BLOOMINGTON, Ind.– Ohio State’s 10-9 Game 3 loss to Indiana Sunday was quite simply, terribly unfortunate. The home team scored four two-out, unearned runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to steal a win from the grasps of defeat and give it a series win over the Buckeyes for the first time since 1996.
T.C. Knipp hit a bases-loaded triple to tie the score and Michael Basil followed with the game winning single to give Indiana its series victory, but more importantly improve its record to 4-2 in the Big Ten and 20-11 overall. Ohio State falls to 3-3 in the Big Ten and 11-14 overall.
On a scary-windy day at Sembower Field, the Buckeyes did everything right to stay in front of the dangerous hitting Hoosiers…except get the final out. The team jumped on IU starter Matt Dearden for a couple of runs in the first inning and added another in the third to give OSU freshman starter Greg Greve somewhat of a comfort zone in just his second Big Ten start, but clearly his biggest Big Ten start.
Tim Wetzel singled and scored in the first and Ryan Cypret was hit by a pitch and scored off a Greg Solomon single to give the Buckeyes a quick, 2-0 lead.
IU scored two off Greve in their half of the first, but Ohio State regained the lead in the second when Matt Streng singled, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Tyler Engle single.
The Buckeyes got to Dearden in the fourth and added four runs in the inning to build the lead to 7-2. Streng, who had a pair of hits and scored twice on the day, lead off with a double and Engle walked to chase Dearden. Brian DeLucia drew a walk, thus ending reliever Drew Lieninger’s one-batter stint. Then Wetzel, on his way to producing the first three-hit game of his career, greeted Joey DiNato by lacing a two-run single to center. DeLucia then came around to score on an error and Josh Dezse hit a sacrifice fly for the 7-2 lead.
A terrific defensive inning by the Buckeyes followed in the bottom of the fourth to keep the score at 7-2. With one out and Basil at second after a double, catcher Greg Solomon threw him out trying to steal third. Then Justin Cureton singled for IU, but he was thrown out at second by left fielder David Corna as he tried to stretch his hit into a double.
An Ohio State run in the sixth – Solomon’s second RBI single of the game – scored DeLucia and increased the lead to 8-2.
The Hoosiers came back with a pair in their half of the sixth to get within four at 8-4. Wes Wilson reached on an error and Josh Lyon homered off Jared Strayer, going against the breeze out of left center field.
In response mode, the Buckeyes scored a run in the seventh on Brad Hutton’s second home run of the season, opposite field to right, to make the score 9-4 for the all-gray visiting team.
Indiana was then set up for a huge seventh inning when the first four runners reached base against Andrew Armstrong, but David Fathalikhani got a fly out and then a double play grounder with an interference call to end the inning. Dezse, making just his eighth start at first base, leaped high to snare a ground ball by Lyon, threw to second for the force but Micah Johnson was called for interference on his slide at second. So the Buckeyes escaped the inning surrendering just two runs and still lead, 9-6.
IU’s DiNato (4-1 with the win), was starting to settle in at this point and he threw perfect eighth and ninth innings to give the home team and the home crowd of 1,075 fans some glimmer of hope.
Dean Wolosiansky, now 1-5, had entered the game for Ohio State in the eighth inning and warmed up nicely with an easy one-hit, four-batter inning. Then came the bottom of the ninth.
Jarrud Sabourin reached on an error off a hard-hit ball that seemed to pick up speed after skipping along the grass, appearing to catch shortstop Tyler Engle somewhat by surprise. Alex Dickerson singled and Wolosiansky then got two strikeouts around another single to set up a bases loaded situation with two outs. That’s when Knipp sent a ball off the wall in right center field to tie the score and one pitch later Basil singled to left for the winner.
The hit was the last of 16 for Indiana off six Ohio State pitchers. Greve – 4.0 innings with only five hits allowed and two runs allowed vs. three walks – and the relief corps – 4.2 innings pitched with just three earned runs allowed and no walks – were commendable in an always-difficult Sunday game to help Ohio State win.
And so were the Ohio State hitters. Seven different players totaled 11 hits with three having multiple RBI games and three scoring multiple runs.
Errors and wild pitches hurt both teams, though, as Indiana had three of each and Ohio State two. And in the end the home team won in dramatic fashion. Sometimes that happens. And that’s baseball.
Game Notes & Random Thoughts on the Road Back: