J.B. Shuck struck out a career-high 13 batters in 8.0 innings while Tony Kennedy and Zach Hurley each drove in runs to fuel Ohio State to a 2-0 victory in the series finale vs. Penn State (box score). The Buckeyes won the bookends of the series, also winning 15-0 in the opener Friday before the Nittany Lions responded to sweep the Saturday doubleheader. The win was the 200th in the 12-year history of Bill Davis Stadium (200-88, .694).
Shuck, who participated in a B9 Q&A this week, allowed four hits, but walked five of the 31 batters he faced to improve to 4-1 on the season. The Ohio State junior equaled his win total from last season when he finished 4-4. He was 8-5 as a freshman. Eric Best came on for Shuck and retired all three batters he faced to earn his second save of the season.
With the way the bullpen has been at times this season, it was great to see Shuck stay in the game so long. But with the way he was pitching, he deserved the benefit of the doubt. His last two strikeouts came in the seventh inning and then after he allowed a lead-off single in the eighth, he got a fly out and double play to end the threat.
Ohio State struck first in this classic pitchers' duel with a run in the fifth. Tony Kennedy turned a lead-off walk by Dan Burkhart into a 1-0 lead. Burkhart went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Engle and went to third on a ground out by Ryan Dew. Zach Hurley tripled in the second run in the sixth inning. Cory Rupert reached on a two-out throwing error by PSU shortstop Lou Picconi so the run was unearned.
Ryan Stobart pitched a complete game for the Nittany Lions allowing both runs on six hits. He struck out five and walked three. Penn State fell to 7-14 overall and 2-2 in the Big Ten.
Click here for the Penn State recap and here for The-Ozone.net recap.
Ohio State is 12-8 overall and 2-2 in conference play and will welcome Toledo Wednesday for a 6:35 p.m. first pitch. It is 'Wing-Man' Wednesday and all box seats are buy one get one free. Minnesota visits Bill Davis Stadium next weekend. Hopefully the crowds will start to show up.