College baseball’s regular season is rounding out to a close, and with exactly a month left the Buckeyes need to pick up their play down the stretch. After a series win against Penn State the Buckeyes dropped back to back games against West Virginia and Ball State. The two losses were not what Ohio State baseball needed, but neither game was against a conference opponent so not all hope is lost for the postseason. The Buckeyes start a 3 game series with Murray State tonight at Bill Davis Stadium. While winning the series won’t improve the Buckeyes Big Ten record, it would be a nice segue into a big 3 game series against the Purdue Boilermakers. If the Buckeyes have any hope of making the Big Ten tournament they will need to start by having success in this series against Murray State.
Game 1: Friday April 18, 2014 at 6:35pm
In the first meeting ever between the Buckeyes and the the Thoroughbreds, the Buckeyes put Tanner Tully (3-2, 2.15 ERA) on the mound against Cameron Finch (3-4, 5.63). Tully’s last outing was a loss to Penn State in the first game of the 3 game series. Tully has struggled keeping runners off base, and he will have to work on that against a Murray State lineup with plenty of solid hitters. The Thoroughbreds are led by Tyler Lawrence and Ty Stetson, both players come into the game with batting averages over .300. The Buckeyes will also be facing a pitcher who tends to give up a lot of hits. Cameron Finch allows an astounding .333 batting average against and the Buckeyes need to capitalize on that. Josh Dezse needs to continue his recent success, and Ronnie Dawson and Troy Kuhn will add some extra offense in what should be a pretty high scoring affair.
Game 2: Saturday April 19, 2014 at 3:05pm
Game 2 of the series pits Buckeye Greg Greve (4-2, 3.76) against Cody Maerz (1-5, 6.61) of Murray State. Greve’s lasting outing was a complete game shutout against the Nittany Lions. It was an absolute gem of a game for Greve and if he can carry that momentum into this series it will be a great lift for the Buckeyes. Greve will need to be at his absolute best against a tough Murray State lineup. The Buckeyes have a very favorable pitching matchup against another Murray State pitcher that has a hard time keeping runners off of the bases. This will be only the second start of the season for Maerz and if his first start was any indication, allowing 4 earned runs on 6 hits in 4 innings, the Buckeye should have success at the plate. Putting runs on the board will be key in this game, although it may not have to be many runs if Greve is on his game.
Game 3: Sunday April 20, 2014 at 1:05pm
Easter Sunday will showcase Jake Post (3-2, 3.60) of the Buckeyes against Murray State’s Sheldon Baxter (1-3, 4.22). Post rounds out the pitching rotation for this 3 game set and will be called upon to shut the door in what should be a series win. Post was responsible for deciding the series against Penn State last weekend by picking up the win in the series finale. Post has done a good job of keeping down the extra base hits, and he will need to continue that against a very stout Murray State offense. Luckily for the Buckeyes they will face yet another Murray State pitcher that has had a fair amount of struggles this season. Baxter will likely be the toughest pitcher they will face this weekend, but that does not mean they shouldn’t have success against him. Baxter has given up a team high 6 home runs this season. If the Buckeye’s starting pitching can be dominant and guys like Josh Dezse and Ronnie Dawson can continue to hit the ball well then they should win this series. I expect the Ohio State baseball to make a clean sweep of Murray State and take all 3 games.
Tags: Ohio State Buckeyes