Alex Kotran / The Lantern
As rain fell consistently at Bill Davis Stadium, it was the road team that felt comfortable in the elements.
The Penn State Nittany Lions used big hits and capitalized on shaky Ohio State pitching to cruise to a 14-6 win Sunday, winning the rubber match of a three-game series.
Penn State (17-22, 4-8) scored three runs in the fourth off of consecutive errors by Buckeye infielders Tyler Engle and Cory Rupert and two RBI singles from first baseman Joey DeBernardis and left fielder Sean Deegan.
“This is not the time of year to go into a slump and play bad baseball,” coach Bob Todd said.
The Nittany Lions upped the lead to 4-0 after an RBI single from catcher Ben Heath.
The Buckeyes (22-13, 7-5) failed to capitalize with runners in scoring position in the third and fourth innings.
OSU got on the board in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single from center fielder Michael Stephens to cut the deficit to 4-1.
A Rupert home run in the bottom of the sixth made the score 4-2, when the game went into a 37-minute rain delay.
Catcher Dan Burkhart sacrificed home left fielder Zach Hurley in the seventh to make the score 4-3.
Home runs from Heath and designated hitter Mario Eramo pushed Penn State’s lead to 7-3 in the eighth.
Penn State added four more runs off two RBI singles from outfielders Elliot Searer and Steve Snyder and a Heath sacrifice fly to put the score at 11-3.
This made it the fourth time in the last five games that Ohio State has given up double-digit runs.
“When you’re down by that much, it[‘s] like being in quicksand,” said left fielder Zach Hurley, who has a 12-game hitting streak. “The harder you fight, the quicker you sink.”
The Nittany Lions added three more runs in the top of the ninth to make the score 14-3.
The Buckeyes put three more runs of their own on the board to push the final to 14-6.
Penn State starting pitcher Ryan Ignas lasted 5.1 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits with four strikeouts.
His counterpart, OSU pitcher Dean Wolosiansky, lasted seven innings and gave up seven runs on 10 hits, with six strikeouts.
“He gave us seven good innings, and that’s all you can ask for,” Todd said.
Wolosiansky pitched into the eighth inning, where he was pulled after giving up two home runs.
“Dean said he felt fine and went back out in the seventh inning,” Todd said. “He just made three bad pitches.”
“You can’t ask for a better job from Dean until the seventh,” Hurley said.
OSU took the first game of the three-game series 3-1 on Friday with a dominant performance by ace pitcher Alex Wimmers.
Wimmers pitched a complete game for the Buckeyes, giving up only four hits and striking out 11 batters.
Penn State tied the series Saturday in an 18-10 win.
Heath and second fielder Louie Picconi each had four RBIs as the Nittany Lions scored 11 runs by the third inning.
The Buckeyes remained in first place in the Big Ten despite losing two out of the three games.
“We definitely didn’t put ourselves in the best position, but we control our own destiny,” said second baseman Cory Kovanda. “This is why you come to Ohio State, to play for championships.”
OSU hosts Marshall Wednesday night at 6:35 p.m.
The Buckeyes begin a three-game series Friday in Ann Arbor, Mich., to face the Michigan Wolverines in a battle for first place.