The Ohio State baseball team scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth to cap off a 5-3 comeback victory over Minnesota in the opening game of the Big Ten Baseball Tournament.
The teams met for the fourth time in less than a week. They played this past weekend in Minnesota, where OSU (26-25, 14-11) took two of three from the Golden Gophers (22-23, 13-12).
After three scoreless innings, Minnesota struck first in the fourth. OSU appeared to get out of a jam on a double-play groundout, but freshman first baseman Josh Dezse was pulled off the bag and a run scored for Minnesota.
OSU hitters were kept in check by Minnesota starter TJ Oakes. He was masterful on the mound, striking out three and giving up three hits over the first seven innings.
The Golden Gophers looked to pad their 1-0 lead in the top of the eighth. After coming on to relieve senior starter Drew Rucinski, junior Andrew Armstrong gave up a two-run double to Minnesota first baseman Nick O’Shea as Minnesota led 3-0.
Fortunes reversed course for both teams as OSU came to bat. Sophomore catcher Greg Solomon led off with a surprise bunt to start a Buckeye rally where they chased Oakes and tied the game at 3-3 after timely hits and an error.
With runners on first and third, an errant throw on a pickoff attempt at third base allowed the Buckeyes to take their first lead of the game. Junior outfielder David Corna hit an RBI double to give OSU an insurance run and a 5-3 lead. Desze came on to pitch a scoreless ninth and close out the comeback win.
Ohio State will resume play Thursday at either 3:35 p.m. or 7:05 p.m.