With the softball team ending the season and unable to make the NCAA tournament, our focus shifts to the baseball team. This was the final week of regular season action before heading into the Big Ten Tournament. The Buckeyes played four games this week and all were at home. On Tuesday Cincinnati came to town and fell the host Buckeyes 11-3. Then came a three game set against Northwestern that started on Thursday. The Wildcats took the first two, with Ohio State salvaging a win in the rubber match for Senior Day. Ohio State finishes the regular season 30-26 overall and 10-14 in the Big Ten. Let’s take a look at the highlights.
5/13: Ohio State 11, Cincinnati 3
Ohio State wasted no time getting started in their Tuesday victory over Cincinnati. Nick Sergakis led off the bottom of the first with a single. After a hit-by-pitch and a groundout, a sacrifice fly by Pat Porter plated Sergakis to get the scoring started. Following a walk, Troy Montgomery then hit a 2-run double making the score 3-0. Two more walks loaded the bases for Jacob Bosiokovic who knocked in a run with a single pushing the lead to 4-0 by the end of the first. The Bearcats roared back in the second with three runs making the score 4-3. The scored remained the same until the fifth when the Buckeyes scored three with some help from a perfectly executed squeeze play by Sergakis. Ohio State never looked back in topping the Bearcats 11-3
5/15: Ohio State 3, Northwestern 6
Ohio State starter Tanner Tully was unable to get off to a good start against Northwestern on Thursday. A fielder’s choice sandwiched between two doubles gave the Wildcats a 1-0 after the top of the first. Back to back singles for Ohio State led off the bottom of the first. While attempting a double steal, an error by Northwestern third baseman Joe Hoschelt allowed Ohio State to tie the game 1-1. After failing to score on a threat in the second, the Buckeyes fell behind 2-1 after a solo home run by Jack Mitchell in the third. Northwestern tacked on two more unearned runs in the fourth making the game 4-1. The Wildcats added two more in the sixth in route to their 6-3 victory over the Buckeyes.
5/16: Ohio State 2, Northwestern 6
Once again Northwestern used the first inning to put Ohio State behind early. A sacrifice fly by Jack Mitchell scored Luke Dauch giving the Wildcats a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. The Buckeyes came right back with a lead off single by Nick Sergakis, followed by a two run home run by Ronnie Dawson that gave Ohio State a 2-1 lead after one. Unfortunately, that’s all the Bucks could muster for the game. Northwestern loaded the bases in the seventh off Buckeye reliever Jake Post. A double by Scott Heelan cleared the bases making the score 4-2 in favor of the Wildcats. Northwestern picked up two more runs in the eighth before finishing off Ohio State 6-2.
5/17: Ohio State 5, Northwestern 2
The Buckeyes refused to let their Seniors go with a loss in the rubber match of their three game set with Northwestern. Nick Sergakis led off the bottom of the first with a single and then, after a walk and a bunt, scored off a single by Troy Kuhn giving the Bucks a 1-0 lead after one. Ohio State pushed their lead to 2-0 in the third thanks to a throwing error by catcher Jake Straub that allowed Kuhn to score. Another error in the fourth by the Wildcats allowed Craig Nennig to reach base. Tim wetzel then followed up with a two run home run making the score 4-0 after four. Northwestern was able to get on the board in the eighth with two runs but it wasn’t enough as Ohio State knocked off Northwestern 5-2 on Senior Day
Ohio State earned the 7th seed in the Big Ten tournament after the win on Sunday. They will now travel to Omaha to face the 2-seed Nebraska Cornhuskers on Wednesday. If they win, they will face the winner of the 3-seed Illinois/6-seed Michigan State game on Thursday. Should they lose they will play the loser of that same game on Thursday. The other matchups include: 1-seed Indiana vs. 8-seed Iowa and 4-seed Minnesota vs. 5-seed Michigan. Check back next week to see how the tournament and the Buckeyes shake out.