It wasn't easy, but the Ohio State baseball did what needed to be done on Friday, winning both games of a doubleheader against Purdue. The Buckeyes escaped with a 3-2 win in the nightcap to clinch the series victory and pull to .500 in Big Ten play at 7-7.
The key now will be for the boys in scarlet and gray to finish off the series sweep.
Ohio State got great performances on the mound from senior John Havird and freshman Ryan Feltner. Havird allowed two runs on four hits in five innings of work, walking one in improving to 5-1 on the season.
Feltner tossed four scoreless innings in relief to earn his second save of the year, yielding just three hits and one free pass while striking out three, and coming up huge in a sticky situation in the ninth inning.
Purdue put the tying run on third base with one out, but a strikeout of Cody Strong and a great play on a groundball in the hole off the bat of Alec Olund by shortstop Craig Nennig delivered Ohio State the win.
The Boilermakers hurlers were on their game as well. Senior starter Matt Frawley allowed three runs, only one of which was earned in five innings, scattering six hits while walking two and striking out three in a tough loss. Junior Eddie De LaRiva and sophomore Tanner Andrews combined to throw four scoreless innings, allowing just one hit.
Redshirt junior Jacob Bosiokovic continued a great day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with an RBI to cap a 5-for-10 doubleheader. Senior Troy Kuhn added two hits of his own to help lead the charge offensively.
As was the case in the first game of the day, Purdue drew first blood in this one. Strong led off with a triple into the left-center gap and came home on a groundout by Olund for a 1-0 lead.
The Buckeyes came back with a crooked number in the top of the second, sending eight men to the plate and taking a 3-1 lead. It was all of the run production they would manage all game.
Kuhn and Tre Gantt singled back-to-back to open things up and, after Ryan Leffel struck out, a Nennig hit by pitch loaded the bases. Jalen Washington hit into a fielder's choice to Strong at second that scored Kuhn, leaving men on the corners with two outs.
Troy Montgomery then sent a groundball towards the hole between third and short that carromed off the glove of Brett Carlson, allowing Gantt to score. Bosiokovic followed that up with a solid base hit up the middle which brought Washington plateward.
The Boilers cut the lead to one in the bottom of the fourth thanks to an RBI single by Nick Dalesandro, but it just wasn't enough.
The finale of the three-game set is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. ET on Saturday. Adam Niemeyer will be on the bump for the Buckeyes against the Boilermakers' Shane Bryant.