May 5, 2018

Buckeyes Beat Illinois, 6-5, Friday Night


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CHAMPAIGN, Ill.  – In front of 3,227 fans at Illinois Field, the Ohio State baseball team defeated Illinois, 6-5, Friday evening. The Buckeyes jumped out to an early 6-1 lead and held off an Illini comeback to improve to 29-14 overall and 10-6 in Big Ten play. Illinois drops to 26-15 overall and 10-6 in league play. Junior left-handed starter Connor Curlis claimed the win to improve to 6-3, while senior right-handed reliever Seth Kinker retired all nine batters he faced to claim his 10th save of 2018.

“It’s always big to win Friday night,” head coach Greg Beals said. “We had a big third inning offensively. The key to that was we executed some small ball. We had a hit and run and a sacrifice that all lead to runs. I thought we played really well on defense. We committed one error which was costly in the first inning. That error also costed Curlis some work because it tacked on to his pitch count. Other than, we played defense well tonight to support our pitching staff. We had a big throw out by Barnwell on an attempted steal and got a big double play by Michalik. Seth Kinker gave us three shutdown innings.”

Noah McGowan was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI and walk, while Kobie Foppe was 2-for-4 with a run scored and RBI. Brady Cherry was 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Dominic Canzone also had a pair of hits with a run scored and Noah West was 2-for-4 with a run scored.


– The Buckeyes jumped out to a five-run lead against Illinois left-handed starter Andy Fisher. The Buckeyes scored a run in the first and hung a five-spot in the top of the third to end Fisher’s evening early on the bump. In the first, back-to-back, two-out RBI doubles by McGowan and Pohl registered the first run.

– After the Illini answered with a run in the bottom half, Ohio State posted five runs on five hits and one Illini error in the top of the third. Foppe singled through the left side on a 1-1 count to push West around. A RBI single by McGowan made it 3-1. With the bases loaded, Cherry roped an opposite field double off the wall in right center to make it a 5-1 game. A failed pickoff attempt by Fisher at second base allowed Dillon Dingler to walk across the dish for the sixth run.

– Fisher was pulled with one down in the fourth. In 3.1 innings of work, he allowed six runs, five earned, on eight hits with four strikeouts and no walks.

– The Illini fought back to within one run of the Scarlet and Gray, scoring a run in the fourth on a RBI grounder and plated three in the fifth. Ben Troike homered to left center. Michael Massey tripled down the right field line and Michael Michalak grounded out to push the fifth run around.

– The OSU bullpen kept the Illini off the board for the final 3.2 innings. Right-handed reliever Kyle Michalik allowed one hit, but rolled a key double play to end the sixth. Kinker, who made his 100th career appearance tonight, put down nine consecutive Illlini batters to claim his 10th save of the year. He struck out two in the three-inning save.