COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State used a five-run first inning to down Marshall, 7-4, Wednesday night at Bill Davis Stadium. With the win, the Buckeyes move to 23-13 on the season while Marshall drops to 20-22.
Ohio State starter Brett McKinney tossed five hitless, scoreless innings to pick up the win and even his record at 3-3 on the season. Ryan Dew finished 2-for-2 with an RBI and a pair of walks while Brian DeLucia went 1-for-3 with a three-run home run and a walk.
The Buckeyes jumped ahead in a big way in the first inning, plating five runs on six hits off Marshall starter Ben Frith. Zach Hurley and Cory Kovanda recorded back-to-back doubles to lead off the game. After Dan Burkhart popped out, Michael Stephens drove in Hurley with an RBI groundout to shortstop. Ryan Dew followed with an RBI single through the left side to drive in Kovanda, Cory Rupert then singled and Brian DeLucia provided the big blow, a three-run shot to left-center to push the Ohio State lead to 5-0 and knock Frith out of the game.
Meanwhile, McKinney retired the first eight Marshall hitters of the game before walking right fielder Ben Jurevicius. In all, the Ohio State freshman right-hander sat down 15 of the 17 batters he faced over his five frames of work.
Theron Minium came on to relieve McKinney in the top of the sixth and faced the first jam of the night in the top of the seventh with runners on first and second and only one down but the junior left-hander induced a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play by Nathan Gomez.
The Buckeyes added three more in the bottom of the seventh, pushing the lead to 7-0 after singles by Burkhart, Stephens and Dew and a pair of Marshall wild pitches that brought Burkhart and Stephens home.
Marshall got on the board in the eighth, making it 7-1 on a wild pitch by Buckeye reliever Jared Strayer. The Thundering Herd plated three more runs on five hits in the ninth but it proved to be too little, too late as the Buckeyes came away with win.
Ohio State travels to Ann Arbor, Mich. this weekend for a three-game set with the Wolverines starting Friday at 6:35 p.m. The Buckeyes and Wolverines are in a four-way tie for first place in the Big Ten at 7-5.
– Excellent pregame dance performance by assistant coach Pete Jenkins in the dugout today. Difficult decision but I might have to pick the third base coach in a dance-off with the quiet but confident athletic trainer Mike Sypniak.
– Great play by Ohio State first baseman Matt Streng to open the game. The junior ranged far to his right to make a diving stop on a ball that looked to be headed into right field and flipped the ball to pitcher Brett McKinney for the out.
– Zach Hurley has now had a hit to lead off six of the last seven games.
– The Buckeyes have now won five of six games when Brian DeLucia has hit a home run. The only game Ohio State did not win was the middle game against Indiana when the junior hit a grand slam.
– Ohio State moved to 10-2 on the season when leading after the first inning.
– The five-run bottom of the first inning tied for the most runs the Buckeyes have scored in a first inning all season (3/7, Fairleigh Dickinson). The first inning Wednesday and the third inning Saturday against Penn State tied for the most runs the Buckeyes have scored in any inning since March 23 vs. Dartmouth.
– DeLucia leads the Buckeyes with nine multiple RBI games this season and six in his last nine games.
– The Buckeyes moved to 16-2 against Marshall all-time after dropping the last two against the Thundering Herd.
– Hurley extended his team-leading hitting streak to 13 games.
– Cory Rupert has now reached base safely in all 26 starts this season.
– Wednesday provided a matchup of a pair of catchers on the Johnny Bench Award watch list: Dan Burkhart from Ohio State and Victor Gomez from Marshall.
– The Buckeyes have recorded double-digit hits in 10 of their last 13 games.
– Every Buckeye starter reached base in the win and eight of nine had at least one hit.