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.
- Nick Swisher's brother, Mark, threw out the first pitch before Friday's inaugural game at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium.
- Desze notched his team-leading third multiple-RBI game of the season with a pair, including the game-winning single. His first came on a solo home run in the fifth inning.
- Joe Ciamacco earned his team-leading seventh multiple-hit game of the season. The redshirt junior has multiple hits in seven of his last 10 games. Dezse and Brad Hallberg also enjoyed two-hit efforts.
- Wetzel drew a trio of walks for the second time this season after drawing three against Coastal Carolina March 10. Austin Peay also walked Ryan Cypret three times.
- Kirby Pellant picked up a pair of stolen bases for the third time in 2012, tying his season high.
- The three-hour and 49 minute contest was the longest came of the season for Ohio State. It marked the second consecutive extra-inning game for the Buckeyes and third of the season.
- Kuchno has not allowed a run in his last 16.1 innings pitched dating back to his first outing of the season Feb. 18 against Seton Hall.
- With one walk tonight, Long has now allowed just two walks in 29.1 innings pitched this season.