May 25, 2018

No. 7 Seed Ohio State Beats No. 3 Seed Michigan, 5-3

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OMAHA, Neb.  – Another elimination game victory for the boys, this time against their biggest rival. The No. 7 seed Ohio State baseball team defeated No. 3 seed Michigan, 5-3, in an elimination contest Friday afternoon at the 2018 Big Ten Tournament in Omaha, Neb. With the win, the Buckeyes (36-21) advance to Saturday will face No. 1 seed Minnesota at 10 a.m. ET Saturday at TD Ameritrade Park.

QUOTE FROM THE SKIPPER
“Really happy for the guys and our program,” head coach Greg Beals said. “Today was a big day. It’s Ohio State vs. Michigan. It’s an elimination game. It’s a game that I feel like puts us in really good position for next week’s NCAA Tournament. What a great performance from our guys to get it done. It’s one thing to win a game. It’s another thing to go about it and compete the way our guys did and something that we’ve been fighting for all year long, especially down the stretch. This team has a ton of resilience to them and a ton of character. We survived two straight days and face a good Minnesota team tomorrow morning. We will be ready go and answer that 5 o’clock bell in the morning.”

IN THE BOX SCORE
Dominic Canzone
went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, two walks and one double, while Kobie Foppe was 2-for-5 with a run scored and RBI. Dillon Dingler went 2-for-4 with a double and Tyler Cowles doubled with two RBI and one walk. Bo Coolen had the big hit in the game with a solo homer to lead to a three-run inning for the Buckeyes.

On the mound, Adam Niemeyer improved to 4-3, throwing five innings and allowed one run on five hits with four strikeouts and one walk. Seth Kinkerwas a rock star again for the Scarlet and Gray, recording the final five outs of the game in 1.2 scoreless innings. He struck out four UM hitters with one hit in his 15th save of the year.

GAME SUMMARY

  • For the third straight day in Omaha, Cowles gave the boys the early lead. On the first pitch he saw vs. left-handed UM starter Ben Dragani, he ripped a double down the left field line to score Canzone, who doubled also in the inning. Noah McGowan knocked a single through the left side to push Foppe around and make it a 2-0 game.
  • The Wolverines found a run in the top of the fifth when Jonathan Engelmann pushed home Harrison Salter on a sacrifice fly.
  • Fifth-year senior Ohio State starting pitcher Adam Niemeyer gave Ohio State five solid innings. He scattered five hits, one run with four strikeouts and one walk.
  • Ohio State scored three times on three hits vs. the UM bullpen in the bottom of the sixth to grow the lead to 5-1. Bo Coolen launched a solo homer off reliever Jack Weisenburger over the right field wall to start the at-bat for his first homer of the season. With runners on the corners, Foppe drove in Noah West with a RBI single to center. Cowles then pushed home Canzone with a sac fly to right field.
  • The Maize and Blue cut their deficit to two runs in the top of the seventh when Brock Kenner knocked an 0-2 pitch off OSU right-handed reliever Austin Woodby up the middle for a two-out, two-run single. Woodby threw 2.1 innings and allowed two runs on four hits with one walk and two strikeouts.
  • Right-handed reliever Seth Kinker came into the game with one out and a runner on first in the top of the eighth. He limited Michigan to one hit in 1.2 scoreless innings with four strikeouts in his 15th save of the year.

PLAYER QUOTES
Adam Niemeyer, fifth-year senior pitcher
On start today
“Early on I was just trying to get ahead and throw strikes. I was able to get some outs and the defense played well behind me. I got it rolling from there.”

Seth Kinker, senior reliever
On ninth inning
“I knew he didn’t matter out there on second base. They were down two. If he scores, it’s going to be something I’m not going to be mad about. I tipped my cap to him on a nice piece of hitting by Johnathan. My focus was on the guy at the plate. If he gets on, that’s a different story. I knew I just had to get two outs and that’s what I did.”

Dominic Canzone, sophomore designated hitter
On being questionable for game today
“I woke up this morning just thinking, I want to compete with my brothers. It’s just something that you know you have to lay it all on the line for them because they are going to do the same for you. It’s just one of those things that I love playing with them. I love these guys and they just keep competing.”

Bo Coolen, senior first baseman
On home run today
“I just wanted to shake off those first two at-bats today and I wanted to get the boys started in the sixth inning. I went out there and just wanted to have fun and just be a little more relaxed. I was looking for a pitch to drive and luckily I got a good piece. It was against Michigan too, so that made it a lot more fun.”

GAME NOTES

  • Ohio State improves to 6-1 in elimination games at TD Ameritrade Park. Ohio State has won six straight elimination games in Omaha under head coach Greg Beals.
  • Ohio State improves to 60-45 all-time at the Big Ten Tournament. The Buckeyes improve to 13-7 all-time vs. Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament.
  • The Buckeyes have won 10 of the last 14 meetings against Michigan.
  • Ohio State is 2-0 all-time vs. the Wolverines at TD Ameritrade Park.
  • Cowles extended his hit streak to 13 straight games (season-high).
  • Foppe extended his hit streak to 10 contests (season-high).
  • Reached base streaks extended: Cowles (14), Foppe (13), McGowan (5) and Dingler (3).
  • Coolen launched his first homer of the season and fourth of his career.
  • Multi-hit games: Canzone (25), Foppe (19) and Dingler (9).
  • Multi-RBI games: Cowles (11).
  • Cowles has three doubles during the tournament and has 19 this season (tied for team lead).
  • Seth Kinker made his 107th career appearance today (school record).
  • Foppe has six hits in the tournament, which leads the team.
  • The Buckeye are 25-3 when Kinker pitches in a game. He collected his 15th save of the season and 24th of his career.

RANDOM NOTES FROM AROUND THE BALLPARK

  • TD Ameritrade Park is the Taj Mahal of college baseball. It also features one of the best grounds crews in the country. More than three hours before first pitch, the crew in blue was hard at work on that sacred ground. And there were perfect with every detail. The raking of the dirt down both foul lines. The spraying of water around the entire outfield warning track and of course, that beautiful infield. The lining of the base paths. Everything was perfect. Is this heaven? No, it’s Omaha.
  • Both teams had their lead-off hitter named Dominic. Both of them were the designated hitter. Let us know if that has ever happened in the history of baseball before.
  • Hottest game of the year for the boys. Temperature at first pitch was 95 degrees. If you weren’t playing the game, coaching the sidelines or an umpire, chances are you were finding some shade at the stadium. Ice cream was everywhere. Pool season is upon us.
  • The boys had some more fun in the dugout today during Coach Beals’ in-game interview in the fifth. Andrew Fishel had a “Stone Cold” Steve Austin stunner for the ages with two Gatorade bottles behind the skipper, Ridge Winand was seen squatting his teammate Connor Curlis. Nate Romans stood in the background of all the madness and wore a mask made of Gatorade cups. He looked like some villain out of the movie Batman. Why does he wear the mask!? What a zoo.
  • Another magical day in Omaha, let’s keep it rolling tomorrow.