EVANSTON, Ill. – After an offensive explosion on Saturday, with the Buckeyes besting Northwestern in two blowouts in the doubleheader games, Sunday’s matchup saw Ohio State attempting for their first weekend sweep of the season. The visiting Buckeyes came back to tie the game at five in the eighth and Kade Kern’s game-winning RBI single in the ninth gave Ohio State a 6-5 win.
The Buckeyes climb to 17-26 on the season and 6-13 in Big Ten play.
How it Happened
Northwestern took an early lead in the first when Wyatt Loncar allowed a leadoff walk; the Wildcat baserunner advanced on an error and scored on an RBI groundout later in the inning. The Buckeyes tied it up when a Mitchell Okuley walk turned into runners on the corners after Archer Brookman’s single into right center. Okuley scored on Marcus Ernst’s sacrifice fly to make it 1-1 after three innings.
In the fourth, Kade Kern singled and Blayne Robinson doubled to put two runners in scoring position with just one out. Kern scored on a wild pitch, and two batters later, Robinson scampered home on Brent Tody’s two-out RBI single to make it 3-1.
Ohio State jumped to their largest lead in the sixth. Blayne Robinson walked to lead off the inning, and Brent Todys singled to move him up a base. Archer Brookman’s two-out RBI single made it 4-1. However, Northwestern’s sixth proved to be their biggest offensive inning. Griffan Smith allowed three baserunners without an out, and while Jake Johnson entered and stopped the bleeding, all three runners came around to make it 4-4 heading into the seventh. Northwestern grabbed their first lead of the game with a walk, sac bunt, and single in the bottom half of the seventh.
The Buckeyes proved to be up to the challenge after falling behind. After Blayne Robinson’s leadoff double, the Buckeyes turned to veteran Mitchell Okuley with two outs and Robinson still standing at second. Okuley came through with an RBI single to tie the game at 5-5. After a scoreless inning by Tim Baird, Zach Dezenzo got things started in the ninth with a one-out walk. Kade Kern’s two-out single scored Dezenzo for what proved to be the game-winning run, as Ethan Hammerberg entered for the save and converted to close out Ohio State’s thrilling 6-5 victory.
The Buckeyes host Campbell for two midweek non-conference games on Tuesday and Wednesday of the upcoming week, before hosting Penn State in their final Big Ten conference series of the season this weekend.