Buckeye Bats Bring Fireworks in 10-2 Rout of Huskers
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Buckeyes (21-12, 6-4) dropped seven runs on Nebraska (23-13, 5-5) in the bottom of the first inning and got another stellar outing from starting pitcher Jaron Long to coast to a 10-2 victory in the opener of a very important series for Ohio State.
"When you're in a big series like this, and you can get that [seven runs], now we can relax and just play," Coach Greg Beals said. "I liked the quality of our at bats. We hit the ball hard. We seemed more offensive tonight than we have been in a while."
That offense put together five extra base hits on the night, including three triples. Every starter reached base for Ohio State except Brad Hallberg.
With fireworks scheduled for after the game at Bill Davis Stadium, the Buckeyes had no desire to wait for the postgame explosions, so they got their own started in the very first inning.
Tim Wetzel walked to lead off the game, Ryan Cypret followed with a single to left, Brad Hallberg advanced the runners to second and third with a groundout and Josh Dezse lined a two-run single into center to put the Buckeyes on the board.
David Corna then walked, Patrick Porter was hit by a pitch and Dezse came around to score on a wild pitch before Brad Hutton walked to load the bases again.Greg Solomon followed with the big three-run triple down the left field line to make it 6-0 Ohio State.
Kirby Pellant was hit by a pitch to chase Nebraska starter Tyler King with Buckeyes at the corners and one down. Solomon then came around to score as Pellant was caught in a rundown after he was picked off first by Tyler Niederklein to extend the lead to 7-0 after an inning of play.
The Huskers answered with a run of their own in the top of the second inning, and threatened again in the third with runners on first and third with nobody out. Long struck out Rich Sanguinetti, picked Michael Pritchard off first and got Chad Christensen to ground out to end the inning without any damage done.
Apparently not satisfied with his three-run triple in the first inning, Solomon added a two-run homerun in the bottom of the third to make it 9-1. Solomon would finish 2-4 on the day with five RBIs.
"He just kind of has that knack, you know?," Beals said of Solomon. "It's not the prettiest at bat all the time, but he has that knack for getting big hits. He is a great competitor. He's a better competitor than a hitter. He's a good hitter, but he's a great competitor."
Ohio State added another run in the fourth when Patrick Porter hit a two-out triple, bringing Corna home, who had reached base by getting hit by a pitch.
After a perfect sixth inning by Long, the Huskers finally got to him again in the seventh inning when Josh Scheffert led off the inning with a home run.
Scheffert would represent the last baserunner that Nebraska would have, as Long retired the next eight batters to seal his complete game victory.
"He controlled them," Beals said of Long. "Nebraska bats .318 as a team, he gives up two runs and eight hits, and he had them coming and going. It was the first time all year that he's been able to pitch with a lead. It was comforting to see him work where he had some room and could breathe and relax and just pitch."
The win moves Long to 3-1 on the season with a 2.31 ERA.
"When I came in in the eighth, he [Beals] just kind of looked at me and I said, 'This one's mine.'," Long said of the decision to come back out for the ninth inning. "We were on the same page."
"Now they haven't seen any of our arms. They have scouting reports written down on paper, but they haven't seen anyone, so it's nice."
Game two of this series is set for 3:05 pm on Saturday at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium.
- Patrick Porter extended his hitting streak to a career-long seven games.
- Greg Solomon recorded a career-high five runs batted in.
- The 10 runs were the most scored by the Buckeyes in a Big Ten game this season.
- Jaron Long recorded the second complete game of his career. The first was against Michigan State, March 31, 2012.
- Josh Dezse produced his 25th multi-hit game of his career and his third three hit game of the season.
- Following the Buckeyes’ win fans were treated to a 10-minute
firework display behind the center field wall.
- The Buckeyes are now 17-0 when leading after seven innings.
- Dezse has reached base safely in 32 of 33 contests this season.
- The Buckeyes have won seven games in a row for the first time since March 2009.
- Ohio State is 55 of 67 in stolen bases after going 35 of 57 all last season.
- The Buckeyes are 13-1 this season when scoring six or more runs and 14-0 when out-hitting their opponent.
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