Shelby Lum / Lantern photographer
Riding a four-game winning steak, the Ohio State baseball team is set to take on Michigan State for a three-game series at home this weekend.
OSU is sitting at 15-6 on the season, but senior shortstop Kirby Pellant said those losses aren’t holding the team back.
“We lost some games we shouldn’t have lost, but right now everything is clicking,” Pellant said. “The confidence is coming around right on time and we feel like we can play with anyone.”
Pellant was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday after going 6-for-9 with a double, a home run, seven RBI and two runs scored in the Buckeyes’ 7-0 shutout of Purdue Saturday. Pellant walked four times and had a pair of sacrifice bunts. His four hits were a career-high and his home run was the first of his career.
Redshirt senior second baseman Ryan Cypret added that the team as a whole seems to be getting better each week.
“It’s been a process since the beginning of the year, and every weekend has been an improvement,” Cypret said. “Pitching has already set the bar high and the hitting has stayed to game plan. We are starting to know our identity at the plate.”
The Buckeyes haven’t played since their 7-0 shutout at Purdue on Saturday because games against Toledo on Tuesday and Ohio University on Wednesday were canceled due to weather and field conditions.
Redshirt senior outfielder Joe Ciamacco said the cancellations haven’t disheartened the team.
“We just try to stay loose and have fun,” Ciamacco said. “The weather really doesn’t affect us. So as long as we’re winning and doing what we are supposed to do, it doesn’t really bother us.”
The Buckeyes likely face a tough test this weekend in Michigan State.
The Spartans are 13-7 this season and are on a seven-game win streak. The series against OSU will be the team’s first conference games of the year.
MSU senior outfielder Jordan Keur is a standout for the Spartans, batting .338 with 14 RBI. Senior pitcher Andrew Waszak has a 1.56 ERA and a 3-1 record in 40.1 innings pitched. Both players were named Big Ten Players to Watch for the season.
With the unexpected extra time to focus on MSU, OSU coach Greg Beals said the Buckeyes have been working hard to keep the winning mentality alive.
“This team has the understanding it’s not about series, it’s about game-to-game, and they know every game matters in the conference standings at the end of the year,” Beals said. “We’re striving for excellence and we want to take care of every opportunity that we have.”
OSU is set to take the field against the Spartans at 6:35 p.m. Friday at Bill Davis Stadium.