Buckeyes Sweep Double-Header from Zips
By Tony Gerdeman
The Buckeyes (13-14, 3-3) swept a
double-header against Akron (6-25) on Wednesday, moving two games
closer to the .500 mark, and they did it on the backs of tremendous
pitching and consistent hitting.
Dean Wolosiansky got the start in game
one and went all seven innings, shutting the Zips out while giving up
only five hits and striking out four. The Buckeyes scored a run in
each of the first five innings to provide the 5-0 victory.
Ohio State used three pitchers for
their 8-1 win in the second game, and starter John Kuchno was
impressive in his four innings of action. He gave up one run and
only three hits on the evening, winning his first game of the year.
The Buckeyes had 13 base hits in the game, and every starter had at
least one. And four Buckeyes had multi-hit games.
Wolosiansky started the game strong by
inducing three ground outs in the first inning, and Buckeye right
fielder Brian DeLucia did the same thing for the offense by leading
the bottom of the first inning off with a triple. He would then
score on a passed ball.
The Buckeyes got a run in the second
when Brad Hallberg hit a two-out double and was then brought home on
a Steel Russell single. The third inning saw DeLucia again leadoff
with a base hit before eventually scoring on a wild pitch.
Wolosiansky pitched a perfect third and
fourth inning to continue his strong outing.
“He's throwing strikes and he's
working the bottom of the strike zone,” said coach Greg Beals said,
explaining Wolosiansky's success.
“He's working ahead in the count and
his slider he was throwing for strikes. This was his assignment
today and he knocked it out.”
Ohio State would score another run in
the fourth when Brad Hallberg scored on a throwing error, making it
Wolosiansky got into a little bit of
trouble in the fifth inning when Akron loaded the bases. Fortunately
for the Buckeyes, catcher Dan Burant grounded into an inning-ending
double play to get Wolosiansky out of his only real jam of the game.
“That's Dean's characteristic, and
that's what I was told when I got the job here, Dean will get into
trouble and get out of trouble,” Beals chuckled.
Wolosiansky finished the seventh inning
by getting the first two men out before giving up a pair of singles,
and then striking out Burant to end the game. The win moved him to
2-5 on the season.
“It was really good to see Dean set
the tempo for the day,” said the Buckeye skipper.
“Dean got challenged a little bit in
the fact that he's not in the rotation on the weekends as a senior
captain. I challenged him with that. He knew that he needed to
pitch a little sharper and to come out of the gates better.”
Every starter except for Derek Hannahs
had a hit for the Buckeyes in the game, and Brian DeLucia led the
team with two hits and two runs scored.
The Buckeye bats started a bit slower
in the second game, but once they got going, there wasn't much
They manufactured their first run of
the game in the second inning with a sacrifice bunt from Matt Streng,
scoring Greg Solomon, who led off the inning with a double.
Buckeye starting pitcher John Kuchno
didn't give up his first hit until the third inning, where he gave up
consecutive two-out singles before forcing a ground out to end the
Akron would finally score a run in the
double-header in the fourth inning as a base hit, a wild pitch and
then a double from Kurt Gamby would bring the Zips' lone run of the
Ohio State put the game away with a
five-run fourth inning. Solomon scored on a David Corna double.
Corna then scored on a Brad Hutton single, but Hutton was thrown out
trying to stretch the single into a double. The Buckeyes then scored
their next four runs with two outs in the inning. The biggest hit
was a two-run single with the bases loaded by Ryan Cypret. Cypret was
playing in front of his dad Greg, who is now an Akron assistant
Ohio State added a couple of insurance
runs in the fifth when DeLucia hit a two-out two-run single, making
it 8-1, which ended up being the final score.
DeLucia reached base on two of his four
plate appearances, scored a run and drove two in. The top three
batters in the Buckeye lineup went 4-10 with four RBIs.
“They're the table-setters,” Beals
said of the top of the lineup.
“Today they got on base and really
what we're looking at is their on-base percentage. We want to see an
on-base percentage of around .400 for those guys at the top of the
lineup. They're doing good.”
Along with the bats was the fact that
the Buckeyes played a rare error-free game on the defensive side.
“That's young guys learning how to
stay focused on the moment of the game,” Beals said of the
“Putting their previous at bat behind
them, putting the scoreboard behind, what pitch did we call, where
should I be playing, and playing good defense and being really locked
into the moment of the game. Sometimes those young guys get the big
picture in their mind and they start thinking about everything,
trying to conquer the world and all they can do is field a ground
ball at the moment. And that's what we keep our guys focused on.”
Up next for the Buckeyes is a weekend
series at home against Michigan State.The Spartans are atop the Big Ten
standings with a 5-1 conference record. It's the biggest series of
the season for Ohio State, and Beals hopes that Wednesday provided a
little bit of confidence for his team.
“Michigan State's at the top of our
conference and we want to win the series from them this weekend, and
today was our day to sharpen our knives and get ready for that
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