Freshman Greve Boosts Buckeye Vets on Senior Day in 10-4 Win Over Hawkeyes
By Tony Gerdeman
It was a wet and sloppy day at Bill Davis Stadium, but the Buckeyes' (23-24, 11-10) bats didn't mind. They pounded out ten hits and ten runs in a 10-4 win over Iowa (20-28, 9-12) on Sunday, avoiding the sweep at the hands of the Hawkeyes.
Starting pitcher Greg Greve didn't mind the weather either. He threw 5.0 shutout innings despite sandwiching his outing around a nearly two-hour rain delay to pick up the win.
The Buckeye offense started strong when Brian DeLucia led off the first inning with a double. A ground out by Tim Wetzel moved DeLucia to third, and a walk and stolen base by Ryan Cypret gave Ohio State men on second and third with just one out. A strikeout by Josh Dezse and a fly out to right field by Matt Streng ended the inning without the Buckeyes scoring a run.
They broke through in the second, however, when Brad Hallberg walked and was then doubled home by Tyler Engle.
“That felt good,” Engle said of the early-inning double. “It was big at the time. And I think that might've given us a boost.”
The Buckeyes added two more in the third inning. Wetzel and Cypret both walked to lead the inning off. After Dezse reached on a fielder' choice, Streng singled up the middle to score Wetzel. Greg Solomon then doubled down the third base line to score Dezse from third.
It was at that point that the rain became too much for the diamond to bear, and everybody was pulled off the field in order to get the tarp in place. After a delay that lasted one hour and 59 minutes, David Corna returned to the plate and walked, loading the bases.
Hallberg followed Corna with a walk of his own, making it 4-0. Engle then came into the game and grounded one to shortstop Kurt Lee who booted it amidst the mud allowing Solomon to score. DeLucia then hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield scoring Corna to make it 6-0.
Greve, having sat for over two hours during the rain delay, came back out for the fourth inning and after giving up a single to start the inning, coaxed a pop up and then an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play to eliminate any threat.
Iowa opened the fifth with a single, but again Greve pitched his way out of any perceived trouble, retiring the next three batters in order. Jared Strayer took over in the sixth inning, with Greve having pitched 5.0 innings while allowing just three hits and two walks.
"If you're not a little bit nervous coming into the game, you're not human,” Greve said of the responsibility of getting the start on Senior Day.
“I was definitely nervous--I wanted to have a good outing for the seniors. I knew this was their last Big Ten game at home, so I wanted to go out there and put my team in a position to win, and I think I did that."
"First of all, Greg was good,” said coach Greg Beals of his starting pitcher, who now moves to 2-2 on the season.
“He did a great job for us. Unfortunately, the rain delay limited how much he was able to do. I give Coach Newman and Coach Stafford a lot of credit. What we did during the break is kept him throwing. He was down in the cages indoors. Get him up for 15 pitches, then sit him down for ten minutes. He threw about 40 pitches out there in the cage, so he threw an equivalent of about eight innings today. That gameplan allowed him to stay loose. If we sit him down that whole time, he's gonna freeze up and not gonna be able to get back in there."
The Buckeyes added another run in the sixth inning when Dezse walked with two outs and was then brought home on a double by Streng, making it 7-0.
Strayer retired the first two Hawkeye batters in the seventh inning, but they finally got on the board when they managed to load the bases with a single, a walk and then a hit by pitch, and got a single from Trevor Willis to score Phil Keppler, making it 7-1. Strayer then got Zach McCool to ground out to Cypret to end the inning.
Ohio State answered right back in the eighth when Corna led off the inning with a single. Hallberg followed with a walk. Beals then put the hit-and-run on, and Engle obliged by sending a screaming base hit into left field, bringing home Corna to make it 8-1.
After a pitching change, DeLucia walked on four pitches to load the bases and Wetzel hit an infield single to score Hallberg. Cypret walked another run home, making it 10-1.
Dean Wolosiansky came in for Strayer to start the eighth and retired the first batter he faced. He then gave up a single and two walks before Keppler hit a sacrifice fly to make it 10-2. After another walk, Lee sent a single up the middle to score two more. Andrew Armstrong then came in for Wolosiansky and retired the Hawkeyes, ending their scoring on the day.
Armstrong struck out the side in the ninth inning to end the game.
"Five hours from start to finish,” said Beals of the rain-stretched game.
“I'm not one for saying 'must-win games', but this was a very, very important one."
"One thing that I liked is that it was just a big day being Senior Day. That means something to us, and it means something to those guys in that locker room. Those guys have spent four or five years in our program, they've got a lot of respect for that. We wanted to make sure we gave our seniors a good senior day, and we did that. And the seniors themselves took care of a lot."
Seniors DeLucia, Streng and Engle combined to go 6-13 with six RBIs on the day.
Up next for the Buckeyes will be a Tuesday game against Toledo at noon, but it's next weekend's series at Minnesota that is on Beals' mind.
"We look to Minnesota,” he said.
“That's not looking ahead, that's our next conference series. We need to go up there and get that elusive road series win. If we do that, we'll be in a great situation going into the tournament."
As it stands now, the Buckeyes are in a three-way tie for fourth-place in the Big Ten standings.
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