May 16, 2013
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COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State baseball team opened its series against No. 21 Indiana with a 2-1 victory Thursday evening at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 34-19, 15-7 in conference play, while the Hoosiers drop to fall to 38-13, 15-7 in the Big Ten. The teams are tied atop the Big Ten heading into the final two games of the regular season.
"We saw a very well-played, intense game tonight," Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. "Every at-bat and extra base had value. We went through our gauntlet against very quality competition over the last six games and we felt prepared for this weekend. Our whole team was ready and it was good to open the series with a win."
After both starters put up zeroes through the first three frames, the Buckeyes got on the board against Indiana left-hander Joey DeNato in the bottom of the fourth. Pat Porter singled to left to lead off the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jacob Bosiokovic. DeNato was able to get Troy Kuhn to fly out to left for the second out of the inning but Zach Ratcliff followed with a line drive single up the middle to plate Porter for the 1-0 Ohio State lead.
The Hoosiers then knotted it at 1-1 after Ohio State starter Brad Goldberg had breezed through the first five frames. After getting the first out of the inning, Goldberg walked Will Nolden, allowed a single to Kyle Schwarber and Sam Travis loaded the bases. Goldberg then got Scott Donley to pop out to second for the second out of the inning but the senior right-hander walked Michael Basil to score Nolden before striking out Dustin DeMuth to end the inning.
The Buckeyes rallied in the bottom of the frame when Bosiokovic reached on an error to lead off the inning, was sacrificed over to second by Kuhn and advanced to third on a groundout by Ratcliff. Tim Wetzel then walked and stole second to put runners on second and third with two down but Greg Solomon grounded out to third as the game remained tied at 1-1 after six frames.
Goldberg gave way to Brett McKinney to start the seventh after he allowed one unearned run on four hits while striking out three over 6.0 innings. After striking out Casey Smith for the first out of the inning, McKinney allowed a double to right-center to Chad Clark. However, the senior right-hander struck out Justin Cureton before Ryan Riga came on to catch Nolden looking to end the threat and keep the game tied at 1-1.
The Buckeyes then took the lead off DeNato in the bottom of the inning. After back-to-back groundouts led off the inning, Brad Hallberg singled through the right side and Porter followed with a triple off the top of the wall in left to score Hallberg and give Ohio State the 2-1 lead.
Riga retired the first two batters of the eighth but Donley laced a single down the left-field line and Wetzel came up firing and was able to get after the Hoosier designated hitter trying to advance to second after a perfect relay throw from shortstop Kirby Pellant for the third out of the inning.
After the Buckeyes put a pair on but couldn't move anything across in the bottom of the eight, Trace Dempsey came on for the ninth and retired the first two batters he faced before allowing a single up the middle by pinch-hitter Ricky Alfonso. Pinch-runner Chris Sujka then stole second to move into scoring position but Dempsey got pinch-hitter Nick Ramos to ground out to second to end the game and give Dempsey his Big Ten-best 17th save of the season.
Ratcliff finished the day 3-for-4 with an RBI while Hallberg and Porter each tallied a pair of hits. Riga struck out a batter over 1.1 scoreless frames to improve to 3-0 on the year while DeNato suffered the loss after allowing two earned runs on nine hits over 8.0 innings pitched to fall to 7-2.
The Buckeyes and Hoosiers play the middle game of the three-game set at 6:35 p.m. Friday. The game will be televised live on BTN.
- Pat Porter recorded his team-high 17th multi-hit contest of the season.
- Zach Ratcliff notched his first-career multi-hit game Thursday against the Hoosiers.
- Brad Hallberg tallied his ninth multi-hit game of the season and 50th of his career Thursday.
- Trace Dempsey has pitched 30.0 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run and 13.0 innings without allowing an earned run in Big Ten play. He earned his Big Ten-high 17th save of the season.
- Dempsey now sits one save short of the Ohio State single-season record of 18 set by Jake Hale in 2009.
- Brett McKinney tossed. 0.2 scoreless frames and has allowed just one earned run while striking out 20 in 14.0 innings pitched over his last 11 appearances.
- Ryan Riga has surrendered one earned run while striking out 11 in 15.1 innings pitched over his last six appearances.
- Tim Wetzel made another excellent defensive play Thursday, robbing Justin Cureton of extra bases to lead off the top of the sixth with a leaping grab up against the wall in left field.