"For, lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; The time of the singing of birds is come, And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land."
With those words, legendary Detroit Tigers radio broadcaster Ernie Harwell would open every season to signify a changing in the guard of the seasons.
Ohio State will take the field to play against South Florida, Seton Hall and Connecticut in Florida this weekend. The Buckeyes will have plenty of work ahead of them this season with a relatively low number of returning players and lots to prove back in Columbus.
The Buckeyes batted .280 as a team last season, which would be a rather impressive figure for any Major League Baseball team. But in college baseball, offense tends to be the more dominant aspect of the game. The team's average had not been that low in 25 seasons, and it marked the first time in eight years that Ohio State had finished the season with a batting average lower than .300.
The Buckeyes also finished a game below .500, which is pretty much the benchmark of decency for any time. Ohio State is used to excellence in just about every sport, so the Buckeyes have high expectations for the 2012 campaign.
As with most teams north of the Ohio river, the Buckeyes will travel south for the first four series this year. After their three opening games in Florida, Ohio State will face Georgia Tech on the road before heading back to the Sunshine State for a second time.
Ohio State will play Michigan once this season, but that game is a part of the Snowbird Classic and will not count as a Big Ten game. The Buckeyes will host Purdue, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern in conference play and will visit Indiana, Penn State, Illinois and Michigan State.
The 2012 campaign should be an interesting one for the Buckeyes. It all starts on Friday at 10 a.m., where they will try to set a tone for the season by improving their batting figures.
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