Ohio State turned back Minnesota, 11-6, Friday in the opener of a four-game set at Bill Davis Stadium (box score). The Buckeyes used 13 hits and five Golden Gopher errors to earn the win before fireworks lit up the sky.
The Scarlet and Gray build a 6-2 lead through 3.0 innings. Goldy pulled within three runs, 6-3, with a run in the fourth before Ohio State added three more in the sixth to move ahead 9-3. Minnesota finally got to OSU starter Jake Hale in the seventh, touching him for three runs to again close within three, but two more Buckeye runs crossed in the eighth.
Cory Rupert was 3-for-4 to pace the Buckeyes, while J.B. Shuck and Zach Hurley each were 2-for-4. Hurley's two hits were doubles. Tony Kennedy was 0-for-5 but finished the game with a pair of RBI (fielder's choice and a ground out). Justin Miller and Ryan Dew also contributed two RBI a piece. Nine Buckeyes accounted for the 13 hits.
Minnesota had 12 hits, including 10 off Hale, who finished with just four strikeouts in his 6.1 innings. In six starts this season, the Buckeye junior is now 3-0. Eric Best pitched the final 2.2 innings, allowing just two hits with three strikeouts.
The Buckeyes have scored 26 runs and have outscored their opponents by 20 runs in the opening game of their first two Big Ten series. Ohio State defeated Penn State last Friday night 15-0 in the league opener. Minnesota recap.
Ohio State (14-8, 3-2) and Minnesota (12-12, 2-3) continue this series Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 1:05 p.m. Both games will be televised by the Big Ten Network.
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