The doubleheader for the Ohio State men’s baseball team turned out to be double the fun as the Buckeyes (13-14) swept the twin bill against the Akron Zips (6-25) at Bill Davis Stadium Wednesday night.
The Buckeyes rallied around strong pitching and consistent hitting to take both games from the Zips.
In the first game, OSU was led by a strong starting performance from senior pitcher Dean Wolosiansky, who scattered five hits over seven innings for the complete 5-0 victory.
The Buckeye hitters provided a very balanced offensive attack against Akron, as eight of the nine hitters registered a hit.
OSU systematically piled runs on the Zips as it scored a run in each of the first five innings of the game.
“It makes things so much easier,” Wolosiansky said. “It’s good for pitching because you start to trust your stuff more when you come out the way we did.”
Senior outfielder Brian DeLucia was 2-for-4 with a triple, a steal and two runs scored. Senior third baseman Matt Streng and senior catcher Steel Russell both went 1-for-3 with an RBI.
OSU’s bats didn’t cool off in the second game, as the Buckeyes romped the Zips, 8-1.
OSU hitters picked up right where they left off from the previous game with 13 hits as every Buckeye hitter in the lineup picked up a hit this time.
OSU opened up scoring in the second inning with some small ball thanks to an RBI squeeze bunt from Streng. Akron responded in the fourth with an RBI double from first baseman Kurt Gamby to tie the game, 1-1.
But the game soon would be out of reach for the Zips in the bottom half of the inning as the Buckeyes pounded Akron with seven hits and five runs, taking a 6-1 lead.
OSU added two more runs in the fifth with an RBI double from DeLucia with the bases loaded.
Freshman John Kuchno pitched four innings, giving up three hits and only one run for the Buckeyes. Junior Andrew Armstrong and senior John Strayer combined to pitch three scoreless innings in relief.
Junior second basemen Ryan Cypret was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and junior outfielder David Corna was 1-for-3 with an RBI to lead the Buckeye offense in game two.
Wolosiansky bounces back
Wolosiansky’s performance against Akron was much needed for the senior pitcher. He had been inconsistent in his past couple of outings for the Buckeyes.
“I challenged Dean to pitch a little bit sharper and come out of the gates harder,” coach Greg Beals said. “He was throwing strikes, getting a lot of ground balls and pounding the strike zone, and I give him all of the credit today.”
Wolosiansky said he was trying to pick up his game.
“It was more of confidence thing, attacking batters and going right back at them,” he said. “I was just trying to get back to really what works.”
Success at the top
DeLucia and freshman Tim Wetzel combined for five hits and reached base six times in the two games to help spark the Buckeye offense.
“They’re the table setters,” Beals said. “They got on base, and what we’re looking at is for that on-base percentage to be around .400 at the top of the lineup.”
Spartans come to town
Big Ten leader Michigan State comes into town this weekend in a crucial series as the Buckeyes look to move above .500 and break a tie for fourth in the conference.
“Today was our day to sharpen our knives and get ready for that series,” Beals said.