Monday, April 20, 2009

The Lantern: Buckeyes Sweep Boilers

Nathan Schlabach
Issue date: 4/20/09

A combination of good pitching and big offensive innings helped propel the Ohio State baseball team to sweep Purdue this weekend.

"I was very proud of our team," coach Bob Todd said. "I thought we reacted very well and it just showed a great deal of mental toughness."

In the first game on Saturday, OSU (29-8, 9-3 Big Ten) rallied from a 2-1 deficit with four runs in the fifth inning to take the lead for good and defeat Purdue 7-4.

Five hits and one error helped push four Buckeye runs in the fifth inning to give the Bucks a 5-2 lead.

In the seventh inning Dan Burkhart hit a home run. The Buckeyes added an insurance run in the ninth when Cory Rupert singled, scoring Michael Arp.

Drew Rucinski (6-2) got the win and Jake Hale had the save. Hale had a great weekend with three appearances, pitching 5.1 innings, allowing zero runs and getting three saves.

"There was no doubt he was the reason we were able to have a successful weekend," Todd said. "He just sucked it up and gave us a great performance."

Because of weather the Buckeyes played two games Saturday, winning game two 11-10.

In the second game against Purdue, after falling behind 3-0 in two innings, OSU scored nine consecutive runs to build a 9-3 lead.

"I was very proud of our hitters; we made adjustments the second and third time through the order," coach Todd said. "We did a much better job of approaching how we wanted to hit."

It started in the third with a five-run inning. Dan Burkhart's single to right scored the go-ahead runs, which gave the Buckeyes the 5-3 lead.

The Buckeyes had a four-run fourth inning that increased the lead to 9-3. The big hit of the inning came from Michael Stephens' two-run triple.

Purdue cut it to 9-7 at one point but OSU came back to score more runs. Arp doubled and scored on Stephens' second triple of the day. Burkhart singled, which scored Stephens to make it an 11-7 game.

Stephens' triple was the 22nd for the Buckeyes this season, the fourth-highest single season total.

Purdue wasn't done yet, as they cut it to 11-10 in the eighth inning, but couldn't get the tying run home. In the ninth, Purdue had runners on second and third, but failed to score.

Friday night's game was a good old fashioned pitchers' duel, as the Bucks' two pitchers bested Purdue's one pitcher. The Buckeyes won the game 1-0.

It was a combined effort of Alex Wimmers and Jake Hale, who held Purdue to five hits and nine scoreless innings.

The only score of the game came from a leadoff home run in the eighth inning by Ryan Dew.

Next up for the Buckeyes is a battle with Bowling Green at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at Bill Davis Stadium.

No comments: