April 12, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Greg Greve tossed a complete-game, four-hit shutout as the Ohio State baseball team topped Penn State 7-0 Saturday afternoon at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 20-15, 3-8 in the Big Ten, while the Nittany Lions drop to 17-15, 5-2 in conference play.

“This was very important for us after losing seven-straight conference games,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. “We need to get back in good ways and Greve, our senior co-captain, grabbed the bull by the horns and shut them out. It’s just what our ball club needed today.”

Ohio State threatened in the bottom of the first against Penn State starter T.J. Jann. After Jann retired Nick Sergakis on a groundout to start the inning, Ronnie Dawson reached on a bunt single before Jann issued a free pass to Troy Kuhn. However, Jann bounced back to get Pat Porter to fly out to deep center before Ryan Leffel popped out to first to end the inning.

In the bottom of the second, Josh Dezse reached on an error with one down and, after Jann struck out Jacob Bosiokovic, was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a double to right by Aaron Gretz to end the inning as the game remained scoreless after two innings.

Sergakis gave the Buckeyes the lead in the bottom of the third when he led off the frame with a line drive home run to left, his first-career long ball, for the 1-0 Ohio State advantage. Later in the inning, Dawon singled through the right side and Porter reached on a bloop double to put Buckeyes on second and third with one down. However, Jann got Leffel to hit a hard-hit comebacker to the mound before he struck out Troy Montgomery looking to end the inning.

Ohio State tacked on one more in the bottom of the fourth. Dezse reached on an error to lead off the inning before a sacrifice bunt by Bosiokovic moved him to second. After Gretz lined out to right for the second out of the inning, Penn State shortstop Jim Haley dropped a pop up by Sergakis as Dezse came around to score to push the Buckeye lead to 2-0. Jann then struck out Dawson but the Buckeye left-fielder reached on a wild pitch on strike three. With two down and runners on the corners, Jann walked Kuhn but Penn State catcher Alex Farkes threw down to second, allowing Sergakis to score from third to extend the Ohio State advantage to 3-0 after four innings of play.

In the meantime, Greve cruised through the seven scoreless frames, allowing just four baserunners over that span.

The Buckeyes then blew the game open with a four-run seventh. Back-to-back walks to Dawson and Kuhn chased Jann from the game in favor of right-hander Ryan Harper, who allowed a single to center by Porter to load the bases with nobody out. Leffel followed with a sacrifice fly to center to score Dawson and, after Harper got Montomery to fly out to right for the second out of the inning, Dezse launched a three-run shot to left, his first of the year, to make it a 7-0 Buckeye lead.

Greve tossed a scoreless final two innings to pick up the win to improve to 4-2 on the year while Jann suffered the loss to drop to 1-5. The Ohio State right-hander allowed four hits while striking out nine to pick up the Buckeyes’ second complete-game shutout of the year.

Porter finished the day 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored while Sergakis went 1-for-5 with a home run, two runs scored and an RBI and Dezse finished 1-for-4 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored.

Ohio State and Penn State square off in the rubber game of the three-game set at 1:05 p.m. Sunday.

– Sergakis extended his hitting streak to a career-high seven games..
– Greve has tossed 15.0 scoreless innings, allowing nine hits while striking out five over his last two starts.
– Greve needed just 86 pitches, 57 strikes, to complete the shutout.
– The complete-game shutout was the second for the Buckeyes this season after Ryan Riga struck out 10 in a 5-0 shutout at No. 9 Oregon March 8.
– Kuhn drew a career-high four walks Saturday against the Nittany Lions.
– Dawson picked up his team-high 12th multi-hit game of the season while Porter earned his ninth.