COLUMBUS, Ohio. Ohio State did not capitalize on two bases loaded situations early in the game and Northwestern put the game away with four runs in the sixth inning to defeat No. 24 Ohio State, 10-6, Sunday at Bill Davis Stadium. Despite the loss, Ohio State wins the series, 2-1, and is in a first-place in the Big Ten with an 11-4 record. The Buckeyes are 31-10 overall
Eight Buckeye runners were left stranded on base in the third through fifth innings, keeping the home team from cutting into 3-1 and 3-2 Northwestern leads at the time.
“We were our own worst enemy,” Ohio State coach Bob Todd said. “One time I looked up and we had three hits in an inning but only one run.
“Winning two-of-three is a good weekend, though. You can’t worry about the ramifications of losing a game today because there will be other losses in the Big Ten by us and by other teams.”
To the Wildcats credit, they scored in the first inning for the third consecutive game, getting two runs off three hits for a quick 2-0 lead, and putting Ohio State in a comeback position once again.
The Wildcats added a run in the third Chad Noble singling in Trevor Stevens for the second time in the game to go up, 3-0, before Ohio State scored only one run in the third yet had the bases loaded.
Ohio State added an unearned run in the fifth to close the gap to 3-2, but the Wildcats scored four runs off two doubles and two walks to build a 7-2 lead and the home team simply wasn’t able to recover. Northwestern improved to 12-26 with the win and 3-10 in the Big Ten Conference.
“We tip our hat to Northwestern” shortstop Tyler Engle said. “They came out every game and scored some runs in the first inning, and they just played good baseball.”
Stevens, freshman son of NU coach Paul Stevens, led the way Sunday with three hits and three runs scored. Noble had three hits and three RBI. Relief pitcher David Jensen worked 3.0 innings to pick up the win and improve to 2-2 on the year.
Michael Stephens led a 13-hit Ohio State afternoon with three hits and two runs. Cory Kovanda had a couple of hits, including his 10th double of the season, and scored a run. Matt Streng also had two hits and a run scored. Eric Best falls to 6-2 with the loss.
Game Notes and Random Thoughts from the Press Box: