Sometimes circumstances prevail. For reasons more complicated than hits, runs and errors, Ohio State has to settle for a tie in the finale of the Dodgertown Classic.
VERO BEACH, Fla.—Ohio State left here Sunday night undefeated in the Dodgertown Classic, but with the curious record of 3-0-1.
Sunday’s finale versus Toledo was called after nine innings tied, 5-5.
“I don’t like ties,” said coach Greg Beals. “Twenty-three years of collegiate coaching, as an assistant and head coach, this is the first time I’ve ever been involved in a tie.”
There are no ties in baseball!
That’s true under normal circumstances, but when flights are scheduled and can’t be changed, when the airport is two hours away and classes are beckoning on Monday morning, the rules change.
“I’m killed,” said pitcher Yianni Pavlopoulos. “I’m serious. Leave me alone. I got all kinds of homework to do on the plane ride home.”
Beyond all that—apologetic aside—the tie was a worthy performance given what took place Saturday. Sunday’s game followed a day in which the Buckeyes took Niagara, 10-7, on a dramatic, walk-off home run by Jacob Bosiokovic and, a 13-inning, five-hour 11-8 victory over Pitt that concluded just after midnight Sunday morning, a game that saw OSU use a total of 19 players, six of them pitchers. All totaled they played nearly nine hours of baseball and took both games.
Consequently, OSU went to work Sunday afternoon against Toledo a little thin and a little weary. Four players made their first starts of the season—Daulton Mosbarger (DH), Brady Cherry (3B) Ryan Leffel (1B) and Andrew Fishel (C).
The starting pitcher was Ryan Feltner, a highly regarded freshman, whom Beals purposely bypassed the first three games.
“He’s very good,” Beals said. “But we wanted to let him sit back and watch a few games before throwing him in the fire.”
Feltner was staked to a three-run lead in the first on a two-run double by Ronnie Dawson, a ground ball single to left by Nick Sergakis and Cherry’s sac fly, but the freshman right-hander appeared jittery and hurried from the start.
He pitched a scoreless first despite a walk and a wild pitch, but Toledo got to him in the second for a run and three in the third, all runs the product of dust bunny bleeders, bunts, and a couple of hits—nothing really stroked, nothing really inspiring.
He made it through four innings, allowing four runs—three earned—but required 86 pitches.
The notable performance of the day was by senior transfer Daulton Mosbarger, a candidate for time in right and at first base, who relieved Feltner in the fifth.
The left-hander, who started his career at Akron, gave the Buckeyes three innings of shutout ball, struck out six and walked just one.
But Toledo’s pitchers had a handle on the Buckeyes, tossing six scoreless innings and taking a 4-3 lead to the eighth.
OSU tied the game on Zach Ratcliff’s sacrifice fly, scoring Dawson from third.
However, Toledo was able to retake the lead in the bottom of the inning against Kyle Michalik, who was hurt by his own throwing error to first, the second of the game for OSU and the 10th in its final three games here.
“The story of Saturday and Sunday was not the story of game one here,” Beals said. “That was not clean baseball.”
OSU tied the game in the ninth on a walk, an error, an intentional pass to Troy Montgomery and Bosiokovic’s sacrifice fly to center.
Michalik pitched a scoreless ninth and the game was called.The bus was running. The books were calling.The season was off and running.
NOTES: As might be expected, OSU offense is riding the top of the order. Nick Sergakis, who hit in the four-hole, all weekend is hitting .409, followed by Bosikovic (.368), and Montgomery (.333). Ronnie Dawson, who bats third, is off to a bit of a slow start (.261), though he had two hits in four at bats Sunday against Toledo…L Grant Davis, who is starting at second, is hitting down in the order and is carrying his weight and then some. He’s at .333. That’s one reason Sergakis is starting at third. Coach Greg Beals wants Davis’ bat in the lineup…The big worry is the fielding…Beals will not tolerate 10 errors in three games…The bullpen is still unsettled, but OSU may have found a key component in Mosberger. The left-hander was extremely impressive Sunday.