March 23, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team edged Michigan State, 1-0, to win its Big Ten-opening series on a cold Sunday afternoon at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 15-7 on the season, 2-1 in the Big Ten, while the Spartans fall to 10-10, 1-2 in conference play.

“There was nothing fun about hitting today and our two rookie pitchers really stepped up,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. “Playing a one-run game makes everything matter. Every little thing came into play in a one-run game and the fact that we only walked one batter and didn’t commit any errors was big for us.”

Ohio State threatened against Michigan State starter Cam Vieaux in the top of the third. The Buckeyes had runners on second and third with two down after a single by Nick Sergakis, an error on a pop up by Tim Wetzel and a wild pitch but Spartan shortstop Ryan Richardson made a great diving stop on a ground ball by Ryan Leffel to end the inning and keep the game scoreless.

The Spartans then threatened against Ohio State starter Tanner Tully in the bottom of the fourth.  A single by Blaise Salter, followed by a sacrifice bunt by Jimmy Pickens and another single by Joel Fisher put runners at the corners with one down. However, Tully bounced back to get Ryan Krill to strike out and Richardson to fly out to center as the game remained scoreless.

Ohio State took the lead in the top of the fifth. Connor Sabanosh led off the inning with a single up the middle before a sacrifice bunt by Troy Montgomery moved him to second and an infield single by Sergakis put Buckeyes on the corners with one down. Wetzel then plated Sabanosh with the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly to right for a 1-0 lead.

Tully continued to cruise for the Buckeyes until getting relieved by Travis Lakins in the bottom of the eighth. The freshman left-hander exited after tossing 7.0 shutout innings, scattering seven hits while striking out four.

After Lakins retired the Spartans in order in the eighth, Pickens led off the ninth with a double on a fly ball to center that Ronnie Dawson lost in the sun. Lakins then struck out Fisher but a single through the right side but runners at the corners with one down for Richardson. However, Lakins bounced back to strike out the Michigan State shortstop before getting Dan Durkin to strike out to end the game.

Tully picked up the win to improve to 3-0 on the season while Lakins struck out four over 2.0 scoreless innings for his second-career save. Dezse, Sabanosh and Sergakis each tallied two-hit games for the Buckeyes.

The Buckeyes take on Marshall at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium.

– Sergakis made his first-career start at short in place of the injured Craig Nennig.
– Kuhn had his career-long 10-game hitting streak snapped Sunday against the Spartans.
– Sergakis tallied his first-career multi-hit game. Dezse picked up his fifth multi-hit contest and Sabanosh notched his third.