It was a busy weekend for Ohio State's baseball team, and it paid off in a big way this evening as the Buckeyes captured the Big Ten championship with a 3-1 win over Nebraska in Omaha. The win secures a spot in the NCAA tournament, which is set to get underway next weekend.
Greg Beals' squad was scheduled to play Minnesota last night in an elimination game, but the potential for severe weather and curfew restrictions bumped the game to Sunday morning. The game got underway at noon and Brady Cherry started the scoring with a two-run bomb in the fourth inning. The Buckeyes went on to win by a score of 8-6, giving them their first win against the Gophers in five attempts this season.
The victory gave the Buckeyes a spot in this evening's championship game; the team's 15th appearance for the title and first since 2016. Ohio State entered the tourney as the No. 7 seed while the Huskers checked in at No. 5. The Buckeyes became the lowest seed to ever capture the Big Ten crown.
Cherry gave the Buckeyes an early lead against the Huskers as well, driving in the game's first run with an RBI single in the first. A sacrifice fly increased the lead to 2-0 in the fourth inning thanks to a nifty slide and some instant replay.
Buckeye closer Andrew Magno fanned three Cornhuskers to close out the game. All in all, Magno recorded 17 outs on the day – including a pair of saves – en route to being named as the tournament's most outstanding player.
Mango was joined on the All-Tournament team by fellow Ohio State pitches Seth Lonsway and Griffan Smith, catcher Dillon Dingler and outfielders Cherry and Dominic Canzone.
The win gives Ohio State its tenth conference title and brings the season record up to 35-25. Last year the Buckeyes were knocked out of the NCAA tournament in a wild one against UNC Wilmington. The game went 13 innings before a walk-off gave the Seahawks a 4-3 victory.
The 2019 NCAA baseball tournament field will be revealed on Monday at noon. Regionals are set to begin on May 31 with the Super Regionals getting underway on June 7.