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Ohio State baseball wins offensive battle against Michigan State, 9-8

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The bats came out for both teams in game two between the Ohio State baseball team (14-15, 4-4 Big Ten) and Michigan State (22-9, 6-2 Big Ten) as OSU was able to edge out the Spartans, 9-8.

The deciding run came in the eighth inning for OSU with an RBI single by freshman center fielder Tim Wetzel.

While the first four innings saw 15 runs scored, the next five produced only two runs, with Wetzel’s putting the Buckeyes up for good.

“The pitch was a change-up, which I’m actually surprised that I hit it that well because usually I’m a little out in front of those, but cage work made me keep my hands back and it just worked out perfectly,” Wetzel said.

The fourth inning saw a combined seven runs on seven hits, but OSU had four of those runs and was able to take its first lead of the game in the bottom half of the inning.

Buckeyes starting pitcher Brett McKinney got off to a rough start in the first inning. After hitting one batter and walking the next to load the bases, McKinney gave up a grand slam to Michigan State third baseman Torsten Boss.

“We got punched in the mouth in the first inning with those four runs right out of the gate, but our guys handled that adversity and kept fighting back,” OSU coach Greg Beals said.

Junior pitcher Andrew Armstrong (1-0) picked up his first win, and senior pitcher Jared Strayer picked up his second save for OSU. 

The final game of the series will take place at 1:05 p.m. Sunday. After each of the first two games were decided by one run late, the Buckeyes will look to take the rubber match and the series.

“We’re just going to go out there and try to get the win, play as hard as we can and compete against a good Michigan State team,” Armstrong said.

Offensive attack

It was a high scoring affair as the teams combined for 17 total runs and 25 hits. Brian DeLucia led the Buckeyes  with three RBIs, while Boss had four RBIs for MSU. 

“Our hitters were good all day today; I really liked our approach offensively,” Beals said. “We got a lot of hits against a guy whose numbers have been very good, and we chased him out of the ball game early.”

Wind blows in

It was a windy day at Bill Davis Stadium, with winds upward of 15 mph. It appeared to have an effect on several hit balls to the outfield, and especially gave trouble to OSU junior left fielder David Corna on an error that resulted in two runs in the fourth inning.

“I think Corna saw it, thought it was going to be up in the air — he comes after it, calls it and then the wind just drove it down faster,” Beals said. “It’s a play we got to make. Obviously the wind’s a factor in it, but the wind was blowing that way all day and it was blowing that way for both teams.”

Shut down relief

The bullpen for OSU came in and gave up only one run and two hits over four innings. 

Senior David Fathalikhani pitched 1 1/3 innings of hitless baseball, and Armstrong struck out two out of the three batters he faced.

“We don’t really care about who gets what or when,” Armstrong said. “We just go with situations. Righties pitch; then I pitch, or Strayer does. We all just try to chip in to help each other win.”

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