Todd Avery / Lantern photographer
The Ohio State baseball team grounded the Redhawks of Seattle University by winning the series-deciding match of the series Sunday.
The Buckeyes (30-22, 11-10) beat Seattle University (22-24) 7-2 in a Mother’s Day matchup that also coincided with the baseball team’s Senior Day. OSU won the third game of the series, taking two of three from Seattle in the first games between the two programs.
The Buckeyes outhit Seattle, 11-5, and scored three of their seven runs in the first inning. Coach Greg Beals said he knew it was going to be a special day and was pleased with the team’s performance.
“We had our captain’s breakfast beforehand with previous captains here on a special day for the Ohio State baseball program,” Beals said. “I like the fact we won the series. I was pleased with how our players responded today and took care of business.”
Greg Solomon, OSU junior catcher, said the win was big for the team.
“We had a fire under us and had to show (Seattle) who we really are,” Solomon said after Sunday’s win. “To come away with a non-conference win just to get us jump-started going into the Indiana series next weekend is going to be really good. It’s good for the team and good for everyone knowing we’re pumped and ready to get going.”
Three of the four seniors on the roster played for OSU Sunday on its Senior Day. Senior outfielder David Corna, senior pitcher Andrew Armstrong and senior first baseman Brad Hutton were each brought out of the game one at a time in the ninth inning. Beals said he did this to honor the seniors.
“Those guys are our seniors and they’ve been here for five years. They’re Buckeyes and have been Buckeyes longer than I have,” Beals said, “so I wanted to give them a little special recognition today.”
Corna said he wasn’t expecting Beals to pay tribute to him and his classmates in that way.
“I didn’t expect it until I saw (Beals) take the other seniors out earlier in the inning,” Corna said. “It was cool to soak in that last moment coming off the field.”
The lone senior who didn’t play was pitcher Paul Geuy.
The Buckeyes lost game two of the three-game set 11-1 to the Redhawks. OSU pitching allowed 17 hits and six walks in the loss Saturday.
Beals said the game was one where the team didn’t show up.
“Coach wasn’t real happy after that ballgame,” Beals said. “I didn’t feel like we showed up to play with the intensity and effort Buckeye nation deserves from us and I let our guys know that.”
The 11 runs Seattle scored Saturday were its season high. The Redhawks were led by freshman catcher Brian Olson, who went five for six with two doubles, one RBI and two runs scored. The five hits for Olson are the most by a Seattle player since the program returned to Division I baseball in 2010.
The Buckeyes won, 4-1, Friday and were led by freshman outfielder Patrick Porter, who was three for four with one RBI and a run scored.
Sophomore pitcher Jaron Long, who was the winning pitcher for OSU, said a diving catch Porter made in the game was one of the best he’s seen.
“We’re hoping we can get that catch on SportsCenter,” Long said. “It was an unbelievable catch. Between that, hitting and a relay throw he had from the outfield, Pat’s doing it all out there.”
Junior shortstop Kirby Pellant said the team practices making tough catches like the one Porter made.
“Every day at practice we’re serious for most of it and then practice making those tough plays for the last five minutes,” Pellant said. “We call them Omar Vizquel plays in the infield and Ken Griffey plays in the outfield.”
After the weekend series with Seattle, the Buckeyes’ Big Ten record remains at 11-10. OSU began Sunday in sixth place in the Big Ten and needs to finish in sixth or better to qualify for the Big Ten tournament at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio.
The Buckeyes next game is home on Tuesday at 12:05 p.m. against Toledo. OSU finishes its season with a road series at Indiana beginning May 17.