COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State dropped the rubber game of this big series between two of the top teams in the Big Ten Conference, losing 16-7 to Michigan to fall to 13-9 on the season while UM improves to 15-7.
Ohio State took the early lead in the second inning as left fielder Scottie Seymour stroked a single to left that scored Colton Bauer, who had walked earlier in the inning.
Michigan countered with three unanswered runs, though, to grab a 3-1 lead through the fourth, added four more in the fifth and did not look back from there.
A two-out triple by Bauer in the sixth stopped the Wolverine’s run, and gave Ohio State its second run of the game. Seymour’s third hit of the game – a triple off the wall in right – resulted in his scoring off an error to make it 7-3 in the seventh.
The Wolverines then broke the game open in the eighth, scoring nine times. Ohio State scored four times in the ninth, including a two-run double by Connor Pohl that extended his on-base streak to 12 games.
Jack Neely started for the Buckeyes – his first experience of the Ohio State vs. Michigan rivalry after transferring in from Texas – and lasted just 2.1 innings, including one constant rain inning, after giving up two hits, two walks, a hit-batter and ultimately two runs that gave Michigan a 2-1 lead in the third. His record is now 1-1 on the year.
Griffin Smith, Bayden Root, Patrick Murphy, Nate Haberthier and Joe Gahm followed on the mound. Root was solid, going 2.2 innings and allowing just one run off three hits while striking out five.
The Buckeyes managed just five hits and two runs off Michigan starter Jacob Denner, who pitched 5.2 innings, walked two and struck out five and improved to 2-0 with the win.
As disappointing as it is to not win the series after an opening-game win over Michigan, Ohio State did what it needed the past two weeks by winning five of seven games against Michigan and Indiana, teams that were either in first- or second-place in the Big Ten at the time of the series.
Ohio State is now at the half-way point of the 2021 season and the Big Ten championship race is wide open, and critically important with no Big Ten tournament this year. Ohio State next travels to College Park, Md., next week for a three-game series against the Terrapins.