Buckeyes even their record at 10-10 with explosive hitting and ‘on again’ performance from the bullpen.
Columbus – Greg Beals has to be concerned these days over which team takes the field for the Ohio State Buckeyes on a given night.
Will it be the offense that pounded out seven runs on twelve hits in Sunday’s series finale against Lipscomb?
Or, will it be the the team that struck out twelve times on Saturday against that same Lipscomb team…while the pitching staff surrendered twelve walks in a 14-3 loss?
Well, on a team that features 15 freshmen and sophomores it at times resembles the epic line from Forrest Gump. It’s like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’ll get.
But Tuesday evening at Bill Davis they got the good stuff, another dose of that thunder and lightning run production with a come-from-behind 10-8 win over Northern Kentucky.
The fact that it was winning effort despite an early 6-1 deficit did a lot to ease some of Beals’ concern. They pounded out 14 hits, highlighted by a four-run fourth that saw freshman center fielder Nolan Clegg slug his first collegiate home run, a drive to dead center field. Brady Cherry then cracked his second double of the game to drive in two and cut the margin to 6-5.
The Buckeyes took the lead in the seventh on a two-run homer by catcher Brent Todys, his second of the year, and a Zach Dezenzo double that scored Conner Pohl.
But if the offense was the ‘ying’, a troubled start by junior Jake Vance stood as the ‘yang’ as the Canton product surrendered 6 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits in four innings.
However, the young bullpen had one of its ‘on’ days as freshman Will Pfennig came on in the fifth, threw strikes, and held serve for two innings (1 run on 1 hit); and fellow freshman Bayden Root pitched two outs deep into the ninth to register his first win. Junior Andrew Magno recorded the the final out and the save.
“It was good to win at home and move in a positive direction,” said Beals. “Offensively we’re swinging the bats well and we’re getting production up and down the lineup. Bayden Root gave us a good outing tonight and the offense supported our pitching.”
The hitting stars included Conner Pohl (3 for 4), Brady Cherry (3 for 5), Brent Todys (2 for 4), Zach Dezenzo (2 for 3) and Marcus Ernst (2 for 4). They accounted for twelve of the team’s fourteen hits.
The Buckeyes are off tomorrow before opening a four-game series against the University of Hawaii on Thursday – single games Thursday through Sunday. The Rainbow Warriors come to campus with a 9-11 record.