EVANSTON, Ill. Ohio State pounded three two-out home runs in the second inning of game two with Northwestern Saturday and rolled to a 13-1 win to split a doubleheader at Rocky Miller Park. The Wildcats came from behind to win the opener, 6-4.
The home run fun, which doubled the team’s Big Ten home run total from three to six, led to a season-high eight run inning. Left hander Ryan Dew hit a three-run home run to the opposite field to give the Buckeyes a 4-0 lead. Four batters later, Brian DeLucia hit an inside the park grand slam home run a towering shot to center that, aided by the blowing winds in Evanston, nobody was able to reach and freshman Dan Burkhart followed with his first career home run to left to cap the big inning for the Buckeyes.
The Wildcats only managed one run in the sixth inning of starter Dean Wolosiansky, who won his Big Ten-leading sixth game of the season against two defeats. Wolosiansky scattered nine hits, walked just one and struck out four in his second complete game win of the season. Ohio State is now 22-17 overall and 10-8 in the Big Ten, good for fourth place. NU is 15-19 and 9-10 in the Big Ten.
DeLucia had three hits and four RBI to lead the 14-hit attack. Tony Kennedy, who had six hits total on Saturday including a 4-for-4 game one, had two hits and scored three times. Cory Kovanda and Ryan Meade also had two hits. Ryan Dew had three RBI and Justin Miller and Meade had two apiece.
Northwestern’s Bo Schultz lasted just 1.2 innings, giving up seven hits and nine runs. He dropped to 3-6 with the loss.
In game one, NU came back from a 3-1 deficit to record a 6-4 win. The Wildcats scored three in the fifth and three more in the sixth to overcome an early 3-0 Ohio State lead.
Kennedy, who had four hits, led off the game with a double, moved to third on a Cory Kovanda ground out and scored on J.B. Shuck’s grounder to second, making the score 1-0 after the Buckeyes’ first.
The Wildcats’ Chris Lashmet, who singled with one out and moved to second on a passed ball, tried to score from second on a single to right by Max Mann. Michael Arp quickly got to the ball and fired home to a waiting Justin Miller who easily applied the tag, keeping the score at 1-0 in favor of the Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes added a run in both the third and fourth innings to go up 3-0. Shuck’s second grounder to second with a man on third plated Tyler Engle, who led off the third inning with a single. Then in the fourth, Michael Arp, hitting better than .500 in Big Ten play, hit his first double of the season and then scored on a nice piece of hitting from Cory Rupert, who singled to right.
Northwestern tied it in the fifth on two swings of the bat and the help of a stiff breeze blowing out of left field. Chad Noble hit a one-out home run to left and, after Tommy Finn singled, Jake Owens hit his second homer of the series, also to left, to tie the score.
Ohio State came right back to retake the lead, 4-3, in the sixth. Arp reached on an error, stole second and scored on a single by Chris Macke.
Ohio State starter Dan DeLucia left three batters into the fifth inning, giving way to Rory Meister with runners on first and second and one out. Noble singled to load the bases and Finn singled to right to tie the score at 4-all. Two more singles completed the NU rally, giving the home team a 6-4 lead heading into the seventh.
The Buckeyes had two men on in the top of the seventh with one out but were unable to score off reliever Matt Havey, who earned his third save of the season. Starter Eric Jokisch improved to 5-2 with the win. Dan DeLucia, who left with a lead for the fifth time in his seven starts, dropped to 1-3 with the loss.
The two teams will close out their series Sunday at 1 p.m. from Rocky Miller Park. The game will be broadcast on WMNI-AM 920 as well as on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
Game Notes and Good Stuff: