IOWA CITY, Iowa – Bob Todd picked up his 900th win at Ohio State as the Buckeyes topped Iowa, 11-6, Sunday afternoon in Iowa City.
With the win, Ohio State moves to 27-21 on the season, 10-11 in the Big Ten while Iowa drops to 23-26, also 10-11 in the Big Ten.
Jared Strayer picked up his second win of the week in relief for the Buckeyes, tossing four innings, giving up five hits and just one earned run. Ryan Dew finished 2-for-5 with four runs batted in and two runs scored and Cory Rupert went 3-for-4 with a run batted in.
Like the first two games of the series, Zach Hurley led off the first inning with a single. After a fly out by Cory Kovanda, Dan Burkhart walked and Michael Stephens singled to right to load the bases. Dew then took Phil Schreiber offering deep to right for a grand slam to give the Buckeyes a 4-0 lead. It was Dew’s sixth home run of the season and third in the last five games. Brad Hallberg followed Dew with a walk and Rupert singled through the right side on a perfectly executed hit and run to move Hallberg over to third. Brian DeLucia then pushed the Buckeye lead to 5-0 on an RBI fielder’s choice to shortstop as Hallberg crossed home plate.
After recording the first two outs of the first inning, Ohio State starter Brett McKinney loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a walk but the freshman right-hander was able to get out of the jam as Mike Corbeil flew out to center to end the threat.
Iowa was able to get one back in the second as Trevor Willis came around to score on a single by Kurt Lee after tripling to lead off the inning.
The Hawkeyes scored two more in the bottom of the fourth when Tyson Blaser led off the inning with a double and Willis followed with his second triple of the game, this time down the right field line. Willis was then driven in on a sacrifice fly to center by Kurtis Muller to cut the Buckeye lead to 5-3 after four.
The Buckeyes answered right back with two of their own in the top of the fifth. Stephens led off the inning with his team-leading ninth home run of the season, a bomb to left center that not only cleared the scoreboard but cleared the street between Duane Banks Field and Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the home of the Iowa basketball and wrestling teams. Dew followed with a single to center to knock Schreiber out of the game. Hallberg then welcomed Iowa reliever Zach Kenyon with a single to right and Rupert then singled to drive in Dew to make it a 7-3 Buckeye lead.
After Rupert popped out to lead off the seventh, DeLucia and Tyler Engle each singled, Hurley walked to load the bases and Kovanda walked as DeLucia scored. Burkhart then singled through the left side to drive in a pair. Kovanda then scored on an error by Lee on a ground ball by Stephens as Ohio State extended the lead to 11-3.
Iowa tacked on one more run on three hits in the eighth and two more in the ninth but it proved to be too little, too late as Ohio State came away with the win.
The Buckeyes return home to Bill Davis Stadium Tuesday to take on Pittsburgh on Columbus City Schools Day at 12:05 p.m.
– It marked the last Sunday game of the Big Ten season as the series against Minnesota will be Thursday through Saturday next weekend.
– Ryan Dew leads the Buckeyes with 11 multiple RBI games this season.
– Dan Burkhart has now thrown out 22 of 49 base stealers this season.
– Speaking of great defense, Cory Kovanda made an excellent diving stab on a ground ball in shallow right field by Mike McQuillan and the senior second baseman was able to make the throw to first while falling down to get the Hawkeye second baseman by a step.
– Zach Hurley recorded his third multi-hit game of the series, team-leading 27th of the season and 66th of his career Sunday against the Hawkeyes.