COLUMBUS, Ohio. Ohio State did not capitalize on two bases loaded situations early in the game and Northwestern put the game away with four runs in the sixth inning to defeat No. 24 Ohio State, 10-6, Sunday at Bill Davis Stadium. Despite the loss, Ohio State wins the series, 2-1, and is in a first-place in the Big Ten with an 11-4 record. The Buckeyes are 31-10 overall

Eight Buckeye runners were left stranded on base in the third through fifth innings, keeping the home team from cutting into 3-1 and 3-2 Northwestern leads at the time.

“We were our own worst enemy,” Ohio State coach Bob Todd said. “One time I looked up and we had three hits in an inning but only one run.

“Winning two-of-three is a good weekend, though. You can’t worry about the ramifications of losing a game today because there will be other losses in the Big Ten by us and by other teams.”

To the Wildcats credit, they scored in the first inning for the third consecutive game, getting two runs off three hits for a quick 2-0 lead, and putting Ohio State in a comeback position once again. 

The Wildcats added a run in the third Chad Noble singling in Trevor Stevens for the second time in the game to go up, 3-0, before Ohio State scored only one run in the third yet had the bases loaded.

Ohio State added an unearned run in the fifth to close the gap to 3-2, but the Wildcats scored four runs off two doubles and two walks to build a 7-2 lead and the home team simply wasn’t able to recover. Northwestern improved to 12-26 with the win and 3-10 in the Big Ten Conference.

“We tip our hat to Northwestern” shortstop Tyler Engle said. “They came out every game and scored some runs in the first inning, and they just played good baseball.”

Stevens, freshman son of NU coach Paul Stevens, led the way Sunday with three hits and three runs scored. Noble had three hits and three RBI. Relief pitcher David Jensen worked 3.0 innings to pick up the win and improve to 2-2 on the year.

Michael Stephens led a 13-hit Ohio State afternoon with three hits and two runs. Cory Kovanda had a couple of hits, including his 10th double of the season, and scored a run. Matt Streng also had two hits and a run scored. Eric Best falls to 6-2 with the loss.

Game Notes and Random Thoughts from the Press Box:

  • The Buckeye Diamond Club appreciation day cookout for Diamond Club members is this Saturday, May 2nd before the Buckeyes host Michigan.  The cookout begins at 12:30 on the baseball office terrace along the left field line.
  • Not a member yet of the Diamond Club yet? Call the baseball office at (614) 292-1075 for more information.  
  • Stat of the game: Ohio State was 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position while Northwestern’s hitters were 5-for-13. Chad Noble was 3-for-5 in such situations.
  • Tyler Engle saved two sure runs and a potential 5-1 Ohio State deficit in the fifth inning when he dove to his left to snag a line drive off the bat of Kenneth Avila with two on and two out.
  • Justin Miller had half of the team’s 18 RBI this weekend. He also led the team with a .462 average (6-for-13).
  • Ryan Dew (.455), Dan Burkhart (.444) and Cory Kovanda (.400) all hit above .400 for the three-game series. 
  • All three games of the rather large Big Ten Conference series against Michigan this weekend (May 1-3) at Bill Davis Stadium will be televised by the Big Ten Network.
  • Please note: the game time for the Friday Ohio State vs. Michigan game will be 7 p.m. and not 6:35 p.m. Saturday and Sunday starts are at 1:05 p.m.
  • But before the Michigan series, former Ohio State assistant coach Pat Bangston and the Akron Zips are in town for a 6:35 p.m. game Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium. 
  • Ohio State and Illinois, a 9-2 winner over Penn State for a three-game sweep, are tied for the Big Ten lead at 11-4. Indiana defeated Michigan Sunday, 3-2, and is in third at 10-4. Minnesota, leading Purdue, 5-2 in the eighth inning, is looking to complete a three-game sweep to also improve to 10-4 in the league.