Feb. 22, 2014
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ORLANDO, Fla. – Ronnie Dawson’s bases-loaded walk-off single scored Troy Kuhn to give the Ohio State baseball team a 5-4 win over The Citadel Saturday afternoon at Jay Bergman Field in Orlando, Fla. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 4-2 while the Bulldogs fall to 2-4.
“We got the wins in our last at-bats the last two nights but I’m excited about the character we’re showing and the identity we’re developing off of that,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. “The experience we’re getting in tight ballgames is really important for us early in the season and should pay off for us down the line.”
The Citadel took the early 1-0 lead in the top of the first courtesy of three-consecutive singles off Ohio State starter Ryan Riga which plated Bulldog leadoff man Mason Davis.
Ohio State answered in the bottom of the second off The Citadel starter James Reeves. Zach Ratcliff and Craig Nennig opened the inning with singles before Connor Sabanosh moved both runners over. Tim Wetzel then drove in Ratcliff with an RBI groundout to short to tie the game and Kuhn plated Nennig with an infield RBI single for the 2-1 Ohio State lead. A throwing error by Bulldog third baseman Calvin Orth after a ground ball by Jacob Bosiokovic put runners on second and third with two down and Porter followed with a single through the left side to plate a pair to push the Buckeye advantage to 4-1 after two innings.
Riga settled down nicely until The Citadel tied it in the top of the fifth. A single, a walk and a hit batter loaded the bases with one down and Bo Thompson plated Ryan Kilgallen with a sacrifice fly to right to cut the Buckeye lead to 4-2. After Riga walked Tyler Griffin, Calvin Orth followed with a two-run infield single to tie it at 4-4.
The Buckeyes threatened to take the lead in the bottom of the sixth against The Citadel reliever Zach Sherrill. Ratcliff reached on an error to start the inning and a walk to Nennig put runners on first and second with nobody out. However, Ratcliff was cut down at third on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Sabanosh, Wetzel flew out to center and Kuhn hit into a fielder’s choice to end the inning and keep it a 4-4 game.
Things stayed quiet until the top of the ninth when Davis reached on an infield single against Ohio State reliever Jake Post before stealing second to move a runner into scoring position with one down. However, the Buckeye junior right-hander bounced back to strike out Hughston Armstrong and Thompson as the game remained knotted at 4-4.
Kuhn was hit by a pitch to open the ninth against The Citadel reliever Skylar Hunter before Bosiokovic flew out to center for the first out of the inning. Porter and Dezse then both walked to load the bases for the walk-off single by Dawson.
Post was brilliant in relief, picking up the win with 4.0 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out a career-high six. Porter finished 2-for-4 with a pair of runs batted in.
“We got a great outing out of Post,” Beals added. “Riga went five innings in the start and wasn’t as sharp as he normally is but Jake came in and gave us four really good innings to give us a chance to win the ballgame. It also was really good to see Pat Porter break out with a key two-run single in the second but we had a lot of guys contribute to this win.”
Ohio State takes on Oklahoma at 10 a.m. Sunday.
- The Ohio State relievers have combined to allow one earned run on six hits with eight strikeouts in 11.2 innings pitched over the last two games.
- Connor Sabanosh tallied his first-career hit with an eighth-inning single.
- The game was delayed three and a half hours because of heavy rains in the area. Ohio State went back to the hotel to relax for a few hours before coming back to Jay Bergman Field an hour prior to the 3:30 p.m. first pitch.