Coming into the final regular season series, Indiana had high hopes going up against Ohio State after an impressive victory over No. 2 Louisville earlier in the week.
However, those hopes were quickly dashed after a disastrous sixth inning.
Heading into the bottom of the sixth inning things were all square at 1-1. Ohio State picked up a run in the first after Ohio State left fielder Tre Gant was able to score after slapping a leadoff single, stealing second, advancing to third on a throwing error and scoring after a groundout.
For the Hoosiers, they struggled to get on base after Connor Curlis ( 7 IP, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO) was perfect through 4.1 IP. Craig Dedelow (2-4, 2 HR) hit a solo blast deep into right center for his first home run of the day to tie things up 1-1 in the top of the fifth and to breakup the perfect game.
But then the bats awoke in Columbus for the buckeyes.
Jonathan Stiever (5.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO) had looked strong heading into the sixth with only one run allowed. But Ohio State’s Jalen Washington lead off the inning with a triple and scored on the next at-bat after a ground out by Dominic Canzone.
After Ohio State regained the 2-1 lead, they made sure that they kept it. After the run, OSU followed it up with a trio of singles to load the bases with one out. Stiever was given the opportunity to clean the mess he made, but was unable to as center fielder Shea Murray doubled, scoring two and ending Stiever’s evening.
IU then brought in Kade Kryzsko (0.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 SO) to keep the lead at 4-1. However, Kryzsko was unable to keep the two baserunners he inherited from scoring after a allowing pair of singles from Ohio State, putting the Buckeyes up 6-1. Kryzsko was able to keep from earning runs of his own after throwing out a runner advancing home and getting a strikeout to end the inning.
The Hoosiers weren’t done just yet as Dedelow had another solo blast for the Hoosiers to pull them in 6-2. But in the bottom of the eighth, Gant was walked and was able to reach all the way to the third on another throwing error by the hosts. Gant eventually scored thanks to another single by Jalen Washington.
Finally, the Hoosiers went for one last rally that was too little too late. With two outs in the top of the 9th, RF Logan Sowers (3-4, HR, 1 RBI) hit IU’s third solo blast of the game to make the score 7-3. Following the home run 1B Matt Gorski scored an unearned run after stealing second then reaching home thanks to a throwing error by Ohio State. After allowing IU to make the score 7-4, the Buckeye’s changed pitchers to get the final out of the game.
The second game of the series is slated for a 6:35 pm EST start in Columbus on Friday.