In order to finish out the final month of the regular season the way it wants to, the Ohio State baseball team needs to regroup in a series away from conference play.
“It’s very good for us right now, we need to have some non-Big Ten play,” OSU coach Greg Beals said.
After losses at West Virginia Tuesday and at home against Ball State the following day, the Buckeyes (21-17, 4-8) are scheduled to continue their non-conference slate with a three-game series against Murray State (16-18, 9-9) over the weekend at Bill Davis Stadium.
Senior pitcher Greg Greve agreed with his coach and said the Buckeyes have to use this opportunity to compose themselves before hitting the road for a series with Purdue starting April 25.
“It’s nice to kind of get a week off to regroup a little bit here, kind of figure a few things out,” Greve said. “That doesn’t mean that it’s any less pressure to win, but it’s nice for us as a team to try to get back on track.”
With a 5-7 record in the month of April, Greve said the team is currently struggling, but it is important to think of the season in the long-term.
“Obviously we’re a little down but you know it’s a long season, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. We’re going through a little bit of a rough stretch here but we know we’ve got the talent to win games,” Greve said. “We just have to stick with the process, keep doing the little things right and things will start to go our way.”
Although he agreed the Murray State series could be a good time to “fix some little things,” redshirt-junior pitcher and first baseman Josh Dezse said he is anxious to get the chance to play another Big Ten team.
“It kind of takes some of the pressure off, but I think some of us are eager to get going in the Big Ten, we got it rolling against Penn State and we need to keep that train going,” Dezse said, referring to how the Buckeyes took two of three from the Nittany Lions last weekend.
Despite the recent skid, Dezse said the team’s mission is the same as it was when the season started.
“I think there’s still a goal and the goal is to make the (NCAA) tournament and win the tournament,” Dezse said. “So our eyes are still set on our goal, I think the team’s demeanor is still all right and we’ll be fine.”
Greve has been dominant in his last two starts against Nebraska and Penn State, throwing 15.0 scoreless innings while striking out five and only allowing nine hits.
“I spotted up my fastball well last weekend (against Penn State), I was able to throw some off-speed (pitches) for strikes,” Greve said. “I just need to go out there and try to do the same thing, throw some strikes and let my defense get some outs for me.”
First pitch against Murray State is set for Friday at 6:35 p.m. at Bill Davis Stadium.