Ohio State Wins Back-and-Forth 6-5 Contest with Akron in 11
Travis Lakins

March 18, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A sacrifice fly by Troy Montgomery in the bottom of the 11th inning scored pinch-runner Jake Brobst to give Ohio State a 6-5 win over Akron Tuesday evening at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. The Buckeyes improve to 12-6 while the Zips fall to 7-9.

“It was good to bounce back after we got behind in the game,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. “We found a way to score in the ninth inning to tie the game and to score two to win it in the 11th. I give Akron a lot of credit. They played a very good game. They got some key hits, some two-hit RBI and they competed really well.”

Akron took the early lead in the top of the first off Ohio State starter Jake Post. With two down, Devan Ahart doubled down the right-field line and Brady Stewart followed with an RBI single up the middle to give the Zips the 1-0 lead.

The Buckeyes then knotted the score off Akron left-hander Pat Dyer in the bottom of the second. After Dyer retired the first two Ohio State hitters of the inning, Craig Nennig reached on a bunt single, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI double to left by Connor Sabanosh to tie the game at 1-1.

The Zips bounced right back to take the lead in the top of the third. Joey Havrilak walked with two out and scored on an RBI triple by Ahart for the 2-1 advantage.

Akron then struck again with two down in the top of the fourth when Dom Iero doubled down the left-field line and scored on a two-out RBI single up the middle by James Meeker to push the lead to 3-1.

The Buckeyes cut the lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth when Troy Kuhn blasted a solo home run, his team-high third of the season, down the left-field line to make it a one-run game.

Ohio State then threatened in the bottom of the seventh against Akron right-hander Masashi Sakamoto. With one down, Kuhn doubled to left-center and Jacob Bosiokovic was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. However, after Sakamoto got Porter to foul out for the second out of the frame, the Zips went to right-hander Zach Beaver, who got Josh Dezse to hit into an inning-ending fielder’s choice to preserve the 3-2 lead.

After Travis Lakins tossed three scoreless innings of relief, the Zips tacked on another run in the top of the ninth against Buckeye reliever Tyler Giannonatti. Iero reached on a one-out infield single, moved to second on a groundout and scored on a two-out single to left by James Sheltrown for the 4-2 lead.

Tim Wetzel walked to lead off the ninth, moved to second on a balk and, after Kuhn popped out, scored when Bosiokovic reached on an infield single and Beaver threw out down the right field line. After Bosiokovic moved to third on the error, Porter scored him with a sacrifice fly to left to tie the game at 4-4 and send the game to extra innings.

After Trace Dempsey tossed a perfect top of the 10th, the Buckeyes threatened against Matt LaRocca in the bottom of the frame. Ronnie Dawson led off the inning with a single to left and an error on a sacrifice bunt by Montgomery moved Buckeyes to second and third with nobody out. LaRocca then struck out Nennig for the first out of the inning before an intentional walk to Sabanosh loaded the bases. However, LaRocca bounced back to strike out Wetzel and Kuhn to keep it a 4-4 game.

The Zips then took the lead in the top of the 11th. A pair of singles and a hit batter loaded the bases for Danny Lawrence, who came on to pinch-hit in the ninth, and Dempsey issued the bases-loaded walk to score Kris Simonton for the 5-4 Akron lead.

The Buckeyes answered back to win it against LaRocca in the bottom of the frame. A pair of one-out walks to Porter and Dezse put runners on first and second for Dawson. The freshman drilled an opposite-field liner to left-center that one-hopped over the fence, allowing Porter to score the tying run on the ground-rule double. Montgomery then followed with the sacrifice fly to right to plate Brobst to give the Buckeyes the win.

Post allowed three earned runs in 5.0 innings while tying his career high with six strikeouts while Dempsey allowed one earned run while striking out three over 2.0 innings to even his record at 1-1. Kuhn, Bosiokovic, Dawson, Leffel and Nennig each notched two-hit nights offensively for the Buckeyes

The Buckeyes take on Xavier at 5:05 p.m. Wednesday at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium.

- Kuhn’s fifth-inning home run was his team-high third of the season.
- Post tied his career best with six strikeouts.
- Dawson tallied his team-best eight multi-hit game of the year while Bosiokovic picked up his seventh.
- Nennig and Leffel each notched their third multi-hit game of the season. Kuhn set a career high with
six total bases and tallied his fifth multi-hit game of 2014.
- Nennig has reached base in 12 of his last 16 plate appearances over the last four games.
- The Buckeyes are now 2-0 in extra-inning games this season after picking up a 9-3 win in 13 innings at UCF Feb. 21.
- With three more scoreless innings of relief, Lakins lowered his ERA from 0.60 to 0.50. He’s allowed one earned run while striking out 14 in 18.0 innings.