SARASOTA, Fla. Dan DeLucia picked up his first win of the season behind a career-high 10 strikeouts and solid support from the bullpen, and the Buckeye bats stayed hot with a season-high 19 hits in a 10-3 win over Bradley Tuesday at IMG Academy Park.
DeLucia, who left the game with a lead for the fourth time in as many starts this season, walked just one and scattered five hits while surrendering three runs in 6.0 innings of work. He left with the Buckeyes on top, 9-3, and relievers Drew Rucinski and Tom Popadak did not allow a run in 3.0 innings of work. The win improves Ohio State’s record to 8-5 and drops Bradley to 5-8. DeLucia is 1-0 with his 22nd career win.
Offensively, Cory Rupert led the way with three hits and three RBI. He increased his team-leading RBI total to 16 in the process. J.B. Shuck also had three hits, two runs scored and three RBI. Shuck was part of a corps of four hitters at the top of the lineup that, for the second consecutive game, each had multiple hits. (Tony Kennedy, Cory Kovanda, Shuck and Justin Miller). The foursome combine for nine hits and seven runs scored. Two other Buckeyes Zach Hurley and Tyler Engle also had two hits against Bradley.
Ohio State took an early 1-0 lead but Bradley scored two runs off two hits in the fourth to take a 2-1 lead. The Buckeyes regained the lead with five runs off six hits in their half of the fifth. Kennedy and Shuck had infield singles around a walk to Kovanda to load the bases. Miller drove in two runs with a double to left center. Hurley and Rupert also had RBI hits in the inning.
The first four Ohio State batters had singles to open the sixth, chasing starter Chris Wright. Kovanda scored from first on a double by Shuck and Ryan Meade and Rupert each had run-scoring singles to push the lead to 9-3 heading into the seventh. A 10th run was scored in the eighth inning as Ben Toussant led off with a pinch-hit single and worked his way around the bases and scored with two outs on a Rupert single.
Rucinski relieved DeLucia in the seventh and gave up just one hit and no runs in 2.0 innings of work. Tom Popadak, the fifth freshman to pitch for Ohio State this season, had a clean, three-up-three-down inning in the ninth that included two strikeouts.
Ohio State resumes play Wednesday at 10 a.m. against St. Louis at IMG Academy Park.
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