Fans expecting a show from the Ohio State baseball team would have to wait for the post-game fireworks as the Buckeyes were helpless against the Iowa Hawkeyes in a 7-0 loss Friday night at Bill Davis Stadium.
With senior ace Drew Rucinski on the mound, OSU (22-23, 10-9) looked to build momentum after their win over No. 19 ranked Oklahoma State against the Hawkeyes (19-27, 8-11).
Instead, Hawkeyes put on a clinic as they dominated the Buckeyes at the plate and on the mound. They had 11 hits, several of which weren’t hit very hard but found a place in the outfield anyway.
“It seemed like it was a ‘hit it where we ain’t’ situation tonight for them,” coach Greg Beals said. “We didn’t have enough going on tonight to win the ball game. It just was one of those nights.”
Iowa attacked OSU systematically from the plate, with timely and consistent hitting as they increased their lead throughout the game.
The real star of the game was Iowa starter Jared Hippen. The lefty mystified the OSU lineup with an array of off-speed pitches, scattering three hits and striking out five for the complete game shutout. His circle-change kept the Buckeyes guessing.
“He’s throwing that soft stuff and as a hitter you just want to whack at it,” freshman outfielder Tim Wetzel said. “It was like whiffle-ball.”
“You have to give him credit, he did a good job of mixing speeds on us,” Beals said. “We didn’t stay patient and had we capitalized on the fastballs, it might have been a different story.”
Senior outfielder Brian DeLucia described his frustration facing Hippen.
“He had a lot of junk,” DeLucia said. “I credit this game to bad defensive at-bats and slow stuff we weren’t used to facing.”
The series resumes Saturday at 3:05 p.m. at Bill Davis Stadium between OSU and Iowa.
OSU did have chances to generate runs in lieu of Hippen’s performance, but didn’t come through on those chances. They were 0-for-8 at the plate with runners in scoring position.
“We had our chances tonight,” Beals said. “When you get those opportunities to drive runs you have to put those balls in play.
Rucinski Comes Up Short
Rucinski lost his first Big Ten game of the season Friday night. He was previously 3-0 with a 2.54 ERA in conference play.
“I thought he pitched the ball pretty good tonight,” Beals said. “Iowa’s a scrappy team that got their hits when they needed them tonight.”