March 3, 2012
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – On a windy Saturday afternoon in Florida, the Ohio State baseball team split a doubleheader against Western Michigan at Port Charlotte Regional Park. The Buckeyes dropped Game 1, 15-8, and picked up a 5-2 win in Game 2.
The Buckeyes took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Tim Wetzel doubled to right with one down and Ryan Cypret followed by reaching on an error. After Josh Dezse struck out looking for the second out of the inning, David Corna lined a two-run double down the left field line to plate Wetzel and Cypret.
Western Michigan then responded with a nine-run second inning, using a solo home run by Patrick Duncan and six two-out RBI hits. A bloop double to right by Zach Thoma plated the second run of the inning, Ryan McMillin tallied a two-run single, Jared Kujawa and Duncan each notched two-run doubles and Caleb Caton capped it off with an RBI double that the wind wreaked havoc on and dropped in between multiple Buckeye infielders.
The Broncos added four more in the third on an RBI single by Jack Scanlon and a three-run home run to left by McMillin off reliever Paul Geuy to make it 13-2.
Ohio State was able to get one back in the bottom of the third when Cypret doubled down the left field line with one down, Dezse singled to left and Corna brought Cypret home with a sacrifice fly to center. The Buckeyes tallied two more in the fourth when Kirby Pellant drove in Leffel with a two-out double to right center after the freshman had recorded his first career hit in a double to left. After Wetzel was hit by a pitch, Cypret singled home Pellant to make it 13-5 WMU after four.
The Buckeyes scored for the third consecutive inning in the fifth when Leffel brought home Brad Hallberg with a sacrifice fly to left after he had doubled with one down and moved to third on a bunt single by Joe Ciamacco.
Ohio State threatened again in the seventh with runners on second and third and one down but Western Michigan reliever Monty Porter was able to get Leffel to pop out to third and Pellant to strike out swinging to end the threat and keep the game at 13-6.
The Broncos then added a pair in the top of the eighth when McMillin doubled to lead off the inning, Kujawa followed with an RBI single and Duncan notched a sacrifice fly to make it 15-6.
Ciamacco and Solomon each scored for Ohio State in the ninth to make it 15-8. The Buckeyes loaded the bases with nobody out but a pair of strikeouts and a fly out sealed it for Western Michigan.
Ciamacco tallied a pair of hits for his third-consecutive multi-hit game while Cypret also had two hits and two runs scored for the Buckeyes.
After Ohio State starter Brett McKinney cruised through the first three innings, the Buckeyes put up four in the bottom of the third. Patrick Porter, making his first career start, walked to lead off the inning and came around to score on an RBI fielder’s choice by Wetzel. Cypret then doubled home Aaron Gretz and Carroll plated Wetzel with an RBI fielder’s choice. Cypret then scored from third on a perfectly-executed double steal with Mike Carroll as the Buckeyes pushed the lead to 4-0.
The Buckeyes then added another in the fourth to make it 5-0. Pellant had a bunt single to lead off the inning, stole second and scored on a two-out RBI single to left by Ciamacco.
In the meantime, McKinney was dealing, not allowing a hit until the top of the fourth and only two, one a bunt single, through six.
However, the Broncos were able to put up a crooked number in the seventh, cutting the Buckeye lead to 5-2. McKinney struck out Duncan with one out but he was able to reach on a wild pitch. After a pop out by Nick Bradley, Caton went deep with a two-run home run just over the wall in right-center.
McKinney was able to bounce back with a scoreless eighth and rolled a 5-4-3 double play in the ninth to seal the win.
Ciamacco had his fourth-consecutive two-hit game in the win while Cypret and Carroll also had two apiece. The story of the game was McKinney’s work on the mound, tossing his first career complete game, allowing just the two earned runs on five hits while striking out five. He threw 105 pitches, 76 for strikes.
The Buckeyes, 5-4 on the season, wrap up the weekend against Villanova at Noon Sunday at North Charlotte Regional Park.