Ohio State baseball got off to a tough start in its Big Ten schedule, losing four of its first six games in conference. Now, after back-to-back series victories against Michigan and Maryland, the Buckeyes have gotten back to .500, moving to 6-6 in the Big Ten and 23-18 overall. OSU stands just three games back of the conference-leading Indiana Hoosiers, who are 9-3 in B1G play. The team is definitely moving in the right direction, coming off a very productive week.
Tuesday vs. Xavier
After taking two-of-three against the Michigan Wolverines last weekend, the Buckeyes remained at home for a one-game matchup with Xavier. The bats were hot early on for Ohio State, and starter Thomas Waning earned his first career win as a Buckeye going against his former team in a 8-5 victory for the home squad. OSU put up two runs in the first inning before adding three more in the second on the strength of home runs by Dominic Canzone and Brady Cherry. Waning kept the Musketeers off the board, allowing just one hit over four innings of work. The Buckeye bullpen allowed five runs in the eighth, capped by a Chris Givin grand slam, but closer Andrew Magno pitched a clean ninth with two strikeouts for his sixth save of the season to secure the victory.
Three-game series at Maryland
Ohio State got a few days off following the win over Xavier before hitting the road to take on the Terrapins in College Park, starting with a doubleheader on Saturday. Game one of the doubleheader did not go as planned for the Buckeyes, losing the opener 14-7. OSU ace Garrett Burhenn got roughed up, allowing nine runs on 14 hits over five innings—striking out seven. Ohio State actually led 6-3 after a five-run third inning, but Maryland would score 11 runs over the next four innings to put the game out of reach. The Terrapins first three hitters all recorded four hits apiece, combing for six RBI.
Game two of the doubleheader looked like it was heading the same way, but some late-inning magic from the Buckeyes changed the story. Ohio State trailed 7-2 after just three innings, with starter Seth Lonsway getting knocked out of the game after allowing all seven runs on nine hits and four walks. The Bucks entered the eighth inning trailing 8-4, but that is when everything changed. Brent Todys started things off with a bang on a two-run homer to left, and following a sac fly and an RBI double, it was all tied up at 8-8. Maryland pushed a run across in the bottom of the frame, but Todys came up big again with a two-out RBI single to tie the game and send it to extras. Finally, in the 11th inning, who else but Brent Todys launched a two-out solo homer to put Ohio State on top 10-9. Andrew Magno would strike out the side to secure the victory for the Buckeyes, finishing what was a brilliant outing in relief for the junior left-hander, hurling four innings with a career-high 11 Ks.
Ohio State rounded things off on Easter Sunday by claiming a series win, defeating the Terrapins 5-1 behind a dominant performance from sophomore Griffan Smith. The southpaw pitched a complete game, allowing just one run on four hits with a career-high 10 punch-outs. Ridge Winand was the story on offense, as the fifth-year senior outfielder drove in four runs with two homers. Dominic Canzone increased his on-base streak to 37 games with a pair of doubles, including an RBI. Canzone leads the Big Ten with a .446 batting average in nine games, hitting .500 this past week with three doubles, two home runs and four RBI.
Ohio State will get some extra time off this week before returning home to take on Big Ten foe Iowa in a three-game series beginning on Friday. The Hawkeyes have gotten off to a solid start this season, sitting at 9-6 in conference play and 23-15 overall. They have struggled a bit on the road thus far, however, playing to a 7-10 away record. The Buckeyes will have a good chance to make up some ground in the Big Ten standings as they look to win their third-straight conference series. Friday’s game is scheduled for a 6:35 p.m. ET start at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium, with the series being streamed on BTN Plus and broadcast via radio on AM 1460 ESPN.