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OMAHA, Neb. – The No. 7 seed Ohio State baseball team fell, 9-6, against No. 4 seed Minnesota in the semifinals of the 2019 Big Ten Tournament at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb. The Buckeyes (33-25) and Golden Gophers (29-26) will now play in an elimination game one hour after the conclusion of the Nebraska-Michigan game with a spot in the Big Ten Tournament title game on the line. Big Ten Network will televise the semifinal and fans can also listen on AM 1460 ESPN.
Minnesota starting pitcher Max Meyer limited the OSU bats to no runs on three hits with seven strikeouts and no walks in 5.2 innings of work to improve to 5-3 on the year. Ohio State starting pitcher Will Pfennig received the tough-luck loss to drop to 2-4. Pfennig, from Mason, Ohio, worked a career-high 7.1 innings on seven hits, four runs, four earned, three walks and four strikeouts. The Buckeyes rallied to get within two runs in the eighth, scoring four times highlighted by a bases-clearing double by Brent Todys. But the Gophers scored three runs vs. the Buckeye bullpen in the ninth on a bases-clearing triple by Jack Wassel. Dillon Dingler launched a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth in a three-hit game.
MIISSED OPPORTUNITY IN THE FOURTH
Ohio State had a great opportunity to grab the first run of the game in the bottom of the fourth after a lead-off triple. However, Meyer fanned two straight Buckeyes and induced a ground out to keep it scoreless through four.
MINNESOTA TAKES THE LEAD IN THE FIFTH
The Gophers took the momentum to start the fifth and grabbed a run off Pfennig. With runners on second and third, a fielding error up the middle helped the Gophers gain a 1-0 lead. The inning started with back-to-back singles. Pfennig limited the damage when he got a fly out and line out to maintain the one-run deficit.
MORE RUNS FOR THE GOPHERS
The Gophers added an insurance run in the seventh with a pinch-hit homer by Eduardo Estrada. A third Gopher run crossed in the top of the eighth on a fielder’s choice. Estrada launched a three-run homer in the eighth to make it 6-0.
BUCKS MAKE IT CLOSE
Ohio State scored four times in the eighth vs. the Minnesota bullpen. A bases-loaded walk to Conner Pohl allowed Dominic Canzone to touch the dish. Todys then ripped a 2-1 pitch off left-handed reliever Jeff Fasching to make it a 6-4 contest. Gopher right-handed closer Brett Schulze ended the eighth with two strikeouts.