Cody Cousino / Asst. multimedia editor
The Buckeyes got their revenge on Michigan State in game three, torching relief pitcher Tony Wieber for six runs in the seventh and eighth innings on their way to a 10-5 win.
After six innings that saw MSU (22-10, 6-3 Big Ten) up, 5-4, OSU loaded the bases with one out. Freshman first baseman Josh Dezse then came through with a three-run triple off the center field wall to give OSU the lead for good.
RBI singles by junior second baseman Ryan Cypret and Dezse ensured OSU’s victory and 2-1 series win. Dezse ended the game with 5 RBIs.
“It’s nice to be a freshman and step in and help out,” Dezse said. “But as a team I think we played great Ohio State baseball today.”
OSU took an early lead in the first off RBIs by freshman center fielder Tim Wetzel and senior third baseman Matt Streng, but MSU scored five runs over the next four innings to take the 5-4 lead.
The sixth inning looked like it might be a costly one for the Buckeyes. Senior Dean Wolosiansky gave up a hit and then after getting two outs, overthrew Dezse at first in a play that would have ended the inning. Instead, the error allowed MSU’s Justin Scanlon to score, adding another run after a single that fell between three Buckeyes in left field.
OSU rebounded over the next three innings, and Wolosiansky’s two runs were the only ones given up by the bullpen.
“We all have to be ready to go anytime our name is on the board,” senior pitcher Theron Minium said. “I think we showed this weekend we’re solid, and the coaches have faith in us.”
Sophomore David Fathalikhani picked up the win for the Buckeyes, improving to two wins on the year. Freshman starter Greg Greve went five innings and gave up just three runs despite having nine hits against him.
The first two games of the series were much closer than game three.
OSU fell, 5-4, in game one after a leadoff home run by MSU in the top of the 10th inning.
It was a pitchers’ duel early as senior pitcher Drew Rucinski and MSU’s starter, Kurt Wunderlich, scattered just three runs over the first six innings. The Spartans put three on the board in the seventh to go up, 4-2, before Dezse responded with a two-run home run in the eighth to tie the game.
It went scoreless until the MSU home run led off the 10th for a 5-4 lead. The Buckeyes had a chance to win in the bottom half with the bases loaded, but two straight strikeouts ended the game.
Game two saw another tight game, but this time it was OSU that got the late run to win the game, 9-8.
It started out rough for sophomore starter Brett McKinney. After a hit and two walks, he gave up a grand slam to MSU’s Torsten Boss to give MSU a 4-0 lead.
Both teams put up runs early, including a combined seven runs in the fourth. But OSU came out on top as DeLucia had a two-run single, giving OSU an 8-7 lead.
After the Spartans tied the game, 8-8, in the top of the sixth, Wetzel hit an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth. Junior Andrew Armstrong and senior Jared Strayer closed out the game and sealed the win for OSU.
The Buckeyes’ next game is against non-conference Bowling Green at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday at home. Bowling Green (13-18, 7-4) is in second place in the East Division of the MAC. OSU will then travel to take on Penn State in a three game series starting Friday.
“This was a really big weekend against the team that was leading,” Minium said, “and now I think they are only one game up on us so we knew it was a really big game.”
Freshmen come up clutch
Dezse came up with a two-run tying home run in the eighth inning of game one to send it into extra innings on Friday, Wetzel had the game-winning RBI single in the eighth inning in game two and Dezse came through with the go-ahead three-run triple in the seventh inning of the rubber match to give OSU the 2-1 series win. The two freshmen were a combined 15-for-23 with 12 RBIs. Dezse had five RBIs in game three and also pitched a hitless ninth to close out the game.
“I’ve been telling him: ‘You’re my four-hole hitter, and you’re in the four hole because I want you to hit, and you’ve got to start believing in that and treating yourself that way and taking offensive swings that are going to drive in runs,'” coach Greg Beals said.
Sophomore catcher Greg Solomon had a tough series, going hitless in 13 plate appearances and striking out seven times. He had several key plays catching, however, including a game-ending throwout on a steal attempt in game two, and two tagouts at the plate in game three.
“I told Solomon I was very proud of him. I was very proud of the fact that he got beat all weekend at the plate and then here in the eighth inning he makes a great, great play,” Beals said. “There’s two sides of the game, offense and defense, and he’s kept playing defense even though the offense wasn’t there.”
MSU coach thrown out
With two outs in the eighth, and MSU down just two runs, Boss singled to left but junior David Corna threw out Ryan Jones trying to score at the plate. The call looked like it could have gone either way on the bang-bang play. MSU coach Jake Boss Jr. argued the call with the home plate umpire until he was thrown out of the game.