Buckeyes Wrest Split of Double Header from Ospreys' Talons
By Tony Gerdeman
In a midweek double-header, the Buckeyes (20-19, 9-6) split the pair with North Florida (24-19), who traveled up from the Atlantic Sun Conference.
The Ospreys put a four-spot up in the first inning of game one and never looked back, winning 7-2. Ohio State then overcame getting no-hit for the first five innings of the second game, scoring three runs in the final two innings to secure the 3-2 win.
Dean Wolosiansky got the start for the Buckeyes and hit the first batter he saw. Then he walked the second. The next two collected infield singles, scoring a run in the process. A sacrifice fly from Alex Hernandez made it 2-0. Then Kyle Dahl brought everybody else home with a two-run double to make it 4-0.
The Buckeyes put a pair of runs on the board in the second inning with a two-run homerun from Matt Streng following a walk by Josh Dezse. That would be all the scoring for Ohio State on the day.
The Ospreys weren't finished though. They scored a pair in the fifth and another run in the sixth to take a 7-2 lead, which would eventually be the final score.
Wolosiansky picked up the loss for the Buckeyes, going 6.0 and giving up seven hits and seven earned runs. Ohio State only managed five base hits against UNF pitching. Starter Marshal Rosenberger pitched 6.0 innings, giving up just four hits and two earned runs.
Even though the Buckeyes drew five walks, they just couldn't muster an offense.
“I did not like the lack of offense in our approach,” said coach Greg Beals.
“We did not take offensive swings. I told our guys that I'd much rather see them swing through a ball with bat speed than to slow down and make contact. When we're in the batter's box, we're not trying to make contact, we're trying to be offensive with our swings and with our approach.”
Ospreys starting pitcher Tommy Organ was supposed to pitch a few innings and then give way to his bullpen. He went a little beyond that, however.
Making just his seventh start of the season, Organ played the Buckeye batters for five no-hit innings. He kept the ball away and made Ohio State hesitant, which was exactly what Beals warned against.
“We were a little bit defensive,” he said.
“It seemed like we were guessing on what he might be throwing, as opposed to staying locked in and focused on what we want to do offensively and how we want to hit.”
After scoring a run in the second and third innings, and seeing what little offensive attack the Buckeyes had had on the day, it looked like North Florida was on their way to a sweep.
Then the sixth inning happened.
Following a David Corna fly out, Greg Solomon came up to the plate, and did so with a plan. On the first pitch he saw he dropped down a bunt and beat out an errant throw to first base. The bad throw allowed Solomon to advance to second base.
“I knew that we needed to get something going, and I figured that I'm a pretty good bunter,” said the crafty catcher. “So I knew that even if I got out, it would shake things up.”
After a Tyler Engle ground out sent Solomon to third, Brian DeLucia laced a double into the gap, scoring Solomon to make it 2-1 UNF. Two batters later, Ryan Cypret singled back up the middle, scoring DeLucia and tying the game.
Jared Strayer came in for the Buckeyes and pitched a perfect seventh inning, priming his team for yet another late-inning win.
However, Streng and Brad Hutton both quickly grounded out, and any thoughts of a game-winning rally was seemingly dashed. Corna and Solomon then hit back-to-back singles, and both advanced a base on a wild pitch. Following an Engle walk to load the bases, DeLucia came to the plate with a win in his sights.
With a 2-2 count, he sent a pop up down the right field line where it fell in for the game-winning single.
“I hit a slider,” said DeLucia, recalling the pitch he connected on.
“He threw two sliders before that. One I chased, one I fouled off. I knew he was gonna come back with it. He was gonna find any way to make me swing through it, or get it in the dirt somehow. Right when I hit it, I thought it was gonna tail foul, and it didn't. All I was trying to do was foul it off, and I guess I just got lucky.”
“It says something about the character of our ball club,” Beals said.
“When you keep scrapping and fighting like these guys do, then you never know what can happen. We're down with two at bats left, down 2-0, and we find a way to come back and win the ball game.”
“I think that's huge for us going into the weekend, because it wasn't a very feel-good day today. We didn't play great. We didn't have the bite in our game that we had over the weekend. We were no-hit for five innings and get six hits in the last two innings to find a way to win that ballgame.”
Strayer got the win for the Buckeyes. He moves to 3-2 on the season.
Up next for Ohio State will be a huge series at Illinois (17-23, 8-7). The Illini are just one game behind Ohio State in the standings, who themselves are just one game out of first place in the Big Ten.
Game two box score
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