Dezse's Walk-Off Single Helps Ohio State Open Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium With 4-3 Win in 13 Innings
March 16, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Josh Dezse's RBI single to plate Tim Wetzel in the bottom of the 13th inning propelled the Ohio State baseball team to a 4-3 victory Friday in the inaugural game at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. With the win, Ohio State improves to 9-6 on the season while Austin Peay falls to 9-8.
"We were not going to lose the first game here at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium," Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. "John Kuchno pitched tremendously after a great start from Jaron Long and the depth in our pitching staff was the difference in the ballgame. We had multiple opportunities offensively and weren't able to come through but it was good to see Josh smoke that ball and win it for us."
The Buckeyes threatened to take the lead in the bottom of the 2nd when Brad Hallberg doubled to right and Joe Ciamacco reached on a bunt single and stole second but David Corna fouled out and Greg Solomon was robbed on a diving stop and throw to first by Austin Peay shortstop Reed Harper.
Ohio State then took the lead with two in the bottom of the fourth. Dezse and Mike Carroll both walked to lead off the inning and came around to score on RBI singles by Hallberg and Joe Ciamacco for the 2-0 lead.
Josh Dezse pushed the Ohio State lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth when he notched his team-high fifth home run of the season, a two-out solo shot to right off Austin Peay starter Ryan Quick.
In the meantime, Ohio State starter Jaron Long was cruising, scattering four hits over six scoreless innings, but the sophomore right-hander gave up a pair in the seventh when Jon Clinard drove a two-out, two-run double to left-center to cut the Ohio State lead to 3-2.
Austin Peay then tied the game in the eighth when Greg Bachman doubled to lead off the inning and scored from third on a passed ball on a strikeout of Reed Harper by Ohio State reliever Andrew Armstrong.
Ohio State threatened in the bottom of the ninth, loading the bases with one down, but Austin Peay reliever Tyler Rogers struck out Dezse and induced a ground ball fielder's choice by Carroll to end the threat and send the game to extra innings.
After Kuchno tossed his third consecutive scoreless frame in the top of the 11th, the Buckeyes loaded the bases with one down again for Dezse. However, Dezse hit into a fielder's choice as Kirby Pellant was cut down at the plate and Rogers struck out Carroll looking to end the Ohio State threat.
Kuchno continued to put up zeroes until back-to-back walks to Wetzel and Ryan Cypret set up Dezse's walk-off single in the bottom of the 13th inning.
After Long allowed two earned while scattering eight hits and striking out four over seven innings, Armstrong and David Fathalikhani combined to toss a scoreless eighth before Kuchno came on in the ninth. The sophomore right-hander tossed five scoreless innings, allowing four hits while striking out a career-high six to move to 3-0 on the season.
"I just wanted to relax, throw strikes and live in the moment," Kuchno said. "My teammates were able to keep me loose and locked in and it's just a great team win for us in our first game here."
Dezse, Hallberg and Ciamacco each had two hits for the Buckeyes offensively.
The Buckeyes and Governors play the middle game of the series at 3:05 p.m. Saturday at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium.