Feeding off their momentum at the end of the regular season, the No. 4 seed Ohio State Buckeyes crushed their way to a 8-3 victory over the No. 5 seed Michigan Wolverines in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.
Senior third baseman Nick Sergakis was yet again the spark plug for this Buckeye offense. Leading off in the lineup, the 5’9” quick-handed Sergakis had two solo home runs and scored three times.
Being the leader on and off the field as the co-captain, Sergakis’ performance set the tone for the rest of the lineup behind him, especially in the fifth inning. Trailing 2-1 entering the bottom of the fifth, Sergakis’ second homerun of the night ignited a six-run inning for OSU. Senior infielder L Grant Davis delivered a two-run RBI triple and redshirt junior Jacob Bosiokovic added a RBI single to the onslaught.
The Buckeyes really had success against Adcock. Known for his lack of control with 62 walks in his 78.2 innings pitched this season, Adcock threw four walks and gave up a career-high eight hits in his four-plus innings pitched.
Offensively, however, the Buckeyes did have a set back as junior centerfielder Troy Montgomery was taken out of the game in the top of the third inning with an undisclosed injury. He was replaced in the lineup by Davis, who came in the game at second base as senior infielder Troy Kuhn moved to first base, Bosiokovic moved to right field, and sophomore outfielder Tre’ Gantt replaced Montgomery in center.
The Buckeyes’ starter, left-handed junior Tanner Tully, pitched seven innings. He gave up three earned runs on seven hits, including a two-run home run by the Michigan designated hitter, sophomore Drew Lugbauer, in the fourth to put the Wolverines up. He also struck out three. However, Tully only allowed three extra base hits on the day, with the home run by Lugbauer and two doubles. Tully continues to impress as the Friday night starter for the Buckeyes with an 8-3 record and a 2.41 ERA.
Even though Tully may not have been as sharp as he has been against the Wolverines this season, with a sub 0.75 ERA against Michigan going into this game, the Buckeyes are 24-1 when they score seven or more runs in a game.
The win gives the Scarlet and Gray another victory over a top 50 RPI opponent, which puts OSU just one game away from 40 wins. That kind of production in the win column makes the Buckeyes likely NCAA tournament candidates.
The Buckeyes will try and keep their momentum as they will next face the No. 8 seed Iowa Hawkeyes at 10 p.m. on Big Ten Network. Iowa defeated No. 1 seed Minnesota 8-2 on Wednesday.