On a miserable, cold, at times rainy day with winds gusting at 40 miles per hour at Bill Davis Stadium, the Ohio State baseball team came out on top for the sixth straight game and clinched a series victory with an 11-2 win over Bethune-Cookman. Despite the weather, the Buckeyes' bats were hot, as they pounded out 13 hits on the day in improving to 18-7-1 on the season.
Senior shortstop Craig Nennig had himself a day, going 3-for-4 with six runs batted in. The Wisconsin native, who had not homered in the first three years of his career for the Buckeyes, has suddenly become a power hitter, blasting a three-run homer, his third of the season.
B2 | @CraigNennig does it again! He unleashes on a 2-2 count for a 3️⃣ run home run. https://t.co/qLJdtaX0aC— The OSU Baseball ⚾️ (@OhioState_BASE) April 2, 2016
BCU 1, OSU 5#GoBucks
Ronnie Dawson, the team's junior left fielder, also went deep in this one, his sixth of the year. The Grove City, Ohio native had a 2-for-3 day, driving in two runs to increase his team-leading RBI mark to 25.
Redshirt sophomore Adam Niemeyer had another strong start going, but had to exit the game with one out in the fifth after stumbling and coming up limping after delivering a pitch. To that point, the righty had allowed two runs on six hits in 4.1 innings of work, striking out six and walking one.
Wildcat starter Tyler Norris had a rough go of things, lasting just 2+ innings. A sophomore righty, Norris gave up seven runs on six hits in his second loss of the year.
Bethune-Cookman's biggest power threat, Michael Cruz, put the Wildcats on the board first with a solo home run to center in the top of the first. It was his 10th longball of the season.
The wind helped Ohio State tie things up and ultimately take the lead against Norris in the bottom of the second. Nick Sergakis popped a ball up into foul territory down the third base line that was pushed back into play over the head of Austin Garcia. He ended up on second, extending his reached base safely streak to all 26 games this season.
Here's one way to extend your reach base streak to 2️⃣6️⃣. @SurgieeBaby with an infield double. #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/pwFW8k8Cqz— The OSU Baseball ⚾️ (@OhioState_BASE) April 2, 2016
After Troy Kuhn was hit by a pitch, Jalen Washington came through with an RBI single that plated Sergakis. Brady Cherry followed that with a single of his own to score Kuhn and make it a 2-1 game. Nennig then stepped up and hit a bomb over down the left field line to extend the lead to 5-1.
The Wildcats got one back against Niemeyer in the third on a two-out single by Danny Rodriguez that scored Jameel Edney, who had doubled.
Dawson joined the home run parade in the bottom of the frame, with the wind blowing one out to center.
Sergakis then doubled again, this one a no-doubt shot into the gap in left-center, and Kuhn walked, ending Norris' day. After the pair executed a double steal, Nennig laid down a two-out squeeze bunt for the Buckeyes' seventh run of the game.
B-CU's Juan Pizarro gave up another run in the fourth, as Dawson singled home Jacob Bosiokovic to make it 8-2.
Ohio State tacked on two more in the fifth off righty Tyler Krull when Nennig sent a ball into the right-center field gap. Washington and Cherry both scored as the player of the day slid in safely at third.
B5 | Stay , @CraigNennig. A two-run triple! ➡️ 3-for-3 w/ HR, 3B, 6 RBI (career-high)https://t.co/oqT8NXtdPB— The OSU Baseball ⚾️ (@OhioState_BASE) April 2, 2016
BCU 2, OSU 10#GoBucks
Washington scored his third run of the game in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI double by Zach Ratcliff, pushing the lead out to 11-2.
Left-hander Daulton Mosbarger, who relieved when Niemeyer was pulled from the game, kept the Wildcats' bats in check. The senior tossed 2.2 shutout innings, yielding just one hit. Redshirt sophomore Kyle Michalik and redshirt junior Joe Stoll threw the final two innings to close things out.
The final game of the series will be played tomorrow in Columbus and will be available for live streaming on BTN Plus. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET with John Havird on the hill for the Buckeyes against B-CU's Alex Seibold.