Bullpen Guides Buckeyes to 8-3 win at UNCW
March 13, 2018

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WILMINGTON, N.C. - The Ohio State baseball team won, 8-3, at UNCW Tuesday afternoon at Brooks Field. Freshman left-handed pitcher Griffan Smith picked up his first career win, while sophomore Conner Pohl drove in three runs and senior Noah McGowan had three hits on the afternoon. With the win the Buckeyes improve to 10-6 overall and the Seahawks drop to 11-5 in 2018.



"It's a great midweek win against a quality opponent at their place," head coach Greg Beals said. "The thing I liked the most is the way we used our bullpen tonight. We talked about early on the strengths of this ball club is the depth that we have out there that bullpen and how we can mix and match with those guys. Our bullpen won the game today. I'm pleased how they pitched from start to finish."

Under a controlled start in his first collegiate nod, Smith was solid on the mound for the Scarlet and Gray. He scattered six hits on two runs, one earned, with two strikeouts and one walk to claim the victory. After allowing a RBI single, he rolled the Seahawks into a double play to end the first. Smith left two on base following a big time catch by Dominic Canzone in the second. The native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Smith limited the UNCW bats to one run in the third when he struck out Doug Angeli and induced a ground out to leave two more runners. He was relieved by right-handed reliever Austin Woodby with one out in the top of the fourth.

Woodby tossed 2.1 scoreless innings and scattered three hits with three strikeouts and no walks. Right-handed reliever Kyle Michalik threw a scoreless seventh with one walk. Left-handed pitcher Connor Curlis made his first relief appearance in the bottom of the eighth. He got the called strike three to leave two on base. Right-handed reliever Curtiss Irving pitched the ninth and gave up one run on two hits.

Canzone made an incredible catch in windy conditions at Brooks Field to record the final out of the second inning. On a 2-0 pitch, lead-off hitter Greg Jones was robbed extra-bases when Canzone sprinted to his left in the gap in right center and extended out at the last second to make the acrobatic grab, while dealing with the chilly 15 mph gusts. Two runners were left stranded on the highlight-reel play by the OSU sophomore.

The Buckeyes scored four times in the opening three innings vs. the Seahawks. McGowan singled to left field to drive in Brady Cherry. A RBI ground out by Pohl made it a 2-0 game before Cowles knocked a base hit to center field push the lead to three runs. In the top of the third, Pohl singled through the right side to plate Cherry for the second time on the afternoon.

The Seahawks found a run in the first and third innings. Mason Berne hit a single through the left side and David Sheaffer doubled down the right field line for the second run.

Ohio State moved its lead to five with a run in the sixth and seventh and two runs in the eighth inning, respectively. Jacob Barnwell singled to second base to allow Nate Romans to score from second base. Romans reached safely on a dropped fly ball in center field. In the seventh, Pohl singled to right center to drive in his third run of the game. In the eighth, Romans had a lead-off triple down the right field line and touched home plate on a wild pitch.  Pinch-hitter Malik Jones walked and scored later in the frame on a second wild pitch.

Ohio State concludes its two-game series at UNCW at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday at Brooks Field. Free stream and audio will be available at uncwsports.com. Links can also be found on the Ohio State baseball schedule page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.


  • Ohio State improves to 2-1 all-time vs. the Seahawks. Today marked the first meeting between the two programs in 40 years.
  • The Buckeyes knocked 11 hits on the afternoon. Ohio State has had four games with double-digit hits this year.
  • Ohio State came into the contest leading the Big Ten in scoring (7.5).
  • The team turned its 19th double play of the season, which leads the conference.
  • Cowles extended his team-high hit streak to career-high 12 games. He's reached base in all 16 games in 2018 (career-high).
  • McGowan now has 25 RBI, which leads the Big Ten.
  • Other Reached base streaks extended: Pohl (13).
  • Multi-hit games: McGowan (10) and Pohl (7).


  • From one beach to the next. The beach boys. It was an hour and 25 minute drive up Interstate 17 from Myrtle Beach to Wilmington, N.C., this morning. Most of the boys got some extra Z's in. Andrew Fishel stayed awake on the ride up the coast. He was returning to his home state. #KeepPounding
  • The boys had a delicious pregame meal once arriving at the hotel. Really tasty pasta. The vodka sauce was superb. It was OK to get lost in the sauce.
  • Arriving to the ball park, the Ohio State SID headed up to press box at Brooks Field. UNCW SID Tom Riordan was very hospitable, saying food from either the concession stand or the two food trucks located down the left field line were on the house. Time was not wasted to walk back downstairs. The Seahawk food wagon was the first stop. They had everything. From burgers to wings to loaded fries. Like Guy Fieri says, "Food is not just eating energy. It's an experience." And what better way to experience a ball game than with juicy fresh beef grilled to perfection between two slices of an everything bun, freshly baked. Lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup and mustard too.
  • The BP playlist by UNCW was legit. One of the best the Buckeyes have heard this year. A great variety of tunes. You can listen to the playlist on Spotify by searching, UNCW Baseball 2018 Season.
  • There was déjà vu at the ball park. Looking out on the grassy hill behind the left field fence, there were teal Adirondack chairs, just like the ones sitting around the park at Coastal. And you guessed it, Kyle Michalik, Seth Kinker and Austin Woodby were putting them to use again. Just chilling. Waiting for that breezy Carolina wind to carry the baseball out of the park. Home run duty is a tough gig, but someone has to do it. And yes, all chairs at Springs Brooks Stadium in Conway should be accounted for.
  • Coaches are there for you, especially when you're on the base paths dealing with a uniform malfunction. Head Coach Greg Beals, who does the signaling from third base coaches' box, gave his black belt to McGowan in the top of the fourth after his belt broke while diving back to the bag on a pick-off attempt. That's a first. Baseball is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.