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Ohio State baseball has “ramped up expectations”

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Ohio State baseball coach Greg Beals said he has “ramped up expectations” for the baseball team this season.

Beals, in his second season coaching the Buckeyes, has led Ohio State to a 15-12 record.

The team’s most recent triumph came Wednesday at Miami (Ohio), where the Buckeyes upended their in-state opponent, 9-2.

“We’re in the process of bringing in the personnel that fits the style of baseball we want to play,” Beals said on Tuesday. “I want to manage the game a little bit differently so we have to bring in the type of athletes that allow us to play that way.”

Beals, who won 243 games as the coach at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., said he had to adjust when he moved to OSU from the smaller school.

“The big adjustment is the different environments that they are,” Beals said. “At Ball State, it’s a smaller athletic department and all of the coaches’ offices are in the same building, most of them on the same floor. Here at Ohio State, our offices are each at our facility, and I get a lot more work done here without seeing as many people. At Ball State, it was a neat little community.”

Beals’ players said his coaching style varies from situation to situation. Senior left-handed pitcher Andrew Armstrong said he can be aggressive but can also be passive at times.

“It all really kind of depends,” Armstrong said. “He can get in your face if he wants, but he kind of lets us play to whatever we need to do. Some guys he needs to jump, he’ll jump. Other guys he needs to take it easy on, he does. Just for each player, he’s kind of different, but overall I’d say he’s kind of laid back.”

Senior outfielder Dave Corna agreed with Armstrong, saying that Beals can be either aggressive or passive as a coach, but also said Beals is a different coach between practices and games.

“I’d say game time he’s more positive than in practice,” Corna said. “In practice we have to work on things and in games we stay positive so we can do what we have to do.”

Beals said he likes to think he’s tougher in practice so that games are easier for players.

“Practices are big for us,” Beals said. “At practice, it’s program time where we’re working on things we need to work on and game time, it’s time for guys to go out and play. If I’m going to allow them to go out and play at game day, then we have to get after it at practice so I know they’re prepared for it.”

To compete for a Big Ten championship, Beals said he needs the team, as well as himself, to keep up with the growing expectations of the program, but to also stay relaxed.

“We need to be able to stay loose and have fun and be relaxed,” Beals said. “Even though we’ve ramped up our expectations, if we have a couple of bad days, we can’t let that make us press. We need to trust ourselves. Trust the system, trust your teammates and trust the coaches.”

OSU opens a 10-game homestand with a three-game weekend series against Minnesota. First pitch for the series opener Friday is set for 6:35 p.m. at Bill Davis Stadium.

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