After suffering back-to-back losses for the first time in more than a month, the Ohio State baseball team bounced back to shut out No .4 Louisville, 2-0, Tuesday night at Bill Davis Stadium.
“It’s only one game in a season, is it a signature victory? It’s hard to say that,” coach Greg Beals said. “But when you look at the RPI, when you look at the end of the year, I think the committee may look at that and say, ‘Hey, they beat a top-five team.’”
The Buckeyes, now 24-9 overall and 7-2 in the Big Ten, had a special appearance from the 2015 national champion Ohio State wrestling team, including coach Tom Ryan, redshirt-senior Logan Stieber and redshirt-freshman Nathan Tomasello, who threw out the first pitch before redshirt-freshman Adam Niemeyer took the mound to make his first career start.
Niemeyer tossed five innings for the Buckeyes and gave up just two hits and no runs after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year.
“I was excited, it was a good opportunity to make my first start against a national caliber team like Louisville,” Niemeyer said. “I was just lucky enough to go out there and throw strikes. The defense made a lot of big plays behind me.”
The Buckeyes had made several double-plays while on defense, but struggled to put any runs on the board until the bottom of the third. A single from sophomore outfielder Troy Montgomery scored freshman outfielder Tre’ Gantt home for the game’s first run.
“We put up a bunch of zero’s against a really good team. The zero I want to comment on is the defensive zero,” Beals said. “I give a lot of credit to our guys.”
Senior catcher Connor Sabanosh took the plate next reached base on an error while sophomore second baseman L Grant Davis completed the scoring for the night..
OSU had a chance to put more runs up on the board in the bottom of the sixth after a bunt single by Montgomery kept the bases loaded. Senior outfielder Pat Porter was up next, but couldn’t seal the deal.
“There’s a lot of work that still needs to be done. We have 19-20 games left,” Beals said. “We still have to finish strong.”
The Buckeyes are scheduled to hit the road on Friday at 7:35 p.m. to start a three-game Big Ten series against Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb.
Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Ohio State’s next series is set to be played at Bill Davis Stadium, when in fact it is scheduled to be played in Lincoln, Neb. at Haymarket Park.