May 5, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team topped Iowa, 3-2, in the rubber game of a three-game series Monday night at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. With the win, the Buckeyes won their fourth-consecutive series, improving to 27-21 on the year, 8-10 in the Big Ten, while the Hawkeyes fall to 26-17, 8-10 in conference play.
“We need to continue to be consistent with our tempo,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. “The tempo, attitude and mentality of the team were good today. We came to the ballpark with an attitude that we weren’t going to lose and that carried us through the game.”
Ohio State threatened against Iowa starter Tyler Peyton in the bottom of the first. Nick Sergakis led off the inning with a single and, after Peyton retired Ronnie Dawson and Troy Kuhn, walks to Pat Porter and Josh Dezse loaded the bases with two down. However, Troy Montgomery followed with a line drive down the third-base line that was snagged on a diving grab by Iowa third baseman Nick Day to keep the game scoreless after an inning.
The Buckeyes rallied again in the bottom of the second. Aaron Gretz reached on a leadoff walk before Craig Nennig singled and Tim Wetzel sacrificed both runners up a base. Sergakis followed with a loud out on a liner to Day at third before Dawson grounded out to end the second.
Ohio State was able to break through in the bottom of the third. After Peyton retired Kuhn to lead off the third, the right-hander allowed a double to Porter before he hit Dezse and Iowa went to left-hander Jared Mandel out of the bullpen. Mandel got Montgomery to pop up a sacrifice bunt attempt for the second out of the inning but Aaron Gretz followed with a single up the middle to plate Porter before a double to right-center be Nennig scored Dezse for the 2-0 Buckeye lead.
Iowa knotted the game with a pair of runs off Ohio State starter Greg Greve in the top of the fifth. Singles by Day, Eric Toole and Jake Mangler got the Hawkeyes on the board before a wild pitch moved Toole to third and a sacrifice fly by Jake Yacinich scored the Iowa centerfielder to make it a 2-2 game.
The Buckeyes answered right back in the bottom of the frame when Kuhn led off the inning with a solo home shot off Mandel down the left field line to put Ohio State on top, 3-2.
Greve settled down to toss two more scoreless innings before Travis Lakins came on in the top of the eighth. The freshman retired the first two batters of the inning before allowing a single to left by Taylor Zeutenhorst and a walk by Jimmy Frankos to put Hawkeyes on first and second with two down. Lakins then shut the door, inducing an inning-ending fielder’s choice by Kris Goodman to preserve the 3-2 Ohio State lead.
Trace Dempsey then came on and tossed a perfect ninth to earn his seventh save of the season.
Nennig paced Ohio State offensively, going 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI while Kuhn went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and a double. Greve picked up the win to improve to 6-3 on the year, allowing two earned runs on eight hits while striking out five over 7.0 innings.
The Buckeyes host Miami at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium.
– Kuhn tallied his 17th multi-hit game of the year while Nennig picked up his sixth.
– The home run by Kuhn moved him into a tie for fourth in the Big Ten with six long balls on the year.
– The win moves the Buckeyes into a tie for sixth in the Big Ten along with Iowa and Michigan State at 8-10.