WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Ohio State baseball team answered the bell this weekend on the road. The Buckeyes (28-14-1, 8-7 B1G) finished off the series sweep at Purdue Sunday afternoon with a 5-1 victory in the finale at Alexander Field in West Lafayette, Ind. With the win, the Scarlet and Gray elevate to seventh place in the Big Ten standings with three weekends remaining on the conference schedule.
“The bullpen did a great job and we used six guys to get through the ball game,” head coach Greg Beals said. “It speaks to the strength, depth and competitiveness out of those guys. Offensively, we had two big hits. It’s what we’ve been searching for and we got a couple today from Montgomery and Washington. We needed to win this weekend and win on the road. We secured a better spot in our conference. It also put us in a position where hopefully we can make some noise in the final month of the regular season.”
It was a rock-solid day for the Buckeye bullpen as a combined five relievers were used against the Boilermakers (7-34, 2-16 B1G). The group combined to throw seven innings, limiting the Purdue bats to one run, while scattering five hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Seth Kinker earned the win to improve to 4-1, while Tanner Schumacher received the loss to drop to 1-5.
At the dish, senior second baseman Troy Kuhn went 3-for-5 with a run scored and RBI, while junior co-captain Jalen Washington was 2-for-3 with a run scored and two RBI. The Buckeyes begin an 11-game homestand against UAB Tuesday-Wednesday at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium.
“We have the next 11 games at home and our guys love playing at Bill Davis Stadium,” Beals said. “We are looking forward to this homestand.”
For the third straight game, Purdue tallied the first run of the ball game. In the bottom of the third, Daniel Saner lifted a fly ball to center field for a sacrifice fly and give the Boilermakers the 1-0 lead.
The Buckeye bats were kept off the board until the top of the seventh. Craig Nennig launched a one-out double off the left field wooden wall vs. right-hander Brian Ghiselli to start the rally. After a hit by pitch to Washington, Troy Montgomery golfed a 3-2 pitch into the gap in left center vs. Nick Dalesandro to plate both runners and push the Buckeyes in front, 2-1. In the eighth, Ohio State scored three more runs. Ronnie Dawson doubled and Nick Sergakis singled to start the momentum. Dawson scored on a fielder’s choice by Kuhn, while Nennig and Sergakis were both driven home on a two-out, two-run single by Washington vs. right-hander Ted Snidanko.
ON THE BUMP
The Buckeyes used six different hurlers in game three. Starting right-hander pitcher Adam Niemeyer got out of a bases loaded situation in the bottom of the second when he induced two pop-ups to keep it scoreless through two. He lasted two innings and allowed no runs on one hit with no walks and a strikeout. Right-hander reliever Austin Woodby relieved Niemeyer in the bottom of the third. Woodby pitched 1.2 innings and gave up one run on three hits with two walks. Left-hander reliever Daulton Mosbarger came into the game with two down in the bottom of the fourth. He kept it a 1-0 deficit with a ground out to Sergakis. In the fifth, Mosbarger stranded a runner on second when he locked in on the mound and fired in back-to-back strikeouts. Kinker was next in the sixth inning. He tossed 1.2 scoreless frames. Left-hander Michael Horejsei registered the final out of the seventh on six pitches. He had 1.1 scoreless innings of work with a strikeout. Right-hander Kyle Michalik pitched a 1-2-3 scoreless ninth with one punch out to claim the Buckeyes’ first Big Ten sweep of 2016.
- Ohio State improves to 145-61-1 all-time vs. the Boilermakers.
- The Buckeyes have won 13 of the last 14 meetings in West Lafayette, Ind.
- The Scarlet and Gray are 8-7 in conference play following their first league series sweep of the season.
- Ohio State has won five straight games over Purdue.
- Several Buckeyes pushed their reached base streaks in game two: Dawson (20, career-high), Sergakis (14), Kuhn (12) and Gantt (7).
- Hit streaks extended: Gantt (6) and Kuhn (5).
- Kuhn and Washington both boasted their 12th multi-hit performance. It was Kuhn’s fourth three-hit game this year.
- Nennig stole his eighth bag and 19th of his OSU career. He boasted his fourth double of his senior season and 16th of his OSU career.
- Dawson claimed his 40th career double, while Sergakis tallied his 150th career hit.
- Washington threw out his B1G-best 15th runner of the season in the bottom of the fourth.
- Niemeyer made his 10th start of the year. Other appearances on the day: Kinker (23), Woodby (14), Mosbarger (9), Horejsei (21) and Michalik (11)