Pitcher, catcher share lengthy baseball history

By Tim Bielik

Ohio State U. pitcher Alex Wimmers and catcher Dan Burkhart form one of the best batteries in the Big Ten.

But these two have a lot of experience working with one another because they grew up playing together.

Since they were 9 years old, Burkhart and Wimmers have been teammates, and they feel that their experience together has helped them get to where they are.

“It’s been a great honor to be on the same team as him,” said Wimmers, who should start Friday for the first time since a hamstring injury suffered before a loss to Michigan April 30. “It’s been a great experience growing up together,” he said. “It’s crazy to think that we’ve carried it on to Ohio State.”

Having played together, these two feel that there is a natural chemistry between them when Wimmers is on the mound and Burkhart is behind the plate.

“Me and him (Wimmers) have a good rhythm going on out at the mound,” Burkhart said. “I usually know what he likes to throw on certain counts, and it works out good that way.”

“He knows me and he knows my pitches, and he usually calls a great game,” Wimmers said. “When the game flows, it really works to our advantage.”

Burkhart and Wimmers enjoyed a great deal of success in 2009, with Burkhart being named Big Ten Player of the Year and Wimmers being named Big Ten Co-Pitcher of the Year.

“When you’re the Player of the Year in Dan Burkhart, it means that every phase of his game is solid,” coach Bob Todd said. “And of course with Alex Wimmers, he’s gone out there every Friday night and he’s pitched every big game for us, and he’s won.”

When these two played together at Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati, it took persuasion on the part of Burkhart to have the OSU coaching staff get Wimmers as well.

“Ohio State was recruiting Dan and he put a good word in for me,” Wimmers said. “And it worked out to our advantage.”

Coach Todd said that when they saw Wimmers pitch in the spring of his senior year, they liked what they saw and decided to bring him in along with Burkhart.

This season, the Buckeyes have struggled, going 27-21 on the season. They are currently in a four-way tie for fifth place at 10-11 in Big Ten play.

As OSU heads into its final Big Ten series of the 2010 season against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, these two players will work together once again Friday night.

The team will need to play well to qualify for the Big Ten Conference tournament because only the top six teams will play in the tournament.

Read more here: http://www.thelantern.com/sports/pitcher-catcher-share-lengthy-baseball-history-1.1483645
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