Daniel Eddy / Lantern photographer
After dropping two of three games to Michigan State last weekend, the Ohio State baseball team (18-8, 4-2 Big Ten) is hoping to get back on track for its third Big Ten weekend series as it travels to face Minnesota.
OSU coach Greg Beals is hoping his team can bounce back from last weekend’s series.
“We had an opportunity to take the Michigan State series and it’s disappointing we blew it,” Beals said. “Good thing is, we have games this week to get back to winning.”
OSU has been trying to work on its winning mindset for a few weeks.
“It’s just the mentality of all eight innings, man,” said senior shortstop Kirby Pellant. “The pitching has been there all year and the defense has been there all year and finally the bats are starting to come around.”
The Buckeyes beat Youngstown State Tuesday night in Columbus in a 3-0 shutout and took down Miami (Ohio) in a 1-0 shutout Wednesday night.
Beals said this week’s games were important for the Buckeyes in preparing for more conference play.
“The week games get our guys a lot of at-bats,” Beals said. “They help position players get in the groove and they allow our pitchers to get extended innings.”
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are 17-12 and 2-1 in Big Ten play on the year.
Minnesota redshirt junior infielder Dan Olinger is a guy to keep an eye on for the Golden Gophers, batting .314 with 14 RBIs and a .984 fielding percentage. Junior pitcher Tom Windle has 1.44 ERA with 45 strikeouts and a 4-2 record in 50 innings pitched. Windle has been named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week twice this season.
Minnesota will be opening the brand new Siebert Field for this series, having played its previous home games at the Metrodome.
An OSU series win brings the team that much closer to capturing the conference title. While it’s still early in the season for talk of the Big Ten Championship, it has been on some of the players’ minds for weeks.
“When I was a true freshman, that was the last time we won the Big Ten Championship, so I know what that feels like,” said OSU redshirt senior outfielder Joe Ciamacco. “I’m putting everything out there for the team this year. I want us to win this season. I want to bring back the winning tradition to Ohio State. We haven’t had it here in a while.”
OSU is set to take the field against the Golden Gophers at 4:05 p.m. Friday at Siebert Field in Minneapolis.