Columbus Ohio State split a doubleheader Sunday with Purdue at Bill Davis Stadium, winning the opener, 8-4, and dropping the second game, 7-5. The split gave Purdue a 3-1 advantage in the weekend series. Ohio State is now 19-15 overall and 8-7 in the Big Ten. Purdue is 20-17 and 12-4 in conference play.
In the first game, the Buckeyes jumped out to a quick lead in the first inning. Three straight singles by J.B. Shuck, Cory Kovanda, and Zach Hurley plated the first run. Justin Miller hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Kovanda for the second run, and Ryan Meade brought home Hurley with another sacrifice fly to give Ohio State a 3-0 lead.
Ohio State’s offense went right back to work in the second. The Buckeyes loaded the bases with no outs as Cory Rupert and Dan Burkhart singled and Tyler Engle walked. J.B. Shuck followed with a lined shot to center field that looked to be a sure hit, but it went for a sacrifice fly, scoring Rupert, as Purdue’s Jon Moore robbed Shuck with a diving catch.
Purdue scored its first run in the third. Jonathan Lilly reached second base on an error to start the inning, advanced to third on Nick Overmyer’s sacrifice bunt, and scored on Ben Wolgamot’s fielder’s choice.
The Buckeyes got the run back in the bottom of the third. Meade walked with one out, Ryan Dew singled to right, and Rupert hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Meade. Moore made an excellent throw from center in an attempt to throw out Meade at the plate, but Meade slid to the right of the plate and eluded the tag to score the run on a close play.
The Boilermakers cut into Ohio State’s lead in the sixth. Black led off with a single and advanced to second on a groundout. After Moore singled, Lilly singled to left, scoring Black, and both Moore and Lilly advanced on an error by the left fielder. Moore then scored on an RBI groundout by John Cummins, and Brandon Haveman singled home Lilly to make the score 5-4.
The Buckeyes used some fine clutch hitting to come right back in their half of the sixth. Engle and Shuck both singled with one out. After a fly out, pinch hitter Michael Arp delivered a two-out RBI single to center. Justin Miller followed with a two-run single to left to give Ohio State an 8-4 lead.
With the win, Dean Wolosiansky improved to 5-2. He pitched 5.2 innings, allowed four runs (two earned) on eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Eric Best earned his fifth save of the season, allowing no runs in 1.1 innings.
In Game Two, Ohio State again took the lead in the first inning. Tony Kennedy lined a shot to left center and hustled into second for a double. After he advanced to third on a wild pitch, Kovanda drove him home with a sacrifice fly to center.
The Buckeyes increased their lead in the second. Arp and Rupert both singled, and Burkhart advanced them with a sacrifice bunt. Engle followed with a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Arp. On the play, Rupert attempted to advance to third. The shortstop’s throw to third hit Rupert in the helmet and ricocheted into foul territory, allowing Rupert to score and give Ohio State a 3-0 lead.
After Justin Miller had an RBI single in the third to increase the lead to 4-0, the Boilermakers score a run of their own in the fourth. Black doubled with one out, and Eric Nielsen singled home Jordan Comadena.
Ohio State added an insurance run in the seventh on Cory Kovanda’s home run to right. It was Kovanda’s first homer of the season and the first of his collegiate career.
Purdue tightened the score in the eighth inning. Wolgamot led off with a walk, White singled, and Comadena drove them both home with a double. Comadena came around to score on an RBI groundout by pinch hitter Drew Madia, cutting Ohio State’s lead to 5-4.
Just as he has throughout his career at Purdue, Ryne White hurt the Buckeyes again in the ninth. With a runner at first and one out, Wolgamot reached via catcher’s interference. On the very next pitch, White hit a screaming line drive that just cleared the fence in right for a three-run homer. The drive gave the Boilermakers a 7-5 lead. Relief ace Josh Lindblom held the lead with a scoreless ninth.
Purdue’s comeback cost J.B. Shuck his fifth victory of the season. The junior lefty pitched 7.0 innings, allowing one run on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Alex Wimmers took the loss, falling to 0-1. Lindblom earned the win and improved to 1-2.
Ohio State will next be in action Wednesday with a doubleheader against Akron at Bill Davis Stadium. The first game, a seven-inning contest, will begin at 4 p.m. The second game will begin approximately 20 minutes after Game One and will be a nine-inning game. The Buckeyes will then travel to Evanston for a four-game Big Ten series against Northwestern next weekend.
Game Notes and Good Stuff: