The Buckeyes bats were a cold as the weather, squandering great pitching, and lose to the Xavier Musketeers in 13 innings.
Columbus – Frankly, it isn’t supposed to be like this. Baseball is supposed to be played in the spring…when it’s warm!
But such is Midwest baseball, those die-hards will tell you, and it may or may not have bitten the Ohio State Buckeyes in their home opener Saturday. They lost to the Xavier Musketeers 3-2, in 13 innings, and simply never warmed to the task, offensively.
It marked the first time in seven seasons that the Buckeyes had lost a home opener under coach Greg Beals, and it’s questionable as to whether they’d ever played on a worse day.
With wind and a cold mist blowing, senior Jake Post made his fifth start of the season and pitched well enough to deserve better support. Giving up single runs in each of the first two innings, he settled down to pitch through the fifth, striking out six while walking four.
The Buckeyes scored their only two runs in the third on a walk to Shea Murray, a throwing error, a pair of sac bunts, a sac fly by Jalen Washington, and a run-scoring single by Noah McGowan that scored catcher Jake Barnwell with the tying run. From that point on…it was simply Arctic.
Xavier righthander Zac Lowther allowed just those two runs through six innings, and like Post, deserved a better fate.
The game settled on the respective bullpens. Kyle Michalik threw two scoreless for the Buckeyes, followed by Seth Kinker who threw three “zeros”, foll0wed by Yianni Pavlopoulos, who shut out “X” through the 11th and 12th.
In the meantime Matt Kent and Taylor Williams held serve on the mound for the Musketeers, while OSU actually had the winning run on third in the bottom of the 11th, but left Tre’ Gantt standing there.
It came own to the 13th, when the Bucks’ fifth pitcher of the day, Curtiss Irving, surrendered the winning run on a pair of hits and a pair of walks. He struck out the side, but not before becoming the pitcher of record on the wrong side of things.
This is not what General Doubleday had in mind when he patented the game, but tomorrow (Sunday) they’ll play a double-header at Xavier beginning at 12 pm. The forecast is for high 30s, or low 40s. The prognosis is the Buckeyes need an even better day of baseball to again square their record. They fell to 8-9 with Saturday’s loss and Big Ten play begins next weekend when Minnesota comes to Bill Davis Stadium.
They’d like to have a warm welcoming for the Gophers.