Buckeyes Baffled by Hawkeyes, Lose 7-0
By Tony Gerdeman
Iowa (19-27, 8-11) came into Bill Davis Stadium and completely mystified the Buckeyes (22-23, 10-9) to the tune of a 7-0 shutout on Friday evening.
Hawkeye starting pitcher Jared Hippen earned the three-hit shutout by keeping Ohio State guessing with off-speed pitches all night long. The Buckeyes didn't even record a hit until the fifth inning when David Corna lined a double to left field.
Even when the Ohio State batters knew what was coming, they still couldn't convert.
“We knew it was coming, it was just incredibly slow,” said Brian DeLucia. “It's just not something we're used to.”
“He's throwing that soft stuff, and as a hitter, it's just like whiffle ball--you just wanna go up there hacking,” Tim Wetzel said.
"But it doesn't work that way in this game, and that's when you get all of those little ground outs and pop outs.”
Drew Rucinski got the start for the Buckeyes and went 6.2 innings in taking the loss. He gave up nine hits and five runs (four earned. His record now moves to 5-2 on the season.
As much as Ohio State struggled to capitalize, Iowa thrived on their side of the ball.
They scored two-out runs in each of the second and third innings and tacked on two more runs in the fifth.
Meanwhile, the Buckeyes stranded runners in scoring position in both the fifth and sixth innings. Despite having only three hits, there were numerous opportunities squandered.
“We didn't stay patient,” said Coach Greg Beals.
'He [Hippen] did throw enough fastballs. Had we capitalized on the fastballs and not let all of the other stuff that he threw up there in the middle of the count catch our attention so much, we would've gotten more fastballs and we could've been more offensive. We had four innings where we left guys in scoring position. We were 0-8 with runners in scoring position. We had our chances.”
Iowa scored another run in the eighth and two more in the ninth for good measure.
Wetzel, Dezse and Corna were the only Buckeyes to record base hits.
“I thought we'd be fine,” Beals said of his team.
“Our approach during batting practice and pregame was fine. Their pitcher just got in our heads and changed the tempo of our ball club with him changing speeds.”
“I haven't seen this kind of decrease in speed from an ace pitcher since my days in high school,” said DeLucia.
“It makes it hard for us, just coming off of Oklahoma State and seeing 90+ with a lot of good off-speed. I credit this guy for throwing the ball in the strike zone. He had a lot of junk. I wouldn't even call it off-speed. I'd just say a lot of junk, and we fell for it.”
“On a Friday night, you usually expect a hard-throwing guy, so this guy definitely kept us off balance,” agreed Wetzel.
“We didn't do a great job of hitting tonight. Coach Beals tells us to take away one of his pitches, and I don't think anybody did that tonight. That's why we all struggled. We were looking for everything, and everyone was just flailing at stuff.”
Game two with the Hawkeyes is set for 3:05 pm Saturday afternoon.
Donate by Check :
1380 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
Help us bring you more Buckeye coverage. Donate to the-Ozone.
Click here to email this the-Ozone feature to a friend...or even a foe.
(c) 2010 The O-Zone, O-Zone Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, rebroadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.