Ohio State Drops Rubber Game at No. 9 Oregon
March 9, 2014
EUGENE, Ore. – The Ohio State baseball team dropped its rubber game at No. 9 Oregon, 20-4, Sunday afternoon at PK Park in Eugene, Ore. With the loss, the Buckeyes fall to 8-5 while the Ducks improve to 12-4.
Oregon had an opportunity against Ohio State starter Zach Farmer in the bottom of the first. Aaron Payne reached on a leadoff single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Austin Grebeck and stole third with one down. However, Farmer bounced back to strike out Tyler Baumgartner and get Mitchell Tolman to ground out to short to end the inning.
The Buckeyes then took the lead off Oregon right-hander Jeff Gold in the top of the second. A bloop double by Ronnie Dawson and a bunt single by Troy Montgomery but runners at the corners with one down before a fielder’s choice by Aaron Gretz plated Dawson for the 1-0 Ohio State advantage.
The lead would be short-lived as the Ducks responded with four in the bottom of the frame. Kyle Garlick walked to lead off the inning and moved to second on a balk before a bunt single by A.J. Balta put runners on the corners with nobody out. Another balk scored Garlick to tie the game before back-to-back walks to Josh Graham and Desmond Santos loaded the bases with nobody out. A sacrifice fly by Mark Karaviotis plated Balta for the Oregon lead before a Payne bunt moved the runners to second and third with two down. Grebeck then walked to load the bases and Baumgartner lined a two-run double to right to give Oregon a 4-1 lead and end Farmer’s day.
The Ducks then blew the game open with a seven-run bottom of the third against Ohio State reliever Tanner Tully. Oregon loaded the bases with one down in the bottom of the third after Garlick reached on an error, Graham singled and Santos walked. Karaviotis then singled through the left side to score Garlick before Tully hit Payne to score Graham. Tully bounced back to strike out Grebeck for the second out of the inning but back-to-back doubles by Tolman and Garlick scored four more as Oregon took an 11-1 lead after three innings.
Gold was able to hold the Buckeyes to the one run until the top of the sixth when Tim Wetzel reached on a leadoff single and came around to score on an RBI fielder’s choice by Nick Sergakis to make it a an 11-2 contest.
After the Ducks added four more in the bottom of the sixth, Montgomery tripled to deep right to lead off the top of the seventh and scored on an RBI groundout by Gretz for a 15-3 game.
Oregon then tacked on five in the bottom of the eighth before Ohio State put one on the board in the top of the ninth when Sergakis scored on a sacrifice fly by Zach Ratcliff but that’s as close as Ohio State would get as Oregon picked up the win to take the series.
Dawson, Montgomery and Wetzel each notched two-hit games for the Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes face No. 8 Oregon State at 8:35 p.m. ET Tuesday in Corvallis.