It was a memorable Senior Day for Ohio State on Sunday at Bill Davis Stadium, as the Buckeyes finished off a series sweep of Michigan with a 8-2 win.
With the win, Ohio State improved to 13-8 in Big Ten play, leapfrogging the Wolverines and taking over sole possession of fourth place in the standings.
Jalen Washington homered and Ronnie Dawson drove in a pair of runs to lead the charge offensively on a day when the team had more runs than hits.
Adam Niemeyer, back on the mound after missing his last start with a hamstring injury, overcame a shaky start to turn in an effective outing on the bump. The redshirt sophomore right-hander picked up his fourth win of the year by throwing 5.1 innings of one-run ball, giving up four hits, walking three, and striking out seven.
Senior Evan Hill started for the Wolverines and took the loss. The lefty allowed four runs on four hits in 4.1 innings of work, striking out four and walking one.
As had been the case in the first two games of the series, Michigan took the early lead. Niemeyer, who had issued just seven walks all season, gave up back to back free passes with one out, and Drew Lugbauer delivered a base hit to right for a 1-0 advantage.
The Buckeyes answered right back in the bottom of the frame to tie things up. Nick Sergakis led off with a double and moved to third on a passed ball. Craig Nennig then singled to center to drive him home.
Hill settled in after that, setting down 12 straight batters until a leadoff walk to Jacob Bosiokovic in the bottom of the fifth. Washington followed that up with his third home run of the season, a two-run shot the other way in the bottom of the fifth for the 3-1 lead.
Ryan Leffel ripped a double down the third base line right after that, and Hill's day was done. Reliever Ryan Nutof was unable to stop the bleeding, though, walking Sergakis and giving up a two-run double to the right-center gap by Dawson as Ohio State stretched the lead to 5-1.
Niemeyer also settled in after the first inning, sending nine straight Michigan batters down. But he ran into some trouble in the top of the sixth, putting two on with one out, and was relieved by freshman Ryan Feltner. Making his fifth appearance out of the bullpen this season, Feltner worked out of the jam and preserved the lead.
An insurance run for the Buckeyes was delivered on an RBI single by Leffel in the bottom of the sixth, and another two when a passed ball and a throwing error in the eighth allowed Troy Kuhn and Troy Montgomery to come plateward.
Harrison Wenson got the Wolverines on the board for the second time with a solo homer to lead off the seventh, but that was all the visitors could muster. Michael Horejsei and Seth Kinker recorded the final five outs of the ballgame to secure the win.
Ohio State will play its final home game of the season on Tuesday night against Eastern Michigan before hitting the road to take on Minnesota to close out the Big Ten regular season.