Ohio State Tops Seton Hall for First Win of 2012
Brad Hallberg

Feb. 19, 2012

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CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Ohio State baseball team earned its first win of the 2012 campaign, a 14-7 victory over Seton Hall, Saturday evening at Bright House Field in Clearwater. With the win, Ohio State moves to 1-1 on the season while Seton Hall drops to 1-2.

“It was nice to see our offense break out a bit,” head coach Greg Beals said. “We gave some quality at-bats with several two-out hits and RBIs. We were unable to do that yesterday so it was good to come through tonight.”

Ohio State used two singles and two walks to take a 4-0 lead in the top of the first. With one down, Tim Wetzel and Ryan Cypret recorded back-to-back singles and Josh Dezse followed with a walk to load the bases against Seton Hall starter Ryan Harvey. Mike Carroll followed with a bases loaded walk to score the Buckeyes’ first run and a fielding error by Pirate third baseman Chris Selden on a hard hit ground ball by David Corna plated two more. Brad Hallberg then recorded an RBI groundout to give Ohio State the 4-0 advantage.

After Seton Hall tallied one in the bottom of the first, the Buckeyes answered back with two in the top of the second to extend the lead to 6-1. Pellant came around to score on an RBI single by Dezse after he had walked and Cypret scored on an RBI single by Carroll after reaching on a two-out walk.

After a couple scoreless frames, Ohio State pushed the lead to 7-1 in the top of the fifth. With two down, Hallberg doubled to deep right-center and scored on an RBI single up the middle by Aaron Gretz. It marked the first collegiate RBI for the freshman from Apple Valley, Minn.

John Kuchno then came on to relieve Ohio State starter Brian King, who pitched very well in his first start in a Buckeye uniform.

“I really loosened up after the first inning and was able to throw a lot of strikes and get ahead,” King, a transfer from Paradise Valley CC in Arizona, said. “It was a good win for the team and hopefully we can keep it going tomorrow.”

The Pirates were able to muster a pair of runs on three hits and a walk in the bottom of the sixth off the sophomore right-hander to cut the Ohio State lead to 7-3 after six innings.

Seton Hall put together a two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh to trim the Buckeye lead to 7-4. With runners on first and second and two down, Kuchno struck out Dillon Hamlin but the breaking ball was in the dirt and got past Gretz for a wild pitch to load the bases. Kyle Grimm then followed with the second infield hit of the inning to score Scott Kalamar before Kuchno induced a groundout by leadoff man Zack Granite to end the threat.

However, the Buckeyes responded with seven runs on six hits and two Seton Hall errors to break the game wide open at 14-4. Hallberg singled twice in the inning while Dezse, Carroll and Corna each singled once and Pellant doubled to deep right-center to drive in Hallberg.

Seton Hall tallied three unearned runs in the bottom of the eighth to cut the lead to 14-7 but Kuchno closed the door with a strike out looking to end the rally.

Trace Dempsey pitched a scoreless ninth in his first collegiate appearance to help give the Buckeyes their first win of 2012.

Ohio State pounded out 14 hits in the win including three from Hallberg and two each from Dezse and Carroll. King earned his first win in his first start at Ohio State, going 5.0 innings and striking out three without allowing an earned run.

“It was great to see Brian step up,” Beals said of King. “He gave us a start we were confident we would get and we’re looking forward to him having a great season.”

The Buckeyes wrap up the weekend against Connecticut at 1 p.m. Sunday at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater.