Evanston, Ill. – Ohio State pounded out 17 hits en route to an 11-1 win over Northwestern in the Big Ten opener Friday afternoon in Evanston.
Alex Wimmers picked up the win for the Buckeyes to move to 6-0 on the season. The junior right-hander pitched seven innings, giving up six hits and one earned run while striking out five. Cory Rupert had a four-hit day while Dan Burkhart and Ryan Dew each had three for the Buckeyes. Dew finished with three runs batted in and three runs scored and Brian DeLucia crossed the plate three times.
The Buckeye offense gave Wimmers a nice cushion before he even made it to the mound, scoring four runs in the top of the first. Zach Hurley led the game off with a home run to left and Ryan Dew had a key two-run triple to center that drove in Burkhart and Michael Stephens as Ohio State batted around on six first inning hits.
Ohio State then pushed the lead to 5-0 when Burkhart nailed an RBI single to left in the second that plated Cory Kovanda. The Wildcats got one back in the bottom of the second on an RBI triple by Chris Lashmet but Wimmers was able to strand him at third after a strikeout and a pair of pop outs.
Ohio State tacked on four more to make it 9-1 in the top of the fifth, the big blow a three-run home run to left by DeLucia.
That would be it for the scoring until the ninth when Stephens knocked a solo home run to left and Rupert capped the scoring with an RBI single.
The Buckeyes (15-7, 1-0 Big Ten) and Wildcats will square off in game two of the three games series at 2 p.m. EDT Saturday.
– They don’t call it the Windy City for nothing. The wind is gusted quite a bit from right field.
– It was good to have Marty Bannister and Bob Spears making their 2010 radio debut Friday. All games the rest of the season will be on 102.5 FM in Columbus.
– Shorts probably would have been the better choice Friday. Absolutely sweltering in the press box at Rocky Miller Park.
– The home run was Hurley’s fourth of the season. Three of the four have been leadoff home runs.
– Every Buckeye starter reached base Friday against the Wildcats.
– Alex Wimmers is the first Buckeye starter to start the season 6-0 since Cory Luebke began 7-0 in 2007.
– The five strikeouts by Wimmers were a season low.
– The one, two and three hitters for Northwestern were a combined 0-for-12.