BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Ohio State coach Greg Beals stressed the importance of “team” at the ball park Saturday. He told his troops, who had lost six consecutive games coming into a series finale with CSU Bakersfield, to fight their tails off for the team and to get it done as a team. The team listened.

Capitalizing on opportunities, seven Roadrunner errors, five RBI from Ryan Cypret and runs scored from seven different players, Ohio State snapped its losing streak and closed out its six-game California spring trip with a 10-8 win in front of 723 fans at Hardt Field. The win improved OSU’s record to 7-10 and it snapped a seven-game win streak for CSU Bakersfield and dropped its record to 18-6.

The game was scoreless into the fifth inning and Ohio State only led 2-1 into the seventh. That’s because the Buckeyes got 3.0 solid innings from starter Theron Minium  – one hit allowed, four strikeouts and no walks – and a series of three more relievers kept the Roadrunners from mounting any kind of threat.

Ohio State got on the board first Brian DeLucia ripped a double to center and Tim Wetzel stroked a first-pitch single to center to score DeLucia with Wetzel taking second on the throw. Cypret then followed with a single to center that scored Wetzel.

The Roadrunners scored one in the fifth and then threatened with runners on second and third and one down in the sixth. But David Fathalikhani got a foul fly to the catcher and a wicked swinging strikeout to get the Buckeyes out of the inning clinging to their 2-1 lead.

Ohio State struck for three more in the seventh inning. A couple of errors extended the Buckeye inning and with DeLucia and Joe Ciamacco on base, Cypret turned on a two-strike breaking ball and sent it out of the ball park in left field for his team-leading second home run of the season.

These Roadrunners are 18-6 for a reason, though: they battle. And back they came in their half of the seventh to tie the score with four runs. Fathalikhani loaded the bases in his second inning of work and Jeremy Rodriguez greeted Josh Dezse with a three-run double to close the lead to 5-4. Two batters later Rodriguez scored on a single up the middle.

The Buckeyes came right with five more runs in the eighth off just two hits and three Roadrunner errors. Three of the runs in the inning were scored on fielder’s choice plays plus errors – two on the catcher and one on the second baseman – trying to get the runners at the plate. DeLucia had an RBI double and Cypret had his career high fifth RBI of the game on a fielder’s choice (with no error on the play).

CSU Bakersfield added three more runs in the ninth inning – none of them earned – and had the tying run at the plate, but Dezse got the final out of the game on a strikeout. Dezse picked up the win with 2.2 innings of work and he improves to 2-1 on the season.

DeLucia scored three runs while batting from the leadoff position. He was the only other Buckeye besides Cypret with multiple hits.

Ohio State opens its home season Tuesday against Xavier at Bill Davis Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.

Some Final Spring Trip Thoughts:

  • Ryan Cypret now has a five-hit game, a five-RBI game and a four-runs scored game this season.
  • The Buckeyes did not use ace starter Drew Rucinski at all on this trip, allowing his finger with an issue plenty of recovery time prior to the opening of the Big Ten season this weekend at home against Northwestern.
  • Ohio State also only used starter Greg Greve once – last Sunday vs. California – and key reliever Jared Strayer returned from a wrist injury only today to make his first appearance since the opening game of the season.
  • The combined record right now for Ohio State’s three spring trip opponents (California, Fresno State and CSU Bakersfield): 51-13.
  • A couple of breakfast thoughts have been percolating in the mind like freshly brewed coffee.
  • – The first: it is well worth the time it takes to make a waffle at those hotels with free breakfasts. Had one the other day covered in sweet, warm syrup with a glass of ice cold milk. It was fluffy and dense at the same time and merely, perhaps, the finest waffle ever tasted. Left the table thoroughly satisfied, stuffed, smiling and yearning for the next one.
  • – Second: at the Bakersfield hotel’s breakfast brunch: the granola is unquestionably the best tasting, most crunchy, yet cold milk absorbing, granola on the planet. Good granola…what a way to have a mindful morning. Only issue: the canister ran out of the good granola and it wasn’t refilled. Grrrrrr!
  • 2010 Ohio State graduate and two-year letter winner Michael Stephens drove two hours from Victorville, Calif., to see the game Saturday. He’ll soon be heading to St. Louis to play for the Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier League.
  • Time to come home. The Buckeyes are bussing to Los Angeles after the game and will fly out of LAX Sunday morning about 8 a.m. with an ETA into Columbus at about 5 p.m. EDT.