The spring sports season is coming to an end. The men's tennis team's historic season is in the books following the individual NCAA Championships, which featured another photo finish involving Kevin Metka.
Elsewhere, the baseball Buckeyes' somewhat disappointing season ended in the Big Ten tournament and the women's golf team had quite a showing at the NCAA Championships. The only teams remaining in competition now are the rowing and track and field teams.
Baseball Season comes to an end
The Buckeyes lost a tough pair of one-run games to Nebraska and Illinois en route to elimination from the Big Ten Tournament.
After leading second-seeded Nebraska 6-0 through four innings, Ohio State allowed seven unanswered runs to fall 7-6 in the opening round. Troy Kuhn and Ronnie Dawson led the offense with two hits each, while Kuhn added an RBI and a run scored. Former All-American reliever Trace Dempsey took the loss on the mound, allowing four earned runs in only a third of an inning in relief of Tanner Tully. Tully was once again fantastic on the mound, allowing three runs in seven innings and striking out eight batters to give the Buckeyes a chance to spring the upset. Tully was a bright spot for Ohio State, leading the team in ERA (2.22) and strikeouts (53).
On Thursday, the Buckeyes once again put together a great effort but came up short against third-seeded Illinois. Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth, the Buckeyes put three on the board to tie the game up thanks to some timely hitting and an error by Illinois. Troy Montgomery's ground ball to the shortstop wound up in the first base dugout, scoring Josh Desze and Jacob Bosiokovic. Montgomery scored in the next at bat thanks to a Craig Nennig single. Illinois responded right back though with two in the top of the seventh to take a 6-4 lead. Ohio State got one back in the bottom of the seventh thanks to a sacrifice fly by Desze, but couldn't get the elusive tying run and lost 6-5 to be eliminated from tournament play.
While the season is now over, the Buckeyes showed a lot of fight and promise in these last two games against two of the Big Ten's best. The Buckeyes graduate a mere three seniors this year (Tim Wetzel, Greg Greve and Tyler Giannonatti) so this young team has plenty to build on to contend for a B1G championship next year.
Tennis Duo competes for NCAA Title
The Buckeye men’s tennis duo of Kevin Metka and Peter Kobelt wrapped up the NCAA Doubles tournament this week, finishing as runners-up to Tennessee’s Hunter Reese and Mikelis Libietis. It was a final match for the ages, as Kobelt and Metka survived three match points before they fell in a 6-7, 7-6, 6-7 thriller.
“It’s tough,” Kobelt said. “They’re a good serving team. They showed why they are the best team in the country. They came up with plays at the end and did what they had to do. It’s disappointing, but it’s been a heck of a year and I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else. As a senior, it’s tough, but you can’t ask for much more than having a national championship match on your resume.”
- Peter Kobelt via OhioStateBuckeyes.com
In singles action, Kobelt advanced through round one by defeating Daniel Cochrane of Auburn. Dane Webb of Oklahoma knocked him off in the round of 32.
Kobelt, the team's lone senior, finishes his career with two distinctions: being one of the most decorated players in Buckeye history and helping to elevate Ohio State to the national stage in men's tennis.
Women's golf wraps up NCAA CHampionships
The Lady Buckeyes golf team wrapped up the season by finishing in seventh place at the 2014 NCAA Championships, the third-best finish in school history. Allison Harper and Katja Pogacar paced Ohio State, finishing tied for 16th place overall by shooting 5-over on the four-day tournament. OSU's Jessica Porvasnik (+14) finished 59th, Zoe-Beth Brake (+20) finished 90th and Claudia Lim (+24) finished 105th as well. All five Buckeyes contributed at least two of their four scores to the team tally (the team's score is made by adding the four best scores for each round).
The finish marks Ohio State's sixth top-10 finish in women's golf, and their best finish in the last decade. It was also the top finish among Big Ten schools, with Northwestern posting the next best score at 15th. Great job, Buckeyes!