May 24, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 6 seed Ohio State baseball team battled but fell to top-seeded and 18th-ranked Purdue, 5-4, Thursday evening at Huntington Park. With the loss, the Buckeyes (32-26) face No. 4 seed Nebraska in an elimination game at 12:05 p.m. Friday. The winner will advance to take on No. 5 seed Michigan State at 3:35 p.m.
“It was a tough loss for us tonight,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. “It was a very well-played, competitive college baseball game. The top-seeded team and the hometown team went head-to-head in a one-run ballgame. We weren’t able to come out on top but I really like where our guys are at as a team and how we played the game.”
The Buckeyes took the early lead in the top of the first against Big Ten Pitcher of the Year Joe Haase. Tim Wetzel led off with a single through the right side and a line drive single up the middle by Ryan Cypret put runners at the corners with nobody out. After a foul out by Brad Hallberg, Mike Carroll laid down a perfectly-executed safety squeeze bunt to plate Wetzel for the 1-0 advantage.
The Boilermakers answered right back with a run against Ohio State starter John Kuchno in the bottom of the frame. Eric Charles was hit by a pitch with one down, moved to third on a single by Cameron Perkins and came around to score on a sacrifice fly to right by Kevin Plawecki.
Purdue took the 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second when David Miller doubled down the right field line with one down, advanced to third on a single to center by Stephen Talbott and scored on an RBI fielder’s choice by Tyler Spillner.
The Boilermakers threatened again in the bottom of the fifth when they loaded the bases with two out on a Plawecki hit by pitch, a single to left by Angelo Cianfrocco and a walk by Ryan Bridges but Kuchno was able to get Miller to foul out to Hallberg at third base to end the threat and keep it a one-run game.
Ohio State then got to Haase with two down in the top of the sixth. Hallberg singled through the left side and came around to score on Carroll’s first-career triple and Josh Dezse followed with an RBI double to plate Carroll for the 3-2 lead.
However, Purdue answered to take the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Perkins reached on an error to lead off the inning and Plawecki hooked a Kuchno offering just inside the left field foul pole on the next pitch to give the Boilermakers the 4-3 advantage.
The Boilermakers then added what proved to be a valuable insurance tally in the bottom of the eighth when Talbott led off the inning with a single against Ohio State reliever Andrew Armstrong and scored on an RBI fielder’s choice by Perkins off David Fathalikhani to make it 5-3.
Ohio State was able to make things interesting in the ninth against Purdue closer Nick Wittgren. Carroll and Porter walked to put runners on first and second with one down. After a fly out by David Corna, Kirby Pellant singled through the left side to cut the lead to 5-4 but that would be as close as the Buckeyes would get as Wittgren struck out Aaron Gretz with runners on first and second to end the game.
Cypret went 2-for-4 while Carroll finished 1-for-2 with a walk, two RBI and two runs scored. Kuchno pitched well against the top-hitting team in the conference, scattering 10 hits while allowing three earned runs in 6.0 innings pitched as he fell to 8-4 on the season.
- Ryan Cypret tallied his 13th multi-hit game of the season and 32nd of his career.
- Brad Hallberg has recorded a career-long nine-game hitting streak.
- Josh Dezse has reached base safely in 51 of 56 games played this season.
- Mike Carroll tallied his first career triple in the sixth.