The Ohio State baseball team extended its winning streak to six games, toppling in-state foes Akron and Ohio University in back-to-back midweek games at Bill Davis Stadium.
The Buckeyes defeated the Zips 7-2 on Wednesday and the Bobcats 6-5 on Tuesday, collecting their 19th and 20th wins of the season.
Most importantly, as far as bragging rights are concerned, OSU (20-12) remained unbeaten on the year (5-0) against other Ohio schools.
“Our guys set goals at the beginning of the year,” said OSU coach Greg Beals. “One of the goals they had was to take care of business against the other in-state schools. This is The Ohio State University and we want to prove it on the field.”
OSU junior Brad Hallberg shared his coach’s feeling about the importance of the in-state battles.
“Wins against in-state teams are bragging rights,” the Buckeye infielder said. “They’re bragging rights for your buddies, they’re bragging rights for recruiting and for coaches.”
Playing with added motivation, Hallberg did his part in the wins against Akron and OU, going 5-for-8 with 3 RBI and three doubles in the two games.
A native of Baron, Wis., Hallberg said he was not recruited by the other Ohio schools and does not have a particular in-state school that he circles on a calendar he just “wants to beat them all.”
Other Buckeyes such as OSU sophomore pitcher Greg Greve have a little more of a stake in games against certain in-state schools.
Wednesday’s starter and Cleveland native, Greve said beating the Zips meant a little more to him.
“I knew quite a few guys on the Akron team,” he said. “It’s a good feeling going out there and beating them and the other Ohio teams.”
Greve (3-2) earned the win Wednesday allowing two runs on five hits in six innings of work.
The Buckeyes have five games against in-state schools remaining on their schedule, and Greve hasn’t lost sight of the importance of those remaining five.
“This year it’s one of our goals to go undefeated in Ohio, and we’re going to make sure that happens,” he said.
OSU returns to action Friday as they host Nebraska for a three-game series through Sunday.