Daniel Eddy / Lantern photographer
The Ohio State baseball team routed the West Virginia Mountaineers, 9-0, at Bill Davis Stadium Tuesday. The evening was warm, with temperatures in the high-60s.
The Buckeyes didn’t wait long to get the bats going as they struck first with an RBI single to left field by redshirt senior second baseman Ryan Cypret. The hit scored redshirt senior center fielder Joe Ciamacco to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
In the next inning, OSU made it 2-0 when an error from WVU sophomore second baseman Billy Fleming scored junior left fielder Tim Wetzel. In the same inning, OSU tacked on another run when Ciamacco was caught in a rundown, but the Buckeyes made sure to wait long enough to score freshman designated hitter Troy Kuhn from third base, bringing their lead to 3-0.
“It’s just a little thing we have in our offense,” Ciamacco said. “If I can stay in the rundown long enough to score the run as long as it’s to help the team win and score runs, I’ll do it.”
Although the Buckeyes were able to jump on West Virginia senior pitcher Dan Dierdorff for five hits, none of the three runs scored while he pitched were earned. The Mountaineers accounted for five total errors in the game.
The game stayed 3-0 until the eighth inning, when Cypret and sophomore right fielder Pat Porter scored on an error after WVU sophomore shortstop Justin Fox let the ball go through his legs, making it 5-0. OSU tacked on four more runs that inning, two on a two-run single from redshirt senior first baseman Brad Hallberg off WVU freshman right-hander Ryan Hostrander. The final two runs came on a throwing error from West Virginia sophomore pitcher Tad Dipzinski.
Senior right-hander Brett McKinney started on the hill for the Buckeyes, pitching five innings with no runs, one hit and six strikeouts. At the top of the seventh, OSU got itself into trouble when redshirt senior right-hander David Fathalikhani came into pitch. The first two batters he faced reached base, but Fathalikhani was able to retire the next three batters to keep the shutout alive and escape the inning.
OSU coach Greg Beals said he was pleased with the win and gave his pitching staff high praise.
“I think you saw the momentum of what our pitching staff is doing, especially in Fathalikhani’s inning,” Beals said. “Stranding those two guys, our whole dugout was locked into the situation and were pumped when they got out of that.”
McKinney got the win and improved his record to 3-3. Dierdorff received the loss, taking him to 1-4 on the season. West Virginia falls to 17-16 on the season, and the Buckeyes are now 20-10. “It was good to see the guys rip off some swings,” said OSU sophomore right-hander Trace Dempsey, who retired all three batters he faced on the mound to finish the game. “I don’t care if it’s West Virginia or Nebraska, we need these wins and this was just another team in our way.”
OSU’s next game is scheduled for Wednesday against Marshall at Bill Davis Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m.