Ohio State Fights Back but Falls, 5-4, in Opener to Penn State
April 11, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team was edged by Penn State, 5-4, in its series opener Friday evening at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. With the loss, the Buckeyes fall to 19-15, 2-8 in the Big Ten, while the Nittany Lions improve to 17-14, 5-1 in conference play.
“Tanner Tully did not deserve to lose tonight’s ballgame between the errors we committed and the runs we provided for them,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. “We gave up five infield hits and we have to play better defense. Three errors facilitated their run production and if we force them to earn their runs, we win the game tonight.”
Penn State took the early lead off Tully in the top of the first. Infield singles by Steve Snyder and J.J. White put Nittany Lions on the corners with one down. Greg Guers when blooped a single into center to score Snyder to give Penn State the 1-0 lead.
The Nittany Lions tacked on two more in the top of the second. Zach Ell led off the inning with an infield single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Kendall before Tully struck out Alex Farkes for the second out of the inning. However, Ell came around to score on a Nick Sergakis throwing error on a ground ball by Snyder. Snyder then tried to steal second and was picked off by Tully but Josh Dezse’s throw sailed into left-center and Snyder came all the way around to score to push the Penn State lead to 3-0.
Penn State added another in the top of the fourth. Ell and Kendall led off the frame with a pair of singles through the right side and, after a failed sacrifice bunt attempt Farkes, Snyder singled through the right side to load the bases. James Coates followed with a sacrifice fly to left to score Ell and extend the Penn State advantage to 4-0.
The Buckeyes got on the board against Penn State starter in the bottom of the fifth. Sergakis singled to lead off the inning before stealing second and moving to third on a groundout by Tim Wetzel before scoring on an infield single by Connor Sabanosh to make it a 4-1 game.
Penn State answered right back in the top of the sixth when Snyder reached on an infield single with two down and Coates followed with a triple to right-center to push the lead to 5-1.
The Buckeyes made it a one-run game with three in the bottom of the frame. Troy Kuhn led off the frame with a single to right before a Pat Porter double to right-center plated the Buckeye second baseman and chases Dunn from the game in favor of right-hander Ian Parvin. Parvin came in and allowed a bloop double to Josh Dezse to put Buckeyes on second and third with nobody out before striking out pinch-hitter Troy Montgomery for the first out of the inning. However, Sergakis lined a single to left-center to score Porter and Dezse to cut the Penn State lead to 5-4.
Tully battled through two more perfect innings in the seventh and eighth before Tyler Giannonatti tossed a perfect top of the ninth. The Buckeyes then rallied against Penn State reliever Jack Anderson, who had pitched a perfect seventh and eighth for the Nittany Lions. Sergakis reached on a leadoff single up the middle before Jake Brobst moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt. Anderson then hit Sabanosh with a pitch to put runners on a first and second with one down. Ronnie Dawson followed with a groundout to first to move both runners up but Anderson struck out Ryan Leffel to end the game and preserve the one-run Penn State win.
Sergakis went 4-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored while Tully battled but suffered the loss, going a career-high 8.0 innings, striking out a career-best seven, while allowing five runs, including three earned. Dunn earned the win for Penn State to improve to 2-0 on the season while Anderson pitched 3.0 scoreless innings for his fourth save of the year.
Ohio State faces the Nittany Lions in the middle game of the three-game set at 4:05 p.m. Saturday. Fans get $4 admission with a valid ticket to the Ohio State football spring game.