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Last updated: 04/13/2011 11:56 PM

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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.

Game One

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 4-0 Buckeyes.

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.

Box score

Game Two

The Buckeye bats started a bit slower in the second game, but once they got going, there wasn't much stopping them.

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 inning.

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 game home.

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 coach.

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 defensive execution.

“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 series.”

Box score

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