TWO NIGHTS beforethe Big Ten baseball tournament Ohio State senior outfielder Jacob Howell wrotein an online journal that he was dedicating the rest of the season to hissister. Hannah, 21, recovering from surgery for a brain aneurysm, returned thelove: One of her first postsurgery questions was if she could go to Michiganfor the tournament. Hannah made the trip, and not only did she inspire Jacob tolead an Ohio State upset (the sixth-seeded Buckeyes won as Howell went 12 for21), she was also part of an amazing numerological coincidence. Consider:
•Jacob's uniform number is 11.
•He had the game-winning hit in the semis against Minnesota in the 11thinning.
•His hit came at exactly 11:11 p.m.
•Hannah had her operation on May 11 and was released 11 days later.
"It's prettycool," said Hannah, who was greeted with a standing ovation by OSU fans atthe field. "I guess you could say I have a new lucky number."
COURTESY OF STEVE HOWELL (HOWELLS)