May 10, 2014
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Ohio State baseball team fell at Michigan, 5-1, Saturday afternoon at Ray Fisher Stadium. With the loss, the Buckeyes drop to 28-23, 9-11 in the Big Ten, while the Wolverines improve to 25-26-1, 12-11 in conference play.
Ohio State threatened against Michigan left-hander Evan Hill in the top of the second. Josh Dezse led off the inning with a double to left before Ronnie Dawson laid down a sacrifice bunt to move him to third with one out. Connor Sabanosh followed with a ground ball to a drawn-in Eric Jacobson at second base for the second out of the frame before Craig Nennig was hit by a pitch to put Buckeyes at the corners. However, Hill got out of the inning when Tim Wetzel flied out to deep left to keep the game scoreless.
The Wolverines got on the board against Ohio State starter Ryan Riga in the bottom of the third. Kevin White led off the inning with a solo home run to left-center to give Michigan the lead before singles by Eric Jacobson and Travis Maezes followed by a walk to Jacob Cronenworth loaded the bases with nobody out. However, Riga responded to get Jackson Glines to hit into a 1-2-3 double play before Tim Wetzel made a sliding grab in left on a Carmen Benedetti looping fly ball to end the inning and keep it a 1-0 game.
The Buckeyes threatened again in the top of the fifth when singles by Nennig and Nick Sergakis put Buckeyes at the corners with two down but Nennig was caught off third base on a double steal attempt as Hill preserved the 1-0 Michigan lead.
Michigan added to its lead with a pair in the bottom of the frame. Maezes was hit by a pitch before Cronenworth walked to put runners on first and second with one down. Glines followed with a doubles to left-center to score Maezes to make it 2-0 Michigan before a walk by Benedetti loaded the bases with one down. The Buckeyes then went to Travis Lakins out of the bullpen, who allowed a sacrifice fly to left by Cole Martin to score Cronenworth and make it 3-0 Wolverines after five innings.
The Wolverines tacked on another in the bottom of the seventh. With one down, Cronenworth and Glines tallied back-to-back singles to put runners at the corners before Benedetti plated Cronenworth with a sacrifice fly to right to give Michigan the 4-0 lead.
Michigan plated one more in the eighth when Kyle Jusick doubled down the right-field line to lead off the inning before moving to third on a wild pitch and scoring on a sacrifice fly to center by White to push the lead to 5-0.
Hill settled down for the Wolverines after Ohio State threatened in the fifth, retiring nine of the next 10 he faced before giving way to Cronenworth in the top of the ninth. Troy Kuhn reached on an error to lead off the inning before Pat Porter walked to put Buckeyes on first and second with nobody out. Cronenworth bounced back to strike out Dezse and get Dawson to fly out to left before a pinch-hit single to left by Aaron Gretz scored Kuhn for the Buckeyes’ first run of the game. However, Cronenworth responded to strike out pinch-hitter Troy Montgomery to close it out and even the series.
Riga suffered the loss for Ohio State to fall to 4-3 on the year while Hill picked up the win, improving to 4-6 with 8.0 shutout innings.
Ohio State and Michigan play the rubber game at noon Sunday at Ray Fisher Stadium. The game will be televised live on BTN.
– Sergakis and Porter each extended their hitting streak to six games.