Feb. 23, 2014
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ORLANDO, Fla. – The Ohio State baseball team concluded a weekend sweep of the UCF Baseball Tournament with a 6-3 win over Oklahoma Sunday afternoon at Jay Bergman Field in Orlando, Fla. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 5-2 on the season while the Sooners fall to 5-3.
“It’s huge to get the sweep and finish the weekend,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. “We didn’t finish last weekend the way we wanted to so it was big to make a statement against three good opponents. Zach Farmer bounced back with a really good start today and we were able to use our bullpen the way we wanted. We were able to mix and match with (Tyler) Giannonatti, (Michael) Horejsei and then Trace Dempsey to finish the ballgame.”
Oklahoma took the early lead against Farmer in the bottom of the first. With one down, Hunter Haley singled through the right side and then stole second before an error put runners at the corners with one out. After Farmer was able to get Mac James to pop out for the second out of the inning, the Sooners executed a double steal as Haley barely beat the tag of Buckeye catcher Aaron Gretz for the 1-0 advantage.
Oklahoma starter Jake Elliott retired the first nine Buckeyes he faced before running into trouble in the top of the fourth. Troy Kuhn was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and an infield single by Jacob Bosiokovic put runners on first and second with nobody out. Pat Porter then lined a single to right to score Kuhn but the throw from right fielder Taylor Alspaugh got away into the Ohio State dugout and allowed Bosiokovic to score and Porter to move to third. Elliott then uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Porter to cross the plate for the 3-1 Buckeye lead.
The Buckeyes then added another in the top of the fifth. Ohio State loaded the bases on a single by Gretz, an error on a sacrifice bunt by Craig Nennig and another single by Tim Wetzel. After Troy Kuhn struck out, Bosiokovic beat out a double play ball as Gretz scored on the fielder’s choice to push the lead to 4-1.
Oklahoma cut the Buckeye lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth when Joshua Ake walked to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a throwing error by Farmer on a failed pickoff attempt before scoring on a single up the middle by Craig Aikin. Farmer then retired Haley on a fly out before giving way to Tyler Giannonatti, who retired the final two Sooners of the inning.
Oklahoma then threatened to tie it in the bottom of the seventh. An error and a single put Sooners on first and second with one down and an error on Gretz when he tried to throw behind the runner at first moved both runners up a base before Kolbey Carpenter plated Hector Lorenzana with a sacrifice fly to center to make it a 4-3 game. However, with the tying run on third and two down, Michael Horejsei came on to strike out pinch-hitter Nike Buentello to preserve the one-run lead.
The Sooners lifted Elliott in favor of Ralph Garza, Jr. in top of the eighth and the Buckeyes responded with a pair of runs. A leadoff walk to Kuhn and a single by Porter put runners at the corners with one out before an error on a ground ball by Josh Dezse allowed Kuhn to score to put the Buckeyes up 5-3. Oklahoma intentionally walked Ronnie Dawson to load the bases but Garza struck out Ratcliff as the Sooners threatened to get out of the inning allowing just the one run. However, another Sooner error on a grounder by Gretz plated Porter to push the Ohio State lead to 6-3.
Horejsei then retired the first two batters of the eighth before a walk lifted him in favor of Dempsey, who got Sooner cleanup man Anthony Hermelyn to ground out to second to end the eighth.
The Ohio State junior closer then finished it off with a scoreless ninth for his second save of the season.
Farmer allowed two runs, neither of them earned, on two hits while striking out a pair over 5.1 innings to pick up his first collegiate win and even his record at 1-1. Bosiokovic, Porter and Wetzel each tallied two-hit games offensively.
Ohio State travels to Greenville, N.C., to face Pittsburgh, Western Kentucky and host East Carolina starting Friday.
- The Ohio State relievers have combined to allow one earned run on seven hits with nine strikeouts in 15.1 innings pitched over the last three games.
- Kuhn and Porter have reached base safely in each game this season while Porter has hit in six-straight games.
- The win marked the Buckeyes second win so far this season over a 2013 NCAA Tournament participant after topping Connecticut in the 2014 opener last Friday. The Huskies reached the Blacksburg Regional a season ago and the Sooners won that same Blacksburg Regional before falling in a Super Regional at LSU. Both Connecticut and Oklahoma won their respective conference tournaments last season.