Ohio State baseball is getting accustomed to close games of late. The Buckeyes were able to hold on for a 3-1 victory against Purdue on Friday afternoon in game one of a doubleheader.
For Ohio State, getting the win in the lidlifter was important, as a sweep of the Boilermakers in this series is badly needed. The Buckeyes, who improved to 6-7 in conference play, are currently on the outside looking in at a Big Ten tournament berth.
In a welcome sight for the scarlet and gray, the top three spots in the lineup came through. Troy Montgomery went 2-for-5, Jacob Bosiokovic, mired in a slump throughout the month of April, was also 2-for-5 and hit a mammoth two-run home run, and Ronnie Dawson remained red-hot, reaching base in all four of his plate appearances.
Lefty Tanner Tully cruised through seven innings, yielding just one run on three hits. The junior ace of the staff struck out five and walked one in improving to 5-3 on the season. It was Tully's team-best sixth quality start in 2016.
For the home team, senior Gavin Downs also pitched well, with one mistake ultimately proving to be his undoing. The right-hander tossed seven innings of three-run ball, the homer by Bosiokovic looming large. Downs scattered eight hits, striking out four and walking two in taking the loss.
Ohio State had ample opportunities early on against Downs, putting runners on second and third with two outs in both the first and third innings, but failed to capitalize.
Purdue went down in order the first time through the order with Tully firmly in command, but the Boilers got on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Leadoff man Cody Strong and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Alex Olund. Kyle Johnson then followed that with an RBI single right back up the middle.
In the top of the fifth, though, the Buckeyes bounced right back. Montgomery collected his second hit of the afternoon, a welcome sight after last weekend's 1-for-14 performance, and was followed by Bosiokovic's 10th home run of the season.
An insurance run in the top of the eighth made it a 3-1 Ohio State lead. Bosiokovic singled and eventually came around to score when Troy Kuhn sent a ball through the hole between third and short.
Seth Kinker and Michael Horejsei combined to throw a scoreless eighth and Yianni Pavlopoulos set Purdue down in the ninth for his ninth save of the season.
Game two of the day's doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET. John Havird will be on the mound for Ohio State against Purdue's Matt Frawley.