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Last updated: 04/17/2011 7:55 PM

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Buckeyes Send Spartans Sprawling with Series-Clinching 10-5 Win
By Tony Gerdeman

Ohio State (15-15, 5-4) and Michigan State (22-10, 6-3) met for a Sunday rubber match, and the Buckeyes came away with the 10-5 win thanks to their clutch hitting, most notably from Josh Dezse who went 4-4 at the plate and knocked in five runs—including a bases loaded triple for the game-winning RBI.

The Ohio State pitching gave up 16 hits but found a way to keep the Spartans from scoring as many runs as maybe they should have. The bullpen saw six Buckeye pitchers pitch a total of four innings, with zero earned runs given up between them.

The Buckeyes kept their hot bats from Saturday going early on Sunday. Brian DeLucia led the first inning off with a triple, then came home on a Tim Wetzel ground out. Ryan Cypret and Dezse followed hit back-to-back singles against Spartan starter David Garner, who came into the game with a 2.89 ERA and 3-3 record. A Matt Streng ground out brought Cypret home to make it 2-0.

After a quiet second inning, Michigan State finally started getting to Ohio State starter Greg Greve in the third. The Spartans scored two runs with two outs when a single from Jeff Holm brought home Brandon Eckerle who had previously doubled. A Torsten Boss walk was followed by a Jared Hook single scoring Holm to tie the game at 2-2.

DeLucia led the third inning off with a double past the first baseman's glove. Wetzel followed up with a walk. After a David Corna strikeout Dezse sent a screamer back up the middle, scoring DeLucia and sending Wetzel to third. Streng then grounded into a fielder's choice to score Wetzel and make it 4-2 after three innings.

The Spartans answered right back in the fourth when Jordan Keur walked to lead the inning off, then stole second and scored on a Justin Scanlon single. Greve got the next three batters out before anymore damage was down, however.

Greve retired the Spartans in the fifth, ending his day after 5.0 innings pitched with nine hits given up and three earned runs.

Dean Wolosiansky came in for the Buckeyes to start the sixth inning and quickly gave up a Scanlon single and a sacrifice bunt. After a fly ball advanced Scanlon to third base, Ryan Jones sent a ball back up the middle off of Wolosiansky's glove. Wolosiansky recovered with time to still get Jones but threw wildly to first base past Dezse to allow Scanlon to score.

Holm followed with a pop up between the shortstop and left fielder which dropped between them. It appeared that Tyler Engle lost the ball in the sun and Jones came in to score to give Michigan State their first lead of the ballgame at 5-4 after six innings.

After a rough start, Garner retired the Buckeyes in the fourth, fifth and sixth inning with very little effort.

“We were starting to go back and forth with him, not sure if it's a slider or fastball, and I told our guys to stay in their mode and look for a pitch that they wanted to have,” explained Beals.

“I thought we were defensive with our swings there in the middle of the game. I told our guys to get offensive when they're in that batter's box. Don't worry about everything else, go in there and try to find a way to win the ballgame.”

In the seventh inning they did just that. After an Engle strikeout, the top of the Buckeyes lineup followed with a walk and two singles to load the bases for Dezse. That chased Garner from the game in favor of closer Tony Wieber. On the second pitch Dezse saw from Wieber he took him deep to center field for a three-run tripl giving the Buckeyes a 7-5 lead.

“It was a fastball,” Dezse said. “An inside fastball that I actually tried to pull, but I inside-outed it I guess. It went farther than I expected.”

“I've been telling him that you're my four-hole hitter, and you're in the four-hole because I want you to hit,” said Beals of Dezse. “ And you've gotta start believing in that and treating yourself that way, and taking offensive swings that are gonna drive in runs.”

With two outs and a man on first in the Spartan eighth, Theron Minium came into the game for the Buckeyes and immediately gave up a single to Holm, putting men on first and second. Boss then came to the plate and singled to left field, but David Corna gunned down Jones at the plate trying to score from second.

It was a bang-bang play and Michigan State coach Jake Boss argued unsuccessfully on his team's behalf. He then argued again from his own dugout before being tossed by home plate umpire Scott Inman.

The Buckeyes added three more in the eighth when Cypret singled with the bases loaded bringing home two runners. Dezse then popped one up to first base, but the wind took it for a ride, and it fell for a single, bringing home the tenth and final Buckeye run of the game.

“We were able to execute and play in the elements, and we got the benefit of it,” said Beals of the effect the wind had on the game.

“They got a couple of balls that they lobbed into left field too. Here we make good pitches, and they lob a ball into left field for an RBI, so it was back and forth.”

Dezse then closed the Spartans out in the ninth, striking out two of the four batters he faced.

Reliever David Fathalikhani got the win.He moves to 2-0 on the season.

The top three batters in the Buckeye lineup—DeLucia, Wetzel and Cypret went 7-12 with nine runs scored.

“The top of the lineup, they just seem to always get on base,” Dezse said. “I don't know how, but they do. And I don't mind it.”

“These guys have got their experience,” Beals said of his team.

“They're starting to play better baseball. They're starting to play better together. Everybody understands what they're supposed to do now and has a good feel for their role.”

The win moves the Buckeyes to just a game out of first place behind the Spartans. Up next for Ohio State is a home game against Bowling Green on Wednesday.

Box Score

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