May 6, 2018

Ohio State Wins Big Series at Illinois Sunday

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill.  – Huge road series win for the boys. The Ohio State baseball team defeated Illinois, 10-5, Sunday afternoon at Illinois Field in Champaign, Ill. With the series victory, the Buckeyes improve to 30-15 overall and 11-7 in Big Ten play, while the Illini fall to 27-16 overall and 11-7 in conference action. The Scarlet and Gray hung a five spot in the second and added five more runs over the next five innings to claim their first series win at Illinois since the 2009 campaign.

QUOTE FROM COACH
“We were able to get to their pitchers and those walks and errors helped us in the second,” head coach Greg Beals said. “We got bunts down and a hit and run down too. A big hit by Noah West late in the ball game off their closer. Our guys took care of business today and I’m really proud of the way they bounced back to win a road series against a very good opponent.”

IN THE BOX SCORE
Junior Kobie Foppe and sophomore Noah West drove in a combined eight runs in the game. Foppe went 2-for-4 with a double and four RBI and West went 2-for-3 with a double, run scored, walk and four RBI. Junior Jacob Barnwell was 2-for-5 with two runs scored and RBI. Sophomore Conner Pohl and freshman Dillon Dingler each had two runs scored.

GAME SUMMARY

– Ohio State took advantage of some miscues by the best fielding team in the conference in the second, scoring five times on two hits and two Illinois errors. The bases were loaded after a walk to Pohl, a throwing error and fielding error. Andrew Fishel walked to allow Pohl to score the first run. A single through the left side by Barnwell made it 2-0. West walked to push Tyler Cowles Foppe then ripped a double to the gap in right center to plate two more runs. In all, four of the five runs went in the box score as unearned.

– Illinois got on the board in the bottom of the third on a lead-off homer by Jeff Korte.

– The Buckeyes got back to a five-run lead in the fourth with a run on one hit and a third Illini error. Foppe pushed home West on a sac fly to right.

– Right-handed reliever Austin Woodby relieved Ohio State starter Adam Niemeyer with the bases loaded and one down in the bottom of the fifth. He gave up one run on a walk, but recorded the final two outs to hold on to a four-run lead. Niemeyer threw 4.1 innings and gave up two runs on four hits with three strikeouts and one walk in a no decision. Woodby threw 1.2 innings and gave up one run on three hits, one walk and one strikeout. He improves to 2-0 on the year.

– The teams exchanged runs in the sixth to put the score at 7-3. Foppe singled through the left side against Illinois closer Joey Gerber for his fourth RBI of the game. Bren Spillane hit his 18th homer of the year in the bottom half off Woodby.

– West came up huge in the top of the seventh with a two-out, bases-clearing double off Gerber to make it a seven-run game.

– The Illini scored two in the bottom of the seventh on a single by Troike and a ground ball

– Double play vs. right-handed reliever Seth Kinker. He kept the Illini off the board for the final two innings to earn his 11th save. He threw three innings and gave up two runs on two hits.

GAME NOTES

  • The Buckeyes improve to 104-102-1 all-time vs. the Illini.
  • The Buckeyes claimed their 30th win of the season today, marking it the 32nd 30-win season in program history. Head coach Greg Beals has posted six 30-win seasons in eight years at Ohio State.
  • Ohio State claims its first series win over Illinois since the 2013 campaign and first series win in Champaign, Ill., since the 2009 season.
  • The Scarlet and Gray batted .500 (6-for-12) with a runner on third and less than two outs.
  • Illinois made a season-high four errors.
  • Foppe had a season-high four RBI. He also recorded his 14th multi-hit game.
  • Reached base streaks extended: McGowan (5), West (5), Fishel (5) and Dingler (4).
  • Niemeyer hit the 200 innings pitched mark in his career (203.2 IP) and Woodby hit the 100 innings pitched mark in his career (101.1 IP).
  • Beals is two wins shy of 500 in his OSU career. He is 498-396-1 all-time.
  • Kinker made his 101st career appearance today. He is one appearance shy of tying the OSU career appearances record held by former Buckeye Trace Dempsey.
  • Kinker’s 20.1 IP scoreless streak ended today (team-high)
  • Barnwell recorded his 10th multi-hit of the season today.
  • West tallied a career-high four RBI in his sixth multi-hit performance.

UP NEXT
Ohio State concludes the 2018 home schedule with a five-game homestand next week in Columbus. The Buckeyes host Campbell in a two-game midweek series May 8-9 before wrapping up the Big Ten home slate with a three-game series against Purdue May 11-13 at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. All five games will be streamed on BTN Plus ($).

RANDOM NOTES FROM AROUND THE BALLPARK

– It’s graduation day in Columbus. But the boys were in Champaign. They still had an honorary walk though. Head coach Greg Beals said a few words of encouragement on the bus when the team arrived to the park and then had the eight graduating  seniors be the first to walk off the bus with the OSU fan-favorite “Buckeye Swag” bumping on the speakers to go along with a round of applause from their teammates and coaches. Cool moment to get getaway day started.

– The 2018 senior class posed for the camera during BP today too. The seven graduating seniors picked up senior student manager Drew Onega. The guy is a total house if you didn’t know. Arms and chest of a Spartan. Joining him in the photo were: Yianni Pavlopoulos, Austin Woodby, Ridge Winand, Seth Kinker, Curtiss Irving, Kyle Michalik and Adam Niemeyer.

– Illinois Field gave away free mini bats to all fans in attendance day. That’s a good Sunday for any baseball fan.

– Illini right fielder Jack Yalowitz has one of the best walkout songs in the Big Ten (Opinion of the Ohio State SID). An electric tune. Even the boys in the away dugout were seen having fun with it. It’s Shot Caller by Tchami in case you were wondering.

– Nothing better than a large pizza for yourself after a big road series win. See you back in Columbus Tuesday to finish out the home stretch.