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Ohio State Baseball Wins Rutgers Series, Clinches Spot in Big Ten Tournament

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Bucks2K18's picture
May 18, 2024 at 1:10am

Well this has been a fun weekend so far. Everything fell into place as needed for the BaseBucks to extend their season.


Game 1 on Thursday was a low-scoring, back and forth affair. Ohio State got off to a quick 2-0 lead thanks to a groundout that brought Trey Lipsey home in the T1 and Joseph Mershon scoring on a Rutgers error in the T2. Rutgers took the lead on a 2-run homer in the B6, and they kept the slim lead until the 9th. In the T9, Rutgers made quick work of the first two Buckeye batters, but Nick Giamarusti came in as a pinch hitter, and started the comeback with a quick 4 pitch walk.

With their backs against the wall, and the season essentially on the line, Lipsey hit a single that got Giamarusti to second, then Henry Kaczmar reached on another Scarlet Knight error on which Giamarusti was able to get home and tie the game. In the B9, Rutgers got a lead-off double, but went 1-2-3 (2-3-4?) after that to send the game into extra innings. In the T10, Mitchell Okuley hit a single and Joseph Mershon was walked, then two batters later, Matthew Graveline launched a 3-run home run to give the Buckeyes a 6-3 lead. In the B10, Giamarusti robbed Rutgers of a lead off homer, and the Buckeyes held on for the crucial win. Starting pitcher Landon Biedelschies was efficient on the mound, for the most part, striking out 7 Scarlet Knights in 7.0 innings pitched, but closer Blaine Wynk earned the win, bringing him to 2-0.

5/16/24 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Ohio State 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 6 6 0
Rutgers 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 3 9 3


Game 2 on Friday was not as stress-inducing as Thursday, but was just as crucial to the Buckeyes' postseason hopes. Ohio State again got a 1-0 lead in the T1, this time on an RBI single by Tyler Pettorini to bring in Kaczmar. Rutgers tied it in the B2, but Ohio State regained the lead in the T3 on a double steal attempt that brought Lipsey home. Rutgers tied it again in the B3, and took the lead on a 2-RBI double in the B4, but it was all Buckeyes from there. in the T5, Josh Stevenson scored on a passed ball, and a 2-RBI single by Pettorini, scoring Giamarusti and Matthew Graveline gave the Buckeyes a 5-4 lead. In the T8, a bases-loaded walk brought Mershon home, Isaac Cadena reached on a Rutgers error while Okuley came home, Lipsey hit a sac-fly that brought Hunter Rosson home, and Pettorini walked with the bases loaded, bringing home Stevenson, and giving the Buckeyes a 9-4 lead. In the T9, Stevenson hit a 2-run homer that capped off the Buckeyes' 11-5 win. Reliever Chase Herrell earned the win, bringing him to 3-1 on the season. 

5/17/24 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Ohio State 1 0 1 0 3 0 0 4 2 11 9 0
Rutgers 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 5 12 2


Game 3 on Saturday was a no contest the other direction. Rutgers took control early with a 7-run B2 and didn't look back. Graveline launched a solo home run in the T3 to avoid a shut out, but that was literally all the offense the Buckeyes could muster as Rutgers added 3 more in the B3 and 2 more in the B6 to end the game early and deny Ohio State the sweep. Starting pitcher Justin Eckhardt recorded the loss, dropping him to 0-3 on the year.

5/18/24 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Ohio State 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0
Rutgers 0 7 3 0 0 2 X 12 7 0


After the 2-1 week, Ohio State improved to 28-24 (12-12), securing a winning season heading into the postseason. Rutgers dropped to 28-25 (6-18) to end their season.

Postseason watch: On top of taking care of their own business, Ohio State needed a couple other series to go their way. Unsurprisingly, Nebraska won two of their three games against Michigan State, knocking the Spartans out of tournament contention. Unexpectedly, however, Penn State swept Maryland out of tournament contention, propelling themselves into the tournament. With Michigan State and Maryland out of the picture, Ohio State clinched a berth in the conference tournament, which they will need to win in order to make the NCAA tournament.

Up Next: Ohio State won the tiebreaker over Penn State to secure the 7 seed in the conference tournament where they will play Nebraska at 3pm ET on Tuesday. The tournament is double elimination, so if Ohio State wins, they will play the winner of Indiana-Purdue on Thursday, but if they lose, they will play the loser of IU-PU on Wednesday.


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