May 26, 2016
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OMAHA, Neb. – Highlighted by a six-run fifth inning, the No. 4 seed Ohio State baseball team lit up eight runs on 12 hits in an 8-3 win over No. 5 seed Michigan in the opening round of the 2016 Big Ten Baseball Tournament Wednesday night at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb. With their fourth straight win over the Wolverines, the Buckeyes (39-17-1) will face No. 8 seed Iowa (28-25) at 10 p.m. ET Thursday in the second round of the tournament live on BTN. Ohio State has been one of the hottest teams in the country improving to 12-3 in the month of May under sixth-year head coach Greg Beals.
“It’s a great win and our boys were ready to play today and I’m really proud how they went about it,” Beals said. “Tanner continued to compete like he always does. I’m really happy for Nick and he is the heart and soul of our team. He’s a tough guy and I love that kid and he keeps doing it for us. L Grant Davis also had a big hit for us off the bench. We came here to win this tournament and we stayed in that upper bracket tonight.”
Senior co-captain third baseman Nick Sergakis homered twice in a three-hit performance with two RBI and three runs scored, while junior left fielder Ronnie Dawson was 3-for-3 with two walks, double, RBI and stolen base. On the mound, junior left hander Tanner Tully once again kept the Michigan bats off balanced and improved to 8-3, throwing seven innings on seven hits, three runs and three strikeouts with no walks. Senior left-hander Michael Horejsei threw 1.1 innings and struck out two with a walk and sophomore right-hander Seth Kinker threw 0.2 innings and struck out two.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Buckeye bats were fire on a warm, muggy night at TD Ameritrade Park. After a couple strong defensive plays in the top of the third, Sergakis put a charge on a 2-0 pitch vs. Adcock for a lead-off, solo home run to left to put the Scarlet and Gray up, 1-0, through three frames. A two-run homer by Michigan’s Lugbauer in the fourth put the Wolverines ahead, 2-1, but that wouldn’t last long. Ohio State lit up the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth with a six-run, six-hit charge to end Adcock’s day, who fell to 7-5 on the year. Sergakis sent a missile off the wall above the bullpen for his second homer of the game to tie at 2-all. It was the start of six straight hits for the Scarlet and Gray, who combined to hit for the cycle vs. the UM pitching staff in the fifth. Singles by Craig Nennig and Dawson set up a RBI single to left by Troy Kuhn for the team’s second lead of the game, 3-2. On a 2-2 pitch in the following at-bat, Davis roped his first career triple to right center to make it a 5-2 lead. Bosiokovic stayed on a pitch nicely and roped a double to right field to score Davis. The surge continued when a passed ball and wild pitch pushed Bosiokovic home for the sixth and final run of the big inning.
In the sixth, Dawson jumped on a 1-2 pitch for a RBI to left center to allow Sergakis to score after he began the inning with a lead-off base hit through the right side. Michigan plated a third run in the seventh on a RBI groundout, but that’s all they would get vs. Tully.
TULLY DOMINANT VS. THE WOLVERINES
Tanner Tully improved to 8-3 on the year, throwing seven innings and limited the UM hitters to three runs, scattering seven hits with three strikeouts and no walks. It was his 10th quality start of the year and fifth straight for the 2016 First Team All-Big Ten selection. His career stats vs. the Wolverines are really, really good too: 3-0, 1.50 ERA, 24.0 IP, 4 R, R ER, 0 BB, 14 K.
The bullpen continued to quiet the UM hitters at the dish, claiming four strikeouts in a row to end the game. Horejsei came in to begin the eighth inning for his 30th appearance and struck out two with one walk and two strikeouts before Kinker recorded the final two outs of the game in the ninth with two strikeouts in his 31-best 31st appearance of the season.
No. 4 seed Ohio State will face No. 8 seed Iowa at 10 p.m. ET Thursday at TD Ameritrade Park in the final game of day two of the 2016 Big Ten Baseball Tournament. The game will be broadcasted live on BTN while fans can also listen on AM 1460 ESPN.