May 5, 2012
Site: Columbus, Ohio (Bill Davis Stadium)
Score: Ohio State 3, Northwestern 1
Records: NU (16-27, 5-14 Big Ten), Ohio State (25-20, 9-10 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Game 2 of doubleheader - approximately 5:30 p.m. CT
COLUMBUS -- Francis Brooke worked his second straight complete game, but Ohio State got two unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and one in the eighth to defeat Northwestern 3-1 in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Bill Davis Stadium.
Ohio State starter Jaron Long came into the game with an impressive 1.98 ERA and the Wildcats came out hacking as they got on the board first in the top of the second inning. Colby Everett started the inning with a leadoff infield single and came in to score from third on a two-out single to left by Walker Moses.
The Buckeyes threatened in the bottom half of the frame as an error and a single gave the hosts two men aboard with one out, but Francis Brooke got a strikeout and a groundout to short to maintain the lead.
Mistakes in the field by the Northwestern defense in the bottom of the fourth cost the Wildcats two runs as Ohio State took the lead. After Josh Dezse was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, Mike Carroll hit a slow roller to short and the attempted force play on Dezse at second was too late. Brad Hallberg followed with a bunt and Dezse was able to come in to score on a throwing error as the two other runners advanced into scoring position.
Following a lineout to short, Brooke got David Corna to ground out to first. Hallberg was caught in a rundown between second and third base on the play, but Carroll was able to race home for OSU's second run before Hallberg was tagged for the third out.
The Buckeyes threatened to build upon their lead in the fifth as a Kirby Pellant started the frame with a double and then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, but Brooke stranded a pair in scoring position to keep the deficit at one.
Northwestern wasted a golden opportunity to tie the game or take the lead in the top of the eighth. One-out hits by Zach Morton and Paul Snieder put two aboard before a wild pitch by Long moved both into scoring position. Ohio State opted to intentionally walk Jack Havey to load bases for Ruchim. The sophomore attempted a squeeze bunt, but it went right back to Long who started a 1-2-3 double play to hold the Wildcats at bay.
The Buckeyes got a huge insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. Tim Wetzel started the inning with a hit and was at third with two outs. Carroll grounded to Ruchim at deep short and Carroll was ruled safe at first on a close play as Wetzel came home to make it a two-run game.
Dezse came on in relief in the ninth and Everett led off the frame with a hit, but the Wildcats were unable to rally.
Brooke's season-long string of tough losses continued as he worked all eight innings, allowing just one earned run and seven hits. He struck out four and walked one. NU finished with a 9-7 edge in the hit column as Morton and Everett had two apiece.
The teams were slated begin the nightcap of the doubleheader 30 minutes following the completion of the first game at approximately 5:30 p.m. Central time.
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