April 2, 2010
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Ohio State scored four times in the top of the first inning and Northwestern was unable to recover as the Wildcats dropped their home opener to the Buckeyes 11-1 Friday afternoon at Rocky Miller Park.
It was apparent from the start that the very strong winds blowing from right to left field would play a factor in the contest and that proved to be true with the first batter of the game. Zach Hurley hit what appeared to be a routine flyball to left, but the ball carried all the way over the fence for a home run.
The Buckeyes would go on to collect six hits in the opening frame with Ryan Dew adding a two-run triple and Cory Rupert contributing a run-scoring single as Ohio State was able to chase NU starter Francis Brooke after just one inning.
David Jensen, who worked the final eight innings of the contest, surrendered one run in the second on an RBI single by Dan Burkhart as the Buckeyes upped their advantage to 5-0.
Reigning Big Ten Pitcher of the Year Alex Wimmers got the start on the mound for OSU and Northwestern was able to get one run back in the second. Again, the win came in to play as Chris Lashmet's rocket to center sailed over the head of Michael Stephens and allowed Chad Noble to score from first.
The Wildcats had a solid opportunity to cut further into the deficit in the fourth as Noble and Lashmet drew consecutive walks to open the frame, but NU was unable to advance them any further.
Jensen did a solid job of keeping Northwestern in the ballgame, but Ohio State tallied four times in the top of the fifth on a run-scoring single by Dew and a three-run homer by Brian DeLucia to stretch out its lead.
The Buckeyes would tally two final runs in the top of the ninth on a solo homer by Stephens and an RBI single by Chris Griffin.
and Chris Kontos
collected two hits apiece for Northwestern. Brooke was saddled with the loss while Jensen struck out six in his eight innings of work. Wimmers improved to 6-0 by working the first seven innings.
The teams resume their three-game series at 1 p.m. Saturday.