After a heartbreaking late game meltdown against Iowa yesterday, Ohio State baseball could have simply folded up and ended their season. With memories of other Big Ten Tournament collapses still fresh in their minds, and after yet another rain delay postponed a promising start, an Ohio State loss would have been understandable.
But the Buckeyes didn't let any of those things get to them. Instead, their bats rallied, and they scored early and often, clobbering Michigan 11-4, giving their computer profile yet another RPI boost, and keeping their NCAA Tournament hopes, and Big Ten Tournament championship hopes, alive.
The Buckeyes opened the day already with a 5-2 lead, thanks to their performance yesterday, before inclement weather moved the game to today. The Wolverines pulled within two runs in the 5th inning to make the score 6-4, but they wouldn't get any closer, as the Buckeye stamped out any possibly rally with gusto, grabbing three runs of their own in the 5th, and tacking on insurance runs later in the game. Every Buckeye picked up at least one hit, and Ryan Feltner was excellent on the mound for the Buckeyes, striking out 10.
With the win, the Buckeyes have eliminated Michigan from the Big Ten Tournament, although the Wolverines are still highly like to make the NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes keep their Big Ten tournament hopes alive, and will face off against Michigan State at 6:30 PM Eastern tonight.
Even with another RPI boosting win, the Buckeyes probably need to do a little more damage in the Big Ten tournament in order to feel secure about grabbing an NCAA spot, despite their 40 wins. With yet another victory over Michigan, Ohio State's RPI sits at 49, which is still a little low for an at-large selection. A loss to Michigan State, (RPI 72), would send it tumbling further.
Thanks to the loss against Iowa, one more loss will send them home, so continuing their hot streak will be critical in tonight's action.