MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. The Ohio State baseball team can breathe a sigh and take a break from travelling because the season-opening stretch of 27 of its first 29 games on the road, including its first two Big Ten Conference series, has ended after a 16-3 loss to Minnesota Sunday at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The loss enables Minnesota to win the three-game series, 2-1, and leaves No. 18 Ohio State with a 22-7 overall mark and a 3-3 record in the Big Ten. Minnesota is 16-9 and 3-2, respectively.

Ohio State will begin a five-game homestand Wednesday with a 6:35 p.m. game against Morehead State University and then play host to its first home Big Ten series of the year Friday through Sunday vs. Michigan State. Ohio State won two of three games at Penn State last weekend before the series this weekend against the Golden Gophers.

Minnesota, using its speed to advance two bases on virtually every hit, scored a run on two hits in the first inning to grab a 1-0 lead. AJ Pettersen sped to third on Derek McCallum’s single to left and scored on a sacrifice fly by Michael Kvasnicka.

That speed on the bases, coupled with a 19-hit attack, proved to be a potent mix as Minnesota came back with seven more runs in the second off seven hits and a throwing error to lead 8-0. The home team added four more runs in each of the third and fourth innings against an array of Ohio State pitchers to put the game away.

Ohio State, at this point using a mix of starters and players into the game off the bench, scored three runs in the fifth inning off four hits. Ben Toussant had a run-scoring double down the left field line and Tyler Engle drove Toussant home with a single to center field. A third run scored off a throwing error. 

That would be it for the Buckeyes’ offensively. The team totaled six hits and three runs (one unearned) against Minnesota starter Seth Rosin, who improved to 2-1 with 5.0 innings of work. Minnesota totaled 19 hits against six Ohio State pitchers, but just three hits and no runs over the final 4.2 innings. 

Game Notes and Random Thoughts From Inside the Metrodome:

  • It snowed today in Minnesota.
  • Jake Hale entered and finished a game for the 16th consecutive time.
  • Ohio State utilized 20 different players in the game.
  • Michael Arp had the only two-hit day by a Buckeye.
  • Big Ten series results from the weekend: Indiana won the series at Illinois, 2-1; Purdue hosted Iowa and won the series, 2-1; Michigan State leads Northwestern, 2-0, heading into G3 today at Lansing; Michigan and Penn State are tied, 1-1, heading into G3 today at Ann Arbor.
  • The Minnesota Twins practiced in the Metrodome before the game…a nice treat for those Buckeyes who were able to catch some of the workout. The Seattle Mariners practiced right after the game. The Twins, always a threat to win the American League Central Division, host the Mariners in their 2009 season opener Monday night.
  • Taking a look at the week ahead: Ohio State plays its first home night game of the season Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. against Morehead State and then hosts Michigan State in a Big Ten Conference series Friday through Sunday at Bill Davis Stadium. Minnesota leaves Monday on a nine-hour bus trip to Columbia, Mo., where it will play Missouri Tuesday and Wednesday. The Golden Gophers then host Northwestern next weekend at the Metrodome.