The Ohio State baseball team claimed a win in walk-off fashion for the second straight game and sixth time this season Monday afternoon.
Junior infielder Troy Kuhn blasted a ball down the first base line, advancing senior outfielder Pat Porter home to score the winning run against penn State at Bill Davis Stadium.
Down 7-6 in the bottom of the ninth, sophomore outfielder and leadoff hitter Troy Montgomery started out the inning by slamming a triple to left field. Senior catcher Connor Sabanosh followed with a pop fly out to left field, allowing Montgomery to tag up and score the tying run.
Porter singled and advance to second on an error before Kuhn’s double finished off the Buckeyes’ 8-7 victory.
With the win, the Buckeyes swept the Nittany Lions after pulling off victories on Friday and Saturday. OSU improved to 22-7 on the season and 7-2 in Big Ten play, but not without some drama along the way. Senior pitcher Ryan Riga’s scoreless inning streak was snapped in his seventh start of the season.
“I think if you’re going to have 13 starts out of the year, you’re bound to have a bad one and he just wasn’t good today, basically Riga had an 0-4 day today, he wasn’t himself,” coach Greg Beals said.
Riga had a difficult afternoon, only throwing four innings and allowing four runs, three of which came off the first home run to be hit off Riga this season.
The Buckeyes started strong offensively despite difficulty on the mound. OSU was up 5-1 by the end of the second inning, but Penn State fought throughout the game to stay alive, scoring four runs by the fifth to tie the game at five.
In the top of the seventh, the Nittany Lions found their momentum and ended up taking the lead, 7-6, before OSU sent in freshman pitcher Seth Kinker.
After Trace Dempsey was placed on the mound to maintain the tie in his simple three-up-three-down inning, the Buckeyes’ bats turned on the heat once again after walking off against the Nittany Lions on Sunday with a Montgomery double.
“I told them that we weren’t very good today, but we found a way to win and good teams do that. We need to be able to win on days where we aren’t playing our best,” Beals said.
For Porter, sweeping the series was a team effort and it showed how talented the team is this season, he said.
“That’s huge we just want to win the series, when you get those first two you gotta come out and sweep, that was big for the team, but we just have to keep going from there,” Porter said in regards to the Buckeyes first Big Ten sweep of the season.
Last year the Buckeyes sat at the exact opposite of their current conference record at 2-7 as the bottom dwellers of the Big Ten. But the team isn’t concerned with what happened last season, their full purpose is to win the next games, Porter added.
“We just have to stay tight, keep going keep moving forward and keep having good games,” he said.
OSU is set to go for its sixth straight win on Tuesday against the Dayton Flyers Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. at Bill Davis Stadium.