Missing a starting pitcher and their starting centerfielder, the Buckeyes stumbled in the Iowa opener Friday, losing to the Hawkeyes, 16-9.
Iowa City, IA – The beat continues – literally – as the Ohio State Buckeyes lost for the 24th time, overall, Friday…and the 14th time in conference play, falling to the Iowa Hawkeyes in game one of their weekend series, 16-9.
They started off short-handed, with Friday starter Isaiah Coupet at home with a hamstring pull…and centerfielder Kade Kern out of the lineup, similarly nursing an injury. And Coupet’s replacement, Josh Timmerman, lasted just two innings, giving up 6 runs on 4 hits.
Kern’s replacement in center, Trey Lipsey, went 0 for 4, and the top four in the batting order – Lipsey, Matt Graveline, Marcus Ernst and Cole Andrews – stumbled out of the gate for the weekend going 1 for 19.
Still, the offense, five through nine, was good enough to score 9 runs on 7 hits, with sophomore Tyler Pettorini stroking two hits in three at bats, and Nick Erwin going 2 for 4.
The pitching, however, could not throw strikes and struggled against an Iowa lineup hitting nearly .300 as a team.
In fact, the pitching was poor both ways, with Ohio State walking 9, while Iowa hurlers walked 10 – 19 total walks in the game.
But the Buckeye complemented their inability to find the strike zone with 3 errors, 2 hit batsmen, and 3 wild pitches, spread amongst Timmerman, Jacob Gehring, Wyatt Loncar, Cole Pauley, and Jameson Campbell. Loncar had, perhaps, the best statistical night of any, pitching three innings and allowing 3 runs on 4 hits, while striking out 4.
Ohio State led once in the game, 2-1, after scoring twice in the top of the third inning. From that point on, though, Iowa scored 6 in the third, 2 in the fourth, 1 in the fifth, 2 in the sixth, 1 in the seventh and 3 in the eighth – scoring in every inning by the second against the decimated Ohio State bullpen.
“The offense was the bright spot for us tonight, if there was a bright spot,” said Bill Mosiello, afterwards. “We fought our tails off to get back into the game, but the days of a starter going six or seven innings to give yourself a chance to win…they don’t happen too often around here. It makes it really hard on the club. When you have a poor bullpen it’s impossible to get 7 or 8 innings out of it every day, even if you have a great bullpen.
“It’s disheartening – it’s tough – and it puts a lot of pressure on the players to try to do things they’re not capable of doing. Anytime you ask someone to do something they’re not capable of, it’s just too much.”
Their series with Iowa continues on Saturday, at 2 pm, when the Buckeyes will send sophomore Gavin Bruni to the mound seeking his 4th win of the season. You can listen to the game on 146o ESPN, with Matt Andrews and Bob Spears, airing at 1:50, eastern time.