Feb. 16, 2014
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - The Ohio State baseball team dropped a back-and-forth 8-6 decision to Indiana State Sunday afternoon at North Charlotte Regional Park. With the loss, the Buckeyes fall to 2-2 while the Sycamores improve to 3-1.
"I'm very disappointed because we had a great opportunity and put ourselves in a great position but couldn't take care of it," Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. "Today was a big lesson for us. We have the ability to play really bad like we did for the first four innings and the ability to come back like we did the next four innings. The game is humbling but we need to do all of the necessary work to make sure we're ready to go out and play."
The Sycamores scored in the top of the first for the second-consecutive day when Landon Curry singled to left to lead off the game and eventually scored on a two-out single to right by Tyler Wampler for the 1-0 lead.
Indiana State added another in the top of the third. A single, an error and a walk loaded the bases with one out and Brian Romero plated Cody Zimmerman with an RBI groundout for the 2-0 advantage.
The Sycamores tacked on one more to make it 3-0 in the top of the fourth when Owen Conway reached on an error and scored on a two-out RBI single to center by Curry.
Ohio State threatened in the bottom of the fifth against Indiana State starter Trent Lunsford. Back-to-back one-out singles by Craig Nennig and Tim Wetzel put runners at first and second before a fielder's choice by Troy Kuhn erased Wetzel and placed runners at the corners with two down. However, Lunsford was able to get Jacob Bosiokovic to ground out to second to end the rally.
Indiana State then made it 4-0 in the top of the sixth against Ohio State reliever Tanner Tully when Wampler reached on a leadoff infield single, was sacrificed to second and scored on a two-out RBI double to left-center by Connor McClain.
A leadoff walk of Pat Porter chased Lunsford in favor Tyler Browning. Browning then walked Josh Dezse and allowed a single by Ronnie Dawson to load the bases with nobody out. A balk moved all of the runners up and scored Porter for the first Ohio State run before Zach Ratcliff reached on an error that plated Dezse. Browning then was lifted for A.J. McElderry, who made throwing error on a sacrifice bunt by Aaron Gretz which loaded the bases once again. McElderry struck out Nennig but Wetzel was able to beat out a double play ball that scored Dawson to make it a one-run game. The Buckeyes then executed a double steal to plate Ratcliff to make it a 4-4 game after six innings.
After a scoreless seventh, Dawson doubled to deep right to lead off the bottom of the eighth before advancing to third with nobody out on a wild pitch. McElderry threatened to get out of the inning after getting Ratcliff and Gretz to ground out but Nennig drove a two-out double to deep right to score Dawson for the 5-4 Ohio State lead. Wetzel then followed with a double down the left field line to plate Nennig to push the Buckeye advantage to 6-4 heading to the ninth.
The Sycamores A single and a pair of hit batters loaded the bases with one down and a Mike Fitzgerald sacrifice fly to left to cut the lead to 6-5. Romero then singled to center to score pinch-runner Gutierrez to tie it before Wampler dribbled an infield single down the third base line to score Jacob Hayes for a 7-6 lead. Jeff Zahn then singled to score Romero to push the lead to 8-6 heading to the bottom of the ninth.
Ryan Keaffaber came on to pitch a scoreless bottom of the ninth as Indiana State came away with the win.
Post pitched 4.0 innings, allowing three unearned runs on five hits while striking out four and Tully tossed 4.0 frames, allowing one earned run on three hits while striking out a pair.
Nennig finished 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored while Dawson and Wetzel each had a pair of hits.
Ohio State travels to Orlando, Fla., to face host Central Florida, The Citadel and Oklahoma next weekend.