Ohio State's Adam Niemeyer (Ohio State Athletics)


Baumann: Ohio State Announces Its Presence

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Four years isn’t that long in college baseball. At any school but the handful that send half a dozen starters to the pros each year, four years is the career of a single athlete.

So if you don’t appreciate the gravity of Ohio State’s 2-0 victory over No. 5 Louisville, the only team that’s been to the past two College World Series, consider that four years ago, Louisville beat the Buckeyes 20-0.

It’s a loss that doesn’t mean much to the Cardinals, who have been in the top 10 pretty much all year, but to the Buckeyes, who became a surprise regional contender before blowing a series at home to UNLV, it means everything.

“To get this win, to roll us into Nebraska, it’s very critical,” said very honest Ohio State coach Greg Beals.

The key to Ohio State’s victory was run prevention. The Buckeyes got to Cardinal starter Anthony Kidston, a veteran of both Omaha teams who’s going through a junior season from Hell. But as they left 12 runners on base, there was a feeling of inevitability, that they’d pay for failing to capitalize when they could.

But they never did, because a collection of bullpen arms and a ramshackle defense kept the Cardinals’ potent offense off the board entirely.

“We played clean,” Beals said. “And if you’re going to beat a team like that, if you’re going to play at a national level, you’ve got to play clean.”

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