May 8, 2014
Junior left-handed pitcher Trent Szkutnik will start Friday's game (May 9) against Ohio State. First pitch is at 6 p.m. at the Wilpon Complex, home of Ray Fisher Stadium. Szkutnik is coming off a win at Northwestern, where he went seven innings and struck out five Wildcats. We asked Trent about facing Ohio State in a series for the first time in his career, the keys to the team's recent success and what it would mean to have a big crowd at home this weekend.
Q: As a junior, you've only played Ohio State once in a non-conference game in Florida. How excited are you to play a Big Ten series against the Buckeyes?
A: Seeing them on our schedule this year was huge. As a junior class, we've been talking about it. We have a glimpse of playing them in Florida and a lot of us didn't get to play. This is a huge opportunity for us and we've been preparing for games like this our whole career. I came here for two reasons; to win championships and to beat Ohio State. We're excited to compete and play them in one of the greatest rivalries in college sports.
Q: You grew up close to the border of Ohio in Temperance, Mich. Was your town mostly Michigan fans? Were there some Ohio State fans as well?
A: We were split right down the middle. We had a lot of Ohio State fans. In Michigan, you have to root for Michigan so that was a tough one.
Q: Your last couple of outings have been quality starts, including a win last week at Northwestern. What have been the keys to your solid performances in your last few starts?
A: I've really been trying to settle the game down instead of the other way around. I've had one inning recently that goes out of my control and trying to refocus after that inning to give our team a chance to win.
Q: The team has won four games in a row and six of the last seven. What have been the keys to the success in the last couple of weeks?
A: We've been playing a good brand of baseball. It's been fun to watch. We're coming up with timely hits and we're throwing strikes and pitching to contact, which has been huge for our pitching staff. We have a new lineup in and it's provided a spark to the team and we're pumped to get out there and play.
Q: What would it mean to you guys to have Ray Fisher Stadium full this weekend?
A: It's means a lot. We're talking about that, trying to do some marketing of our own on Twitter and Facebook. It's a big deal and we hope to have a good crowd. It's supposed to be beautiful all weekend and it's always fun to play in front of a packed house.
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