Ohio State Drops 4-3 Heartbreaker at Nebraska
April 5, 2014
LINCOLN, Neb. – The Ohio State baseball team dropped a 4-3 decision to Nebraska on Michael Pritchard’s two-run, walk-off single up the middle in the bottom of the ninth Saturday afternoon at Hawks Field at Haymarket Park. With the loss, the Buckeyes fall to 18-12, 2-6 in the Big Ten, while the Huskers improve to 18-13, 3-2 in conference play.
The Buckeyes jumped out to the early lead in the top of the first off Nebraska starter Chance Sinclair. Troy Kuhn reached on an error to lead off the game, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Pat Porter and scored on a single to center by Ryan Leffel for the 1-0 Ohio State lead.
Ohio State took advantage of a pair of Nebraska miscues to score two more in the top of the fifth. Nick Sergakis singled to lead off the inning before an error on a ground ball by Tim Wetzel put Buckeyes on first and second with nobody out. After Sinclair got Kuhn to fly out to right, another error on a hard-hit ground ball by Porter allowed Sergakis to score. The Buckeyes then executed a double-steal attempt as Wetzel scored when Porter got caught between first and second to push the lead to 3-0.
Ohio State starter Tanner Tully breezed through the first six frames before Tanner Lubach broke up his no-hit bid with a line-drive single to center with two down in the seventh. Ryan Boldt followed with a single off the glove of Tully to put runners on first and second with two down but Tully bounced back to strike out Blake Headly to end the inning and preserve the 3-0 Ohio State advantage.
The Huskers got on the board in the bottom of the eighth. Tully allowed a leadoff single to Ben Miller but got Austin Christensen to fly out for the first out of the inning before Tyler Giannonatti came on in relief. The senior right-hander hit Ty Kildown and allowed a bloop single to load the bases before Pritchard plated pinch-runner Christian Cox with a sacrifice fly to right. Giannonatti then hit Pat Kelly to load the bases again but got Lubach to fly out to right to end the inning and keep it a 3-1 Buckeye lead.
Nebraska then loaded the bases with two down in the bottom of the ninth against Ohio State reliever Travis Lakins on a pair of walks and a single before Jake Placzek drew a bases-loaded walk to score pinch-runner Quinn McGill to make it a 3-2 game. Trace Dempsey then came on in relief of Lakins before the walk-off single.
Tully pitched a career-high 7.1 innings, striking out a career-best six while allowing one run on three hits. Troy Montgomery and Sergakis each picked up two hits for the Buckeyes.
Lakins suffered the loss to fall to 1-2 on the season while Sinclair allowed three unearned runs while scattering seven hits to pick up the complete-game victory to improve to 5-1.
Ohio State and Nebraska conclude the three-game set at 2:05 p.m. ET Sunday.