COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State’s 2010 season came to an end with a split against Minnesota Saturday afternoon. The Buckeyes dropped game one, 4-3, and came back to win game two, 9-6.The Buckeyes wrap up their season with a 28-23 record, 11-13 in the Big Ten.
Ohio State retired head coach Bob Todd’s No. 18 in between games as Todd will join Marty Karow, Steve Arlin and Fred Taylor as Buckeyes with their number retired on the right field wall.
In addition, it was Senior Day at Bill Davis Stadium for eight Buckeye seniors. Eric Best, Ryan Dew, Shawn Forsythe, Chris Griffin, Zach Hurley, Cory Kovanda, Cory Rupert and Michael Stephens we all honored before their final game.
Stephens finished 4-for-8 on the day with three runs batted in. Eric Best tossed three perfect innings, striking out four batters over his final two appearances as a Buckeye.
With the game one win, Minnesota clinched the outright Big Ten title and the No. 1 seed in next week’s Big Ten Tournament.
Ohio State junior right-hander Alex Wimmers tossed six innings, giving up one earned run on five hits while striking out eight in the no-decision despite a tweaked hamstring that had caused him to miss his last three starts.
Ohio State plated the first run of the game when Ryan Dew lined a single to left with the bases loaded and one out in the first to score Cory Kovanda and give the Buckeyes the 1-0 lead after one.
After the delay, the Buckeyes added to the lead when Kovanda singled to lead off the third, Dan Burkhart followed with a single and Stephens had a bunt single to load the bases for Dew. Dew drove the ball to deep right but Michael Kvasnicka made the play on the warning track as Kovanda came around to score and give Ohio State a 2-0 lead after two innings.
Cory Rupert then singled to lead off the fourth and scored the Buckeyes third run of the game as Tyler Engle came through with a sacrifice fly to deep left.
In the meantime, Wimmers was working his way through the Minnesota lineup, and a tweaked hamstring, to strike out seven through the first five frames.
Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, Minnesota plated one off Wimmers in the sixth then two in seventh and one in the eighth, the last three runs off reliever Jared Strayer, to take a 4-3 lead that they would not relinquish.
The Buckeyes plated four in the first on a pair of two-run home runs by Stephens and Rupert. After Minnesota plated one in the second on a pair of singles and a fielder’s choice, the Buckeyes, responded with a run of their own when Tyler Engle drove in Brian DeLucia who led off the inning with a double.
Minnesota then scored two in the third on a two-run home run by O’Shea and three more in the fourth, using four singles and a double to take a 6-5 lead. However, Ohio State tied the game up on a sacrifice fly by Engle in the fourth and took the lead in the fifth on an RBI single by Burkhart to score Kovanda, who had doubled to lead off the inning.
The Buckeyes then added to that lead in the seventh when Hurley scored on an RBI single by Stephens after singling to lead off the inning and stealing second. Hurley then drove in Chris Griffin to extend the lead to 9-6 and cap off the scoring.
After the rocky start, Ohio State starter Dean Wolosiansky went on to retire 12 of the next 15 he faced, shutting down the Gophers over the next four innings before Best came in to pick up his fifth save of the season and 13th of his career.