WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – No. 27 Ohio State picked up a 12-2 victory over Army behind a season-high 22 hits Saturday evening in Winter Haven.
Alex Wimmers picked up the win to move to 5-0 on the season, going seven innings, giving up nine hits, two earned runs and striking out eight. Zach Hurley, Cory Kovanda and Michael Stephens each finished 4-for-6. Hurley drove in three runs, scored three runs, doubled and homered.
After loading the bases with one down in the top of the second and not being able to cross home plate, the Buckeyes were able to capitalize in the third. After a Hurley double and Kovanda single to lead off the inning, Dan Burkhart drove in Hurley with a single and Ryan Dew followed two batters later with an RBI single to drive in Kovanda.
Hurley extended the Buckeyes’ lead to 3-0 with a solo home run, his second in as many days, in the top of the fourth.
After a walk, a single, an error and another single loaded the bases with nobody out and one run already in with Army up to bat in the fourth, Wimmers induced a fielders’ choice to get the runner at home before nine-hole hitter Steve May hit into an inning ending 6-3 double play.
Ohio State pushed the lead to 5-1 in the seventh with a two-out, two-run single by Tyler Engle that plated Stephens and Cory Rupert. The Black Knights answered back with one in the seventh to make it 5-2 but Stephens delivered a tape measure solo shot with two down in the eighth to give the Buckeyes a four run cushion once again.
The Buckeyes then tacked on six more runs on seven hits in the ninth to cap the scoring.
Ohio State (12-4) will be back at Chain of Lakes Park in Winter Haven Sunday for a 1:30 p.m. first pitch against Cornell.
– The three-hit game was Cory Kovanda’s fifth of the season.
– Michael Stephens has now hit safely in all 13 games this season.
– Ryan Dew produced his 10th multi-hit game of the season and Zach Hurley notched his ninth. Both have multiple hits in all three games on this spring break trip.
– Hurley has scored nine runs over the past two days.
– After stealing just one base through the first 14 games, Hurley has stolen three in the past two games.
– Three defensive gems turned in by the Buckeyes tonight: Brian DeLucia with a diving grab in shallow right on Army’s first batter of the game, Michael Stephens tracked down a shot in the right-center gap with nobody out in the sixth and Matt Streng followed that up with a diving catch on a foul ball on the warning track just in front of the OSU dugout.
– The home run by Stephens was easily one of the longest home runs I’ve ever seen.
– 8 of 9 Buckeye starters recorded a hit in the game and each starter reached base safely.
– At three hours and 16 minutes, Saturday’s game was the second-longest of the season.