BELLVILLE — A young man with roots in the Clear Fork area made his contribution — in a big way — to the placement of The Ohio State University baseball team in the NCAA regional baseball tournament.
Ridge Winand, a Clear Fork graduate from Butler, played for the team at games in Nashville last weekend. He is a fifth-year senior and co-captain.
In a game against McNeese State on Saturday, Winand helped the team take the lead with a two-out RBI single. The Buckeyes won the elimination game 11-9.
But on Sunday, they were eliminated from the tournament with a 10-5 loss to Indiana State.
Ohio State finished the regular season at 31-24. They were 12-12 in the Big Ten.
Winand said he got back to Columbus and to bed about 3 a.m. Monday morning. He got up about 7:45 a.m., showered and went off to start his practicum for his master’s degree.
He said he “played to his strengths” this season and he is probably “not one of the top guys” in the country. He said it was not “the big leagues” but the Buckeyes were “still a champion.”
To get his master’s degree, Winand must get three more credit hours. He works with professors within the Ohio State athletics department.
He said he considers himself “one of the lucky ones” because he was recruited by Ohio State.
He said it is something to come from a “small area” and a village and to “get noticed.”
He said when he “got the call” from Ohio State, he thought it was great.
The baseball program and staff at Ohio State are good, he said, and the school atmosphere is “one of the best.”
He said it was good to be playing for one of the best schools in the country.
He likes Columbus because it is “not like a New York,” where people “bump shoulder to shoulder.”
There are opportunities in Columbus, Winand said, and he would be open to staying there, getting a job in sports management or becoming an athletic director.
Winand, playing as number #45, is a fifth-year senior. He was 2019 team captain.
His career highlights at Ohio state include receiving the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award in 2018.
He was named the OSU scholar athlete (2018-19), was a two-time academic All Big Ten (2018-2019). He was in the 2018 Buckeye Strength and Conditioning Power Club.
He is the son of Karla and the late Bart Winand. He has three siblings: Taylor, Bailey and Tanner.
At Clear Fork he batted. 460 his junior year and was named first-team. all-district.
His future probably won’t include playing baseball professionally, he said.
With a master’s degree he will probably follow the sports management path, he said.