Todd Avery / Photo editor
It wasn’t pretty, but the Ohio State baseball team earned its spot in the Big Ten tournament over the weekend.
Indiana swept OSU in its three-game series, but the Buckeyes still earned the sixth and final spot in the tournament because of a tiebreaker against common opponents in the conference. OSU falls to an 11-13 record against Big Ten opponents after losing the series.
The Buckeyes received some assistance from Minnesota defeating Illinois in their series finale Saturday to secure OSU’s spot in the tournament.
OSU coach Greg Beals said he wants his players to come with more energy for the tournament since they weren’t able to build momentum against Indiana over the weekend.
“We did not play loose and relaxed in our final conference series this weekend and we need to change that heading into this week,” Beals said. “We’re very fortunate that we have been given another opportunity and we need to come out re-energized on Wednesday.”
One advantage OSU will have heading into the tournament is home field. Columbus’ Huntington Park will host the Big Ten tournament again this year and some players think it can help them get some wins.
Tim Wetzel, sophomore center fielder, said the team can have success in the tournament playing at home.
“No team’s going to want to play us (in Columbus),” Wetzel said. “We can make some noise in the tournament.”
Beals, on the other hand, said playing for a Big Ten championship is the main priority and that playing in Columbus isn’t a big deal.
“Our guys have an expectation to play for a championship and it doesn’t matter where it’s at,” Beals said.
Kirby Pellant, junior shortstop, said winning the tournament is at the top of the team’s goals.
“One of our main goals all year has been to win the Big Ten Championship,” Pellant said.
Despite the losing effort over the weekend, the team can still reach its goal starting at 3:35 p.m. on Wednesday against No. 3 seed Penn State.
Beals said people shouldn’t count OSU out even though the team is stumbling into the tournament after a rough weekend.
“Ohio State should be in the discussion when you’re talking about Big Ten Championships,” Beals said.