By Ben Fidelman, Daily Sports Writer
Published May 11, 2014
After two low-scoring outings by the Ohio State offense, the Buckeyes came into Sunday’s rubber match against Michigan looking to break through the Wolverine starting pitching that had only given up one run so far in the series.
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But even 18 innings after the series started, they failed to do so, dropping the game, 4-1.
Brett Adcock took to the hill for the Wolverines and turned in the best start of his young Michigan career. The freshman left-hander threw eight shutout innings and held the Buckeyes hitless through 4.1.
Ohio State failed to find that offensive breakthrough, as Adcock sat the Buckeyes down in order in the first inning, throwing just seven pitches — all strikes.
Sophomore third baseman Jacob Cronenworth started the Wolverine offense in the bottom of the first inning with a one-out single, followed by two stolen bases, which landed him at third base with two outs. The scoring threat ended when freshman left fielder Carmen Benedetti flew out.
Michigan was back in business in the bottom of the third inning, starting with back-to-back singles from senior catcher Cole Martin and junior first baseman Kyle Jusick. Ohio State recorded a double play on the next batter, but the next three Wolverines reached base, pushing across the first two runs of the game — which, as it turned out, was all Michigan would need to seal the victory.
The leadoff runner reached base for the Buckeyes in the top of the third inning, but Adcock then settled back into a groove and sat down the next seven Ohio State hitters.
One-out hits off the bats of Cronenworth and sophomore shortstop Travis Maezes put runners on the corners in the fourth inning for junior center fielder Jackson Glines, who laid down a squeeze bunt, stretching the Michigan lead to 4-0.
The Buckeyes got their first hit in the top of the fifth inning, but soon grounded into a double play to end the inning, further continuing Adcock’s dominance. Through five innings, they could only manage one hit, and no runner had reached second base.
Adcock’s only jam of the game came with two outs in the sixth inning, when Ohio State worked a walk and a single, putting runners on the corners for Buckeye first baseman Josh Dezse. Adcock jumped ahead early in the count and didn’t let up, finishing off the batter with the strikeout.
Both teams put up zeroes on the scoreboard the rest of the way, outside of one run that Ohio State would push across in the top of the ninth against right-hander James Bourque.
This series was the last for the Wolverines in Big Ten play, and the upperclassmen did all they could to ensure that the conference season would end on a high-note. Most notably, Jusick, Martin and junior second baseman Eric Jacobson put up a combined .470 batting average in the series, and individually were the three team leaders in total bases.
“A lot of the guys that played today can draw on their experiences from last year and being part of making a run through the end of the regular season and needing to play well and understanding how important these games are,” said Michigan coach Erik Bakich.