April 4, 2010
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Ohio State scored three times in the top of the fifth inning to take the lead and Northwestern was unable to recover as the Wildcats dropped their series finale to the Buckeyes 11-6 Sunday afternoon at Rocky Miller Park.
Ohio State (16-8, 2-1 Big Ten) struck first for the third consecutive day, tallying three runs in the top of the second inning. The third out proved to be elusive for NU starter Joe Muraski and the Wildcats as Tyler Engle had an RBI single and Zach Hurley added a two-run double.
Northwestern (7-20, 1-2) would get all three runs back in the bottom of the third, thanks to a miscue in the field by the Buckeyes. Following consecutive singles by Colby Everett and Chris Kontos to start the inning, Geoff Rowan followed with a sacrifice bunt. OSU starting pitcher Dean Wolosiansky threw wildly to first as both Everett and Kontos raced around to score. Arby Fields followed with a run-scoring groundout to tie the game 3-3.
The Wildcats claimed the lead in the following inning. Chad Noble started the frame with a ground-rule double, he advanced to third on a groundout by Chris Lashmet and scored on a sac fly to right by Zach Morton.
The lead proved to be short-lived, however. The Buckeyes got the first three batters aboard in the top of the fifth and NU replaced Muraski on the mound with Matt Gailey. The first batter the junior left-hander faced was Dan Burkhart who cleared the bases with a three-run triple to give Ohio State a lead it wouldn't relinquish.
Northwestern put its first two batters on in the bottom of the fifth but was unable to tally. Ohio State followed with two runs in the top of the sixth to push its lead to 8-4. The Wildcats got a run back in the bottom half of the frame on a single to left by Rowan that scored Zach Morton
NU had numerous opportunities to put more runs on the board, but stranded two runners in every inning from the fourth through the ninth innings.
The Buckeyes got two runs in the seventh to extend their advantage to five before the teams traded solo tallies in the ninth.
Northwestern finished with a 14-13 edge in the hit column with each team stranding 12 baserunners. Trevor Stevens had a game-high three hits for the hosts, while Everett, Kontos, Lashmet and Noble added two apiece.
The Wildcats return to action at 3 p.m. Wednesday as it hosts Trinity International.