Feb. 15, 2014
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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – The Ohio State baseball team topped Auburn, 1-0, and lost to Indiana State, 7-3, Saturday afternoon at North Charlotte Regional Park. With the Saturday split, the Buckeyes move to 2-1 on the season.
“We got a good win in the first game against Auburn,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. “We got a good start from Ryan Riga and a two-inning save from Trace Dempsey to win a 1-0 ballgame against a good club. We didn’t pitch the ball very well out of the gate in the second game and had a few opportunities offensively to keep us in striking distance but we were unable to get anything going. The one bright spot in the second game was Ronnie Dawson getting his first collegiate start and picking up three hits and a home run.”
Game 1 vs. Auburn
The first threat of the game came in the top of the third when Auburn put runners at first and third after a single and an error on a bunt. However, Ohio State starter Ryan Riga bounced back to strike out leadoff hitter J.J. Shaffer for the first out of the inning before catcher Connor Sabanosh and second baseman Troy Kuhn cut down Anfernee Grier at home plate on a double steal attempt. Riga then induced a soft liner to second by Dan Glevenyak for the final out of the third to keep the game scoreless.
The Buckeyes then took the lead off with a run off Auburn starter Michael O’Neal in the bottom of the fourth. O’Neal walked Jacob Bosiokovic and Pat Porter to start the inning before Josh Dezse plated Bosiokovic from second with a single through the left side for the Ohio State lead.
Things stayed quiet until Auburn put together a rally in the top of the sixth. With two down, Damek Tomscha walked and Patrick Savage followed with a bloop single to right to put runners on first and second but Riga was able to get Jordan Ebert to fly out to right to preserve the 1-0 lead.
The Tigers threatened once again in the top of the seventh after Tyler Giannonatti came on in relief of Riga. A hit batter, a fielder’s choice and a walk put runners at first and second with one down but Giannonatti cut down a runner at third on a failed sacrifice bunt attempt by Shaffer. Glevenyak followed with an infield single to load the bases but Keegan Thompson flew out to left to end the inning.
Trace Dempsey came on to toss a scoreless final two innings to earn his first save of the season.
Kuhn and Dezse each had two hits for Ohio State while Riga picked up the win, going 6.0 innings, allowing four hits and striking out three.
Game 2 vs. Indiana State
The Sycamores took advantage of a pair of singles, a double and a hit batter to plate a pair of runs off freshman left-hander Zach Farmer in the top of the first.
Indiana State starter Brad Lombard was able to keep the Buckeyes off the board until a three-run bottom of the fourth. Porter walked and, after a fly out by Dezse, Zach Ratcliff singled through the left side to put runners on first and second with one down. Freshman Ronnie Dawson then stepped to the plate and blasted a three-run shot to right for the 3-2 Ohio State lead.
Indiana State bounced right back with A walk and a hit batter chased Farmer in favor of right-hander Adam Niemeyer. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third with one out, Jacob Hayes hit a ground ball to first, Ratcliff fielded and threw home where Aaron Gretz tagged out Derek Hannahs trying to score for the second out of the inning. However, Mike Fitzgerald followed with a double down the left field line to score a pair for a 4-3 Indiana State lead.
The Sycamores tacked on two more in the top of the sixth. Niemeyer hit Tyler Wampler to lead off the inning, Connor McClain followed with a single and Jeff Zahn singled to center to score Wampler. Hannahs then dropped down a sacrifice bunt to plate McClain and push the Indiana State lead to 6-3.
The Buckeyes threated in the bottom of the frame when Ratcliff reached on an error and Dawson singled to right to put runners at the corners with one down but Lombard was able to get Gretz to fly out to shallow left and Nennig to strike out swinging to end the inning.
Indiana State added another in the top of the sixth to extend the lead to 7-3 when Hayes doubled to right and Fitzgerald followed with an RBI single to plate the Sycamore right fielder.
Three Indiana State relievers took over from there and closed it out over the final three innings for the win.
Farmer took the loss for Ohio State while Lombard earned the win for the Sycamores.
Ohio State faces Indiana State at 1 p.m. Sunday at North Charlotte Regional Park.
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