It took 18 hours to do it, but Ohio State resurrected its Big Ten Tourney title hopes with an 11-4 elimination win over Michigan.
Omaha – Officially, the game started at 7 pm on Friday night.
It was Ohio State playing Michigan in an elimination game, both with one loss, and the loser to go home.
Michigan opened with two in the top of the first; Ohio State answered with five runs in the bottom of the inning, on six hits.
Ohio State starter Adam Niemeyer, still battling a hamstring pull, had settled in by the bottom of the second…and then the skies opened. RAIN!
The game was suspended after thirty minutes, to be resumed on Saturday afternoon at 2 pm.
Ohio State opened by adding a single run in the bottom of the fourth on an infield single and RBI by Jacob Bosiokovic, driving in Troy Kuhn.
Michigan answered off reliever Ryan Feltner, who took over for Niemeyer, in the top off the fifth, scoring twice.
But Ohio State came right back in the bottom of the inning, scoring three times and aided by a blown called on a popup flared down the right field foul line by Kuhn. The first base umpire originally called the ball foul, as it dropped between three Michigan fielders. But upon Greg Beals’ request for a review the call was overturned and two run were awarded the Buckeyes.
They ended up scoring three in the inning, added two more in the bottom of the seventh, and cruised to an eventual 11-4 win. Michigan (36-21) was eliminated from the tournament.
Feltner, who came out for Niemeyer to start the game, pitched into the ninth inning, scattering six hits, struck ten, and walked three. What he lacked in command he more than made up for in competitive grit.
With one out in the top of the ninth, Beals again went to the bullpen to summon submarining righthander Kyle Mychalik, who induced a 6-4-3 double play ball to end the game.
In total, Ohio State had 18 hits, with seven different players having a multiple-hit game: Nick Sergaskis (2), Craig Nennig (2), Ronnie Dawson (3), Troy Kuhn (3), Troy Montgomery (2), Ryan Leffel (2), and Tre’ Gantt (2).
The Buckeyes (40-18-1), still playing for the tournament lives, will immediately turn around and play Michigan State at 5:30 pm, central time. If they win, they will have to play the undefeated Spartans again to gain entry into Sunday’s championship round.
If they don’t win, they’ve all but guaranteed themselves an at-large NCAA tournament berth on the strength of their two Big Ten tournament wins over Michigan. The Buckeyes have now swept the Wolverines in each of the five games played this season, a first in the history of the program.
Stay with Press Pros for continued Buckeye coverage throughout the evening.