It was an important weekend for Ohio State's baseball team and they responded in a huge way. This afternoon at Bill Davis Stadium, OSU got a 4-1 victory over Northwestern to finish a 3-game sweep. The win propelled Ohio State into the sixth and final Big Ten Tournament spot with one weekend series remaining.
OSU began the weekend two losses out of a group of teams fighting for the last few spots. However, thanks to Indiana taking two from Nebraska and Michigan State taking a pair from Illinois, the Buckeyes catapulted into the final spot with an 11-10 conference record.
Ohio State scored three runs in the first inning. After that, the Buckeyes relied on a strong pitching effort from John Kuchno (6 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 ER) and three hitless innings from the bullpen to close it out. The Bucks will wrap up the season beginning a week from Friday in Bloomington against the Indiana Hoosiers.
A sweep by Ohio State would clinch an appearance in the B1G Tournament beginning May 23 at Huntington Park. A loss would open the door for Nebraska or Illinois to grab the final position. The Cornhuskers finish their final two series hosting Minnesota (10-8 B1G) then traveling to Michigan (6-12). Illinois, meanwhile, goes to Penn State (10-8) and hosts the Gophers.
If OSU finishes in a tie with either Illinois or Nebraska (or both), the tiebreaker would resort to collective winning percentage against the other five playoff participants since neither OSU nor Illinois/Nebraska swept their series against one another. Ohio State's record against the other four teams currently sits at 6-6 with Indiana still on the slate. Illinois is currently 3-6, while Nebraska is 2-4.