Around the Oval is Eleven Warriors' weekly love letter to Ohio State sports that don't get the coverage they should.
Coach Greg Beals and the Buckeye baseball team traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska, this past weekend for three games against the Cornhuskers, although the trip didn't begin as Beals would've wanted. Friday's game saw the home team — who had previously lost only two conference games — grab 15 hits as they beat the Buckeyes, 11-2. Ohio State starter Jaron Long kept his team in the game until the fifth inning, when Nebraska knocked the right-hander out of the game after he allowed six runs.
Nebraska took the early initiative in Saturday's game and led, 4-1, after six, but the seventh produced Ohio State's first lead of the weekend. Having already scored two runs on a single and fielder's choice, the Buckeyes got a crucial two-out single from Ryan Cypret to score two more and give his team a 5-4 advantage.
But at the death the Huskers forced extra innings: Austin Darby singled to left in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game at 5. The 10th inning came and went, and then in the top of the 11th Troy Kuhn doubled with two outs before Tim Wetzel did the same two pitches later to give Ohio State the lead. From there, Trace Dempsey closed out his third inning of relief and evened the series with a 6-5 win.
On Sunday the Buckeyes survived a late rally to take yet another weekend series. Brian King pitched seven shutout innings while his team scored one run in the second, third and fifth innings before a four-run eighth looked to put the win beyond all doubt. After King's evening was finished, his first reliever, Greg Greve, gave up a run and was replaced after three batters by Ryan Riga, who got the Buckeyes out of the inning with no further damage.
His ninth inning cameo, however, wasn't so smooth. Riga faced five battesr, gave up two runs and didn't get a single out before he was replaced by Trace Dempsey. As he had done the day before, the closer steadied the ship and gave up just one more run as the Buckeyes took the game and the series, 7-4.
Rain and lightning canceled the Buckeyes' home game with Akron on Tuesday, but the weather held up the next day down in Cincinnati as the team faced the Bearcats. Ohio State struck first in the opening frame when Cypret scored on a throwing error, but the next five innings they could only conjure one hit. Meanwhile Cincinnati's hitters found their groove during the middle innings and led, 4-1, after six.
Finally the Buckeyes produced some offense in the seventh with Kirby Pellant and Cypret both getting RBIs to cut the lead to one. After the Bearcats scored one in their half of seventh, Ohio State needed two in the top of the ninth, but they couldn't even get a runner on base against Andrew Strenge, whose perfect inning gave his team a 5-3 win.
The Buckeyes are now 23-12 on the season and begin a seven-game homestand tonight against Illinois, the first of a three-game series. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. at Bill Davis Stadium.
While the baseball team won another series, it was an even better weekend for the Ohio State softball team. First they welcomed Penn State for a three-game set, and Friday's game turned out to be a straightforward win for the Buckeyes. Two solo home runs in the fourth inning by Evelyn Carrillo and Melissa Rennie were all Ohio State needed with starter Alex DiDomenico throwing a complete game shutout for a 2-0 win.
Saturday began with two Penn State runs in the top of the first, but immediately after, the Buckeyes had the answer as they scored nine in the first. Another six runs in the fourth inning solidified the Buckeyes' dominance as they won, 16-7, in five innings. Maddie McIntyre and Rennie both had three RBI for a lineup that scored their 16 runs on 11 hits.
Determined to get at least one win from their weekend, Penn State had a much better defensive effort on Sunday behind starter Macy Jones, and the visitors had a one-run lead heading into the final half inning. But the Scarlet & Gray weren't going to give up the sweep that easily. A sacrifice bunt later, the game was tied and headed to extra innings. The Nittany Lions couldn't muster anything in the top of the eighth, and from there the result was inevitable; another sac fly did the trick as Ohio State got the winning run to triumph, 4-3, in eight innings.
Ball State was the visitor on Wednesday, and it was pitcher Alex DiDomenico who stole the show again after she went through another complete game giving up only two hits. On the offensive side, her team were clinical again. Three runs in both the third and fourth innings established a sizable advantage going into the bottom of the fifth. Before the game could go onto its usual seven innings, catcher Shelby Pickett stepped up to the plate with a runner on and smacked her first home run of the year out of the ballpark to give her team the run rule victory, 8-0, in five innings.
The team is now 27-14 overall, and they play four games this week. The first two are in Madison against Wisconsin on Saturday, with two more coming at home to Michigan State on Wednesday.
success for schuss
No matter what sport you're competing in, a win against Michigan is something special. Saturday was one special day for the Buckeye men's lacrosse team, and not just because they beat their great rival. Most importantly, the No. 13 Buckeyes proved they are team to be reckoned with, after they led for all but seven minutes of Saturday's game, resulting in a 17-8 win.
Logan Schuss was in the middle of things as usual, scoring five goals and assisting on another five. His 10-point output moved him to the top of the all-time scoring list at Ohio State, and he even accomplished the feat before the quarter was over. Turner Evans also contributed with four goals and Jesse King was second in assists with three.
The win means the Buckeyes secure the Creator's Trophy, which is the award that goes to the school with wins over all the other Big Ten lacrosse programs. Coach Nick Myers' team moved to 8-3 overall and 3-2 in conference with the win. Their next game comes at Air Force this Saturday at 2 p.m.
Last Saturday also saw success for the women's track and field team as they competed in the All-Ohio Championships in Athens. The squad placed first by a considerable margin, their 212 points dwarfing the 148 of second-place Kent State.
Adenike Pedro was one of the many Buckeye victors, her first-place finish coming in the 100m while Christienne Linton also won the 100m hurdles for the team. SoSo Walker finished first in the 400m, and Sakiko Minagawa was the pick of the 5000m runners as seven Buckeye participants won their respective competitions.
Ohio State will host the 28th Jesse Owens Track Classic today and tomorrow. Friday's portion will go from 4-9:40 p.m., while Saturday's races start at 10:30 a.m. and wrap up at 4:40 p.m.
Bands in the place where you live
After performances galore last week, there's only one chance to hear sweet, beautiful sounds on Ohio State's campus this time around:
- The OSU Chorale and Wind Symphony will be presenting a joint concert on Friday, April 19 at 8:00 p.m. at Weigel Hall Auditorium. Ticket prices are $10 to the general public and free for students.