Feb. 14, 2014
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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – The Ohio State baseball team opened the 2014 campaign with and 8-2 victory over Connecticut Friday evening at Charlotte Sports Park.
“To get the win in the opener is very important,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. “We’ve put in a lot of work this offseason and the last three weeks to get ready so it’s good to get the win. We took a punch in the first inning but we really battled back. The grand slam was big but I really liked Craig Nennig’s at-bat in that third inning where he got two strikes on him and drew a walk. I thought that set the tone for the inning and Jacob took advantage of it.”
Connecticut jumped out to the early lead with a pair of runs off Ohio State starter Greg Greve in the top of the first. Bryan Daniello blooped a single to right to lead off the game and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Vinny Siena. Max McDowell then lined a single to center to plate Daniello for the lead. After McDowell was caught stealing second, cleanup hitter Bobby Melley hit a solo shot to right to give the Huskies the 2-0 lead.
The Buckeyes responded with a four-run bottom of the third to take the lead. After Connecticut starter Jordan Tabakman walked Craig Nennig with one down, Tim Wetzel lined a double off the right field wall and Troy Kuhn was then hit by a pitch to load the bases for Jacob Bosiokovic. The sophomore third baseman drove the Tabakman offering deep to center where it cleared the wall just over the 414-foot mark for a grand slam and a 4-2 Buckeye lead.
Ohio State threatened once again in the fifth when Kuhn reached after a wild pitch on a strikeout, Pat Porter walked and Josh Dezse was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two down. However, Tabakman was able to get Zach Ratcliff to ground out the third to end the inning and keep it a 4-2 game.
After the rocky first inning, Greve really settled down for Ohio State, allowing two baserunners and retiring 11 in a row at one point over the next five frames.
The Buckeyes tacked on two more in the bottom of the sixth. Troy Montgomery led off the inning with a double to left-center, Aaron Gretz moved him to third with a groundout and Nennig followed with a single to left to push the lead to 5-2. After a groundout by Wetzel, Tabakman was relieved by Andrew Zapata, who was greeted with an RBI single to left by Kuhn to extend the lead to 6-2.
Freshman Travis Lakins came on in relief of Greve for the top of the seventh. Greve was excellent after the rocky first frame, tossing 6.0 innings, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out six and not walking a batter to pick up the win.
Ohio State added two more in the bottom of the eighth to extend the lead to 8-2 when Wetzel doubled home Nick Sergakis, who pinch ran for Nennig after his walk led off the inning. Wetzel moved to third on a one-out single by Bosiokovic and then came around to score on a passed ball to cap the scoring.
Lakins came back out for the top of the ninth and tossed his third-consecutive scoreless frame to earn his first career save.
Bosiokovic finished 2-for-5 with four RBI and a run scored while Wetzel went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and Dezse went 2-for-3 with a double.
Ohio State takes on Auburn at noon and Indiana State at 3 p.m. Saturday at North Charlotte Regional Park.