WINTER HAVEN, Fla. The No. 16 Ohio State baseball team had its nine-game winning streaked snapped, 4-1, Monday afternoon against Rollins College. The Buckeyes, who moved up to No. 16 in this week’s Collegiate Baseball rankings, will carry a 17-3 record into its Tuesday night contest at No. 6 Miami. Rollins improved to 18-12 on the year.
Two Tars’ pitchers starter Marc Hewett and Robbie Pagano held the Buckeye bats in check by giving up just five hits with the only run scored on a Dan Burkhart single in the fourth inning. Hewett, who left the game at the start of the seventh inning due to a leg cramp, improved to 3-1 with the win. Pagano recorded his first save of the year.
Michael Stephens had two of the Buckeyes’ five hits. Both were doubles. He scored on Burkhart’s single to cut into a 3-0 Rollins lead. The Tars built the lead on Ohio State starter Andrew Armstrong (1-1) with a two-run first inning home run by Bryan Bennett and a solo shot from Jesse More in the third.
Armstrong gave up just one more run the rest of the way in pitching the first complete game of his career. He scattered 10 hits, walked only one and had five strikeouts.
Rollins came into the game with four wins this season over Division I schools Maine (twice), Georgetown and Penn before getting its biggest DI win today.
Game Notes from Florida, Volume XVI…
- Collegiate Baseball rankings for this week came out midway through the game. Ohio State has moved up from No. 22 nationally to a ranking of No. 16.
- No surprise here: Alex Wimmers is the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week. The sophomore was honored after his 14-strikeout, no walk gem over Indiana Friday.
- Rollins, the first recognized college in the state of Florida, is located just 10 minutes from downtown Orlando. Its 1,700-student campus is small but spectacular with its Spanish-Mediterranean architecture, impressive sculptures and lovely landscaping all nestled among the homes of the Winter Park titans.
- Rollins is a Division II school that competes in the Sunshine State Conference with Barry, Florida Southern, Eckerd, Florida Tech, Lynn, Tampa, Saint Leo and Nova Southeastern.
- The field at Alfond Stadium is “crowned.” The infield is at least two feet above the outfield with a considerable slope between the infield and outfield.
- No, that wasn’t snow on the field when the Buckeyes arrived. It was white sand, but it looked a fresh dusting of snow. The sand was applied to soak up some of the much needed rain that hit the area overnight. Central Florida has been experiencing a series of wild fires due to the extremely dry conditions.
- Rollins base paths are not dirt. They’re all grass, something the Rollins folks say you’ll typically see at the Florida college parks.
- The game was an event for the fans. The Rollins baseball booster organization, led by Mt. Vernon, Ohio native Denise Cullen, welcomed Rollins’ alumni to the game. The group held a pregame picnic down the first base line with hot dogs, hamburgers and beverages.
- Ohio State concludes its 21 games in Florida to open the season with a 6 p.m. game Tuesday at No. 6 Miami. Alex Wimmers is scheduled to start.