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Nightmarish weekend: Bucks lose grip on first place, lose ace pitcher to injury

Ohio State lost two of three games to rival Michigan over the weekend, and ace pitcher Alex Wimmers could miss playing time with a hamstring injury.

The All-American tweaked a hamstring moments before his scheduled start Friday, coach Bob Todd said.

The injury forced junior Theron Minium to make the second start of his career and first this season. Minium managed only one inning before normal Sunday starter Dean Wolosiansky was forced to come on in relief.

The Buckeyes lost the Friday contest 4-1 and the loss of Wimmers forced the team to shuffle pitchers around for the rest of the weekend.

Ohio State bounced back Saturday with a 3-2 win in 10 innings as Drew Rucinski earned the win, striking out nine in a career-high nine innings.

The team went with freshman starter Brett McKinney on Sunday. McKinney went three innings.

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The Buckeyes had the winning run on first base with one out in the ninth before designated hitter Ryan Dew grounded into a double play to make the 6-5 defeat official.

The Buckeyes fell out of first place in the Big Ten with the loss.

Though losing the series hurt, the injury to Wimmers was more devastating.

The junior was 9-0 on the season, tied for the best start in team history. If Wimmers misses significant time, the team will have to rely on an inconsistent group of starters who have a combined 14-15 record on the season.

Wimmers’ status is currently undecided, according to the team.

“He could be out 7 to 10 days or 2 to 3 weeks,” team spokesman Jerry Emig said in an e-mail. “We just don’t know yet.”

The junior’s next scheduled start is Friday against Illinois.

The Buckeyes step out of conference play this week for a two-game series with Louisville starting Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Bill Davis Stadium.

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