The Ohio State baseball team swept the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats over the course of the weekend, extending the Buckeyes’ season-high winning streak to seven games.
The Scarlet and Gray (19-7-1) were powered by strong pitching from junior lefty Tanner Tully in the series-opening 6-2 win, a career day from senior shortstop Craig Nennig during Saturday’s 11-2 victory, and an overpowering 15 hits for a 13-5 win on Sunday.
OSU has been red hot, winning 12 of its last 13 games dating back to the 8-7 win over UNLV in Las Vegas on March 15. OSU coach Greg Beals said he really likes what he’s seen from his team over that stretch of play.
“The key today was getting a win and finishing out the home stretch in a very good fashion,” Beals said. “A good ball club needs to take care of business at home, and now we need to go on the road and keep the win streak alive.”
Tully set the tone early for the Buckeyes, overpowering the Wildcats throughout his career-high 8.0 innings of work on a blustery day in Columbus. The Buckeye offense broke through in the fifth inning with three runs to provide Tully with all the run support he needed to earn his fourth win of the season.
Tully (4-1) struck out three, walked one and only allowed two runs in his seventh appearance of the year, lowering his ERA to 2.53.
Beals said Tully’s performance was big for OSU because it allowed the bullpen to remain fresh for the rest of the series after being used heavily in the two midweek games against the Ohio Bobcats and Toledo Rockets.
The Buckeyes were led offensively by junior catcher Jalen Washington and junior center fielder Troy Montgomery. Washington went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored and Montgomery went 1-for-4 with an RBI double, two stolen bases and a run scored in the game.
The weather played a huge role in the second game of the series, seeing sunshine, rain, snow and heavy winds that eclipsed 30 miles an hour.
But Nennig wouldn’t let the bad weather hold the Buckeyes back as the Wrightstown, Wisconsin, native had a career day at the plate.
Nennig went 3-for-4, including a three-run home run in the second inning to get the party started for the Buckeyes. His six RBIs accounted for more than half of OSU’s runs in the 11-2 victory. He fell a double short of hitting for the cycle.
Senior pitcher Daulton Mosbarger picked up his first win of the season after his 2.2 innings of scoreless work. Redshirt sophomore pitcher Adam Niemeyer, who started the game for OSU, earned a no-decision for the fourth time this year after leaving the game in the fifth inning after pulling his hamstring, Beals said.
With the weather being the way it was, Beals said the coaches “just didn’t want to push it at all.”
“Hopefully it’s not too bad and (Niemeyer) is able to take his start next weekend,” he said.
OSU continued to pour it on in the final game of the series, pounding Bethune-Cookman for 15 hits en route to the 13-5 victory.
Senior pitcher John Havird (2-1) picked up the win for OSU after allowing two runs on four hits and a walk during his 5.0 innings of work.
OSU’s offense across the board had a stellar day. Eight of the nine starters recorded a hit. But redshirt junior right fielder Jacob Bosiokovic and senior second baseman L Grant Davis perhaps had the best outings for the Scarlet and Gray.
Bosiokovic went 3-for-4, including his Big Ten-leading ninth home run of the season. Davis went 2-for-5 with a career-high 4 RBIs, three of which came on a bases-clearing double in the fourth inning.
Even though OSU put up 30 runs over the weekend, Davis said the Buckeyes still haven’t reached their true potential.
“We haven’t really been clicking as a lineup, as a whole,” Davis said. “There’s been certain parts that have been picking each other up throughout each game. I think that if we can figure it out, in terms of getting everyone clicking and everyone putting good swings on the ball, it’s very, very scary what this team is capable of.”
OSU is next scheduled to head to Kent, Ohio, on Tuesday for a matchup with Kent State. It begins a four-game road swing that ends with three games over the weekend against the Maryland Terrapins from Friday through Sunday.
Edward Sutelan contributed to this story.