Ohio State Edges No. 24 Purdue, 5-4
March 25, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team won a back and forth battle with No. 24 Purdue, 5-4, Sunday afternoon at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. The Buckeyes improve to 12-10 with the win, 2-1 in Big Ten Conference play, while Purdue falls to 16-4, 2-1 in the conference.
“We talked before the game about what it means to compete like a Buckeye,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. “This game was not about offense or defense, it was about going out there and competing. It wasn’t the prettiest game but I was glad we were able to go out there and get the win.”
Purdue took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when Barrett Serrato took Ohio State starter Brett McKinney deep to right-center to lead off the inning.
The Buckeyes tied it in the bottom of the frame when Kirby Pellant singled with one out, stole second and third and scored on Mike Carroll’s two-out infield single.
Purdue threatened again in the top of the fifth with the bases loaded and one out but McKinney induced a pop out by Cameron Perkins and got cleanup hitter Kevin Plawecki to fly out to right to get out of the jam.
Ohio State took advantage of the missed opportunity when Tim Wetzel singled with one down, advanced to third on a single through the left side by Ryan Cypret and scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Brad Hallberg to give the Buckeyes the 2-1 lead after five.
Purdue then took the lead with a pair of runs in the top of the eighth off Ohio State reliever John Kuchno. Perkins singled to lead off the inning and scored on a triple down the right-field line by Plawecki. After a groundout by Serrato, Plawecki was then able to score the go-ahead run on a single by Angelo Cianfrocco that was chopped just over the head of Kuchno and into center field.
However, the Buckeyes answered right back to take the lead with three in the bottom of the eighth. Hallberg singled to lead off the game and Josh Dezse reached on an error to put runners on first and second and chase Purdue reliever Jack DeAno in favor of closer Nick Wittgren. David Corna then reached on a fielder’s choice on a sacrifice bunt to load the bases before Greg Solomon and Pellant each followed with RBI singles to give the Buckeyes the lead. Carroll followed by beating out a double play ball as Dezse scored to put Ohio State ahead 5-3.
Purdue was able to get a run closer in the ninth when Serrato plated Perkins with a two-out RBI single but Kuchno was able to preserve the win as he struck out Ryan Bridges to end the game.
McKinney pitched well for the fourth consecutive outing, allowing one earned run on five hits while striking out a pair over six innings. Pellant led the Buckeyes offensively, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
The Buckeyes host Eastern Michigan at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium.