COLUMBUS, Ohio â€“ Ohio State scored three runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth to come back and defeat the Michigan State baseball team, 10-5, Sunday afternoon at Bill Davis Stadium in the rubber game of the weekend series. Although the Spartans (22-10) dropped the series to the Buckeyes, MSU remains in a tie for first place in the Big Ten standings along with Indiana at 6-3.
Michigan State took a 5-4 lead into the bottom of the seventh, but Ohio State (15-15, 5-4 Big Ten) knocked out Spartan starter David Garner in the inning as the Buckeyes rallied for three runs. Garner exited the game with the bases loaded and one out, giving way to Tony Wieber. Wieber has been outstanding all season long, but unfortunately the first batter he faced on Sunday, Josh Dezse, delivered a bases-clearing triple to make it 7-4 in favor of the Buckeyes.
OSU tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the eighth, all charged to Wieber, to take a commanding 10-5 advantage.
Although he struck out a career-high eight batters, Garner (3-4) suffered the loss after allowing seven runs, all earned, on nine hits.
The Spartans out-hit the Buckeyes, 16-14, but left 12 runners on base. Ryan Jones did extend his career-high hitting streak to 21 games as he singled in the first.
Jared Hook led the Spartans by collecting a career-high four hits, including an RBI single in the third that tied the game at 2.
After scoring two quick runs in the first, Ohio State reclaimed the lead at 4-2 with two runs in the bottom of the third.
MSU trimmed the lead to 4-3 in the top of the fourth as Justin Scanlonâ€™s single plated Jordan Keur from second.
In the sixth, the Spartans took their first and only lead at 5-4 with two runs. Following a leadoff single by Scanlon, his second hit of the game, a Buckeye throwing error by pitcher Dean Wolosiansky eventually let Scanlon score from third after a sacrifice and flyout. Jeff Holm, who went 3-for-4, produced his second RBI of the game on the next at-bat with a single to left field that plated Jones.
Following Ohio Stateâ€™s three-run seventh that made it 7-5 Buckeyes, the Spartans threatened to score in the top of the eighth. With two outs and Jones on second and Holm at first, Torsten Boss hit a single through the left side of the infield. Jones came around third to score on the play, but was thrown out at the plate by Buckeye left fielder David Corna.
David Fathalikhani (2-0) earned the win in relief for Ohio State. He entered the game in the top of the seventh with OSU trailing, 5-4, and runners on first and third with just one out. Fathalikhani proceeded to strike out Scanlon swinging, then escaped the inning for good as Hook was picked off from third base by catcher Greg Solomon.
Michigan State returns to action Tuesday, April 19 to host Western Michigan at McLane Baseball Stadium at 3:05 p.m. The Spartans will then face Central Michigan Wednesday, April 20 at Comerica Park in the first-ever college baseball game in the ballparkâ€™s history.