The Ohio State baseball team cruised to an 11-2 series-clinching victory over Purdue Sunday afternoon at Alexander Field. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 25-19, 6-9 in the Big Ten, while the Boilermakers fall to 11-29, 5-10 in conference play.
“I like where we’re at as a team right now,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. “We had a tough stretch to open Big Ten play. We’ve bounced back the last two Big Ten series and I like how we bounced back this weekend. After an extra-inning loss Friday it was good to come back and win the last two games on the road to take the series.”
Ohio State wasted no time getting on the board against Purdue starter Adam Dressler. Dressler hit Nick Sergakis to lead off the game before a passed ball and a groundout moved Sergakis to third with two down. Pat Porter then grounded a single back up the middle to score Sergakis for the 1-0 Ohio State lead. After Josh Dezse reached on an error and Troy Montgomery got on with an infield single to load the bases, Aaron Gretz came through with a two-run single back up the middle to plate Porter and Dezse to push the Buckeye lead to 3-0.
Purdue responded with an unearned run off Ohio State starter Greg Greve in the bottom of the inning. Sean McHugh doubled off the left-field wall before Kyle Wood reached on an infield single and the throw to first by Sergakis was wide, allowing McHugh to come around to score to make it a 3-1 game after an inning of play.
The Buckeyes bounced back in the top of the second after Tim Wetzel singled and Sergakis was hit by a pitch for the second time to chase Dressler from the game. Ronnie Dawson sacrificed both runners up a base with a bunt off Matt Gibbs before Troy Kuhn scored Wetzel with a sacrifice fly to left. Gibbs then walked the next four batters he faced to plate Sergakis and Porter to make it 6-1 Ohio State before Purdue brought on Mike Lutz with the bases loaded. An RBI infield single by Craig Nennig and an error on a ground ball by Wetzel brought in two more Buckeye runs in the five-run second to make it 8-1 Ohio State.
Ohio State tacked on another off Lutz in the top of the third. Kuhn reached on a one-out single, moved to second on a ground ball by Porter and advanced to third on a wild pitch before Dezse laced a single to center to score the Buckeye third baseman to push the lead to 9-1.
The Buckeyes added two more in the top of the fourth. Gretz and Nennig led off the inning with singles before Wetzel sacrificed the runners up to second and third. Sergakis followed with an RBI infield single to plate Gretz before Purdue went to Connor Podkul out of the bullpen. The right-hander got Dawson to hit into a fielder’s choice for the second out of the inning but Kuhn followed with a single through the left side to score Nennig to make it an 11-1 contest.
After allowing the unearned run in the first, Greve really settled down, retiring 16 of 17 Boilermakers at one point, to toss 7.0 innings, allowing the one unearned run on four hits while striking out a pair before giving way to Curtiss Irving, who tossed a scoreless eighth. Purdue got a run off Michael Horejsei in the bottom of the ninth but the left-hander closed out the series-clinching win.
Greve picked up the win to improve to 5-3 on the year while Dressler suffered the loss, falling to 2-2. Kuhn, Gretz and Nennig each tallied two-hit games while Gretz tied his career best with three RBI.
The Buckeyes travel to Louisville for a 6 p.m. matchup Wednesday.