Buckeyes Stretch Winning Streak to Five With Win Over Ohio
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — It was a chilly evening of baseball, but the Buckeye bats proved hot enough to bang out eleven hits, as Ohio State (19-12) won 6-5 over the Ohio Bobcats (16-16) for their fifth-consecutive victory Tuesday night.
Every starter for the Buckeyes either had a base hit or an RBI, and five pitchers combined to keep Ohio just far enough off the board to secure the Ohio State victory.
"Our guys set goals at the beginning of the year, and one of the goals that they had was to take care of business against the other in-state schools," Buckeye coach Greg Beals said. "This is The Ohio State University and we want to prove it on the field."
After a perfect first inning for both pitchers, Bobcat freshman first baseman Jake Madsen led off the second inning by sending an 0-2 Brett McKinney pitch over the right field wall for his first homerun of the season.
The Buckeyes came back in the bottom half of the inning and put runners on first and third thanks to a fielder's choice, which landed David Corna on first base, and then a single from Mike Carroll on a hit and run, which moved Corna to third. A sacrifice fly from Brad Hutton brought Corna home to tie the game.
Ohio State then added to their total in the very next inning. Kirby Pellant led off the inning with a single and moved over to second via a balk from Ohio pitcher Tyler Backstrom. Joe Ciamacco, starting in place of Tim Wetzel in centerfield, brought Pellant home with a single.
Ryan Cypret reached first on a fielder's choice and came home on a Brad Hallberg double. Hallberg advanced to third on a fielding error on the double, then scored on Backstrom's second balk of the inning to make it 4-1 Buckeyes.
While the Bobcat bats were quiet, the Ohio State bats continued their thwacking ways in the fourth inning. Greg Solomon led off with a bunt single and was sacrificed over to second by Pellant. Ciamacco walked, which chased Backstrom out of the game in favor of Shane Cole.
Cypret welcomed Cole into the game by singling to load the bases. Hallberg then singled to center, scoring Solomon to make it 5-1 Buckeyes. Ciamacco was thrown out at home trying to add to to Hallberg's RBI total.
Ohio finally got on the board in the fifth inning, however. After three consecutive singles to load the bases by the six, seven and eight hitters, pinch hitter Dan Schmidt came to the plate and hit a bases-clearing double to make it 5-4.
After a meeting at the mound, McKinney settled down long enough to retire the next three Bobcat batters without incident.
The Buckeyes answered back yet again in the bottom half of the inning, and did it with two outs on the board. Hutton was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a wild pitch, then advanced to third when Solomon struck out on a second wild pitch. Solomon made it to first base, however, because the ball went past the catcher and to the backstop. Kirby Pellant then singled to left field to score Hutton, making it 6-4 for Ohio State.
Paul Geuy relieved McKinney to start the sixth inning. McKinney finished with 5.0 innings pitched and gave up seven hits and four earned runs. He struck out four and walked none.
"We were able to get five pretty good innings out of Brett McKinney," Beals said. "We had him on a pitch count so that he would be available for some work on the weekend, so that's why he came out after five."
The Bobcats sent five batters to the plate against Geuy, but couldn't push any of them across the plate.
Ohio went dormant for a few innings, but woke up in the top of ninth to make things a bit more interesting. Buckeye closer Josh Dezse came on in the ninth and Dan Schmidt led off the inning with a double, his third hit of the night. Dezse retired the next two batters, but then walked Jensen Painter and gave up a base hit to Jake Madsen, scoring Schmidt.
Dezse then induced a grounder from Logan Cozart to end the game. Brett McKinney got the win for Ohio State, moving him to 4-3 on the season. Dezse recorded his third save of the year.
Paul Geuy, Andrew Armstrong and Trace Dempsey combined to throw 3.0 innings of scoreless baseball, seamlessly bridging the gap from starting pitcher to closer.
"Big strikeout for Armstrong to finish an inning and a big strikeout from Dempsey to finish an inning," Beals said. "That was good to see those guys handle their roles extremely well."
Hallberg went 3-5 on the night, driving in two runs and scoring one as well. He is now batting .320 on the season.
"These are important games," Beals said. "They're important for Buckeye Nation. They're important for our guys in our locker room to take care of business every day. Championship teams play every day."
Up next for Ohio State is another in-state opponent on Wednesday evening, as first pitch against the Akron Zips is set for 6:35 pm on "Buck-a-Burger Night".
- The Buckeyes are now 15-0 when leading after seven innings.
- Dezse has reached base safely in 30 of 31 contests this season and has at least one hit in 17 of his last 18 contests.
- The Buckeyes have won five games in a row for the first time since Feb. 2010.
- Ohio State is 52 of 63 in stolen bases after going 35 of 57 all last season.
- The Buckeyes are 11-1 this season when scoring six or more runs.
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