The Ohio State baseball program was well-represented Thursday night at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha at the Omaha College Baseball Hall of Fame 2014 induction and the TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby. Buckeye legend Steve Arlin, a member of Ohio State’s 1965 and 1966 baseball teams, was inducted into the second class in the Omaha College Baseball Hall of Fame while Ratcliff, a rising junior at Ohio State, finished fourth in the TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby.
Arlin Inducted Into Omaha College Baseball Hall of Famer
Arlin was joined by Dustin Ackley (North Carolina), Will Clark (Mississippi State) and Mark Kotsay (Cal State Fullerton) in the 2014 class, the second in the history of the Omaha College Baseball Hall of Fame. He was recognized in front of the fans during the Home Run Derby and was featured during ESPN’s telecast of the event.
“The Omaha College Baseball Hall of Fame is great and this is a really special honor to me because I played here almost a half-century ago,” Arlin said. “It’s an honor to represent The Ohio State University and the Big Ten Conference.”
Ohio State’s first two-time All-American, Arlin posted a 24-3 record in his two years with the Buckeyes. A two-time member of the College World Series All-Tournament team, Arlin fanned 57 hitters while tallying a 0.96 earned-run average in 47.0 innings in his College World Series career. In the 1965 College World Series, Arlin set two College World Series records against Washington State by striking out 20 batters in 15.0 innings pitched. In 1966, Arlin posted an 11-1 overall record, earning College World Series MVP honors while leading the Buckeyes to the national championship. The right-hander pitched in five of the six days of the 1966 College World Series, striking out 12 while allowing just two hits in a 1-0 shutout of top-ranked Southern California to make the championship game, where he tossed a perfect ninth inning to close out the Buckeyes’ 8-2 victory over Oklahoma State.
“We were underdogs my first season and my second year we had to go up against a fine Southern California team,” Arlin added. “However, we had 1965 on our side and the conference from that trip to the College World Series. When you have confidence and trust in the fundamentals, you can accomplish anything. Our goal throughout that 1966 season was to win the Big Ten. We accomplished that and the next thing we knew, we had won a few more games and were on a plane to Omaha. The reception when we got off the plane back then was really special and it is very special to me again today.”
Arlin was elected to the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008, the same year his jersey – No. 22 – was retired at Ohio State. Arlin, who was selected 13th overall by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1966 Major League Baseball Draft, went on to play six seasons in the big leagues between the San Diego Padres and Cleveland Indians organizations.
Ratcliff Finishes Fourth in Home Run Derby
After a morning batting practice session, ESPN interviews and a TD Ameritrade picnic autograph session, Ratcliff finished fourth in the TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby at TD Ameritrade Park. The first Big Ten player to compete in the event, Ratcliff finished behind champion Tres Barrera of Texas, Barrera’s high school teammate, Eric Gutierrez, of Texas Tech and Matt Dacey of Richmond. Ratcliff went deep five times in his opening round before putting together a four-point output, including a 462-foot bomb to left, in his second round.
“This was an incredible event that I’m honored to be a part of,” Ratcliff said. “It is something that I’ll never forget and there was a great showing by the players. I’m happy to make it to the last four. I would’ve liked to have won but this was an unbelievable experience.”
As a sophomore at Ohio State in 2014, Ratcliff hit .232 with two doubles, two home runs, 15 RBI and 11 runs scored in 25 starts. Playing for the Kenosha Kingfish of the Northwoods League this summer, Ratcliff is hitting .274 with six doubles and seven long balls to go along with 21 RBI and 18 runs scored. The Blacklick, Ohio, native is tied for second in the league in home runs.