Ohio State Takes Rubber Game at Northwestern, 6-2
May 6, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. – The Ohio State baseball team topped Northwestern, 6-2, in the rubber game of its three-game set Monday at Rocky Miller Park. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 32-14, 14-7 in the Big Ten, while the Wildcats fall to 20-20, 8-13 in conference play.
Northwestern took the lead with a pair of runs off Ohio State starter Jaron Long in the bottom of the second. Jack Havey and Scott Heelan each walked to start the inning and, after a fielder’s choice on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Zach Jones and a groundout by Luke Dauch put runners on second and third with two down, Nick Linne looped a two-run single to center to plate Heelan and Jones to give the Wildcats the 2-0 lead after two innings.
The Buckeyes weren’t able to put much together against Northwestern starter Zach Morton until the top of the fifth. Jacob Bosiokovic and Mike Carroll each walked to lead off the inning but Aaron Gretz bunted into a fielder’s choice as Bosiokovic was out at third and Tim Wetzel lined to first for a double play to end the inning.
Ohio State then got a run back to cut the Northwestern lead in half in the top of the sixth. Brad Hallberg was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, Joe Ciamacco followed with a walk and a groundout by Ryan Cypret moved the runners to second and third with one down. Morton uncorked a wild pitch to plate Hallberg but got Kirby Pellant to hit a sharp grounder to first for the second out of the inning and Pat Porter grounded out to short to end the threat and keep it a 2-1 Wildcat lead.
The Buckeyes threatened again against Morton in the top of the seventh when Bosiokovic doubled to right-center to lead off the inning and moved to third on a fly out to right by Carroll. However, Gretz followed with a comebacker to the mound for the second out of the inning and Morton struck out Wetzel to preserve the 2-1 lead.
After Long tossed his fifth-consecutive scoreless frame in the bottom of the seventh, the Buckeyes took the lead in the top of the eighth. Hallberg and Ciamacco recorded back-to-back singles before a failed sacrifice bunt attempt by Cypret left runners at first and second with one down. Northwestern then went to closer Kyle Ruchim to face Pellant and the senior shortstop took him deep to right to give Ohio State the 4-2 lead. Ruchim answered by striking out Porter but Bosiokovic singled, Carroll reached on an error and Gretz singled through the left side to push the Buckeye advantage to 5-2.
After allowing two earned runs on five hits while tying his career high with eight strikeouts over 7.0 innings pitched, Long gave way to Brett McKinney who struck out a batter in a scoreless bottom of the eighth.
Ohio State added another in the top of the ninth when Ciamacco reached on an error, stole second, moved to third on a single by Cypret and scored on an infield single by Pellant to extend the lead to 6-2.
David Fathalikhani then came on to toss a scoreless bottom of the ninth as Ohio State won its fourth-consecutive Big Ten series.
Pellant and Bosiokovic each tallied two hits while Long picked up the win to improve to 6-4 on the season.
The Buckeyes return home to take on Georgia Tech at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday and 6:35 p.m. Wednesday at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium.