MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. The Ohio State baseball team can breathe a sigh and take a break from travelling because the season-opening stretch of 27 of its first 29 games on the road, including its first two Big Ten Conference series, has ended after a 16-3 loss to Minnesota Sunday at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The loss enables Minnesota to win the three-game series, 2-1, and leaves No. 18 Ohio State with a 22-7 overall mark and a 3-3 record in the Big Ten. Minnesota is 16-9 and 3-2, respectively.
Ohio State will begin a five-game homestand Wednesday with a 6:35 p.m. game against Morehead State University and then play host to its first home Big Ten series of the year Friday through Sunday vs. Michigan State. Ohio State won two of three games at Penn State last weekend before the series this weekend against the Golden Gophers.
Minnesota, using its speed to advance two bases on virtually every hit, scored a run on two hits in the first inning to grab a 1-0 lead. AJ Pettersen sped to third on Derek McCallum’s single to left and scored on a sacrifice fly by Michael Kvasnicka.
That speed on the bases, coupled with a 19-hit attack, proved to be a potent mix as Minnesota came back with seven more runs in the second off seven hits and a throwing error to lead 8-0. The home team added four more runs in each of the third and fourth innings against an array of Ohio State pitchers to put the game away.
Ohio State, at this point using a mix of starters and players into the game off the bench, scored three runs in the fifth inning off four hits. Ben Toussant had a run-scoring double down the left field line and Tyler Engle drove Toussant home with a single to center field. A third run scored off a throwing error.
That would be it for the Buckeyes’ offensively. The team totaled six hits and three runs (one unearned) against Minnesota starter Seth Rosin, who improved to 2-1 with 5.0 innings of work. Minnesota totaled 19 hits against six Ohio State pitchers, but just three hits and no runs over the final 4.2 innings.
Game Notes and Random Thoughts From Inside the Metrodome: