COLLEGE STATION, Texas Ohio State defeated an impressive Louisiana Tech Bulldog team, 7-4, Saturday at the Dominos Pizza Baseball Classic behind solid pitching and a 15-hit offensive attack.
Red-shirt freshman Dean Wolosianski shut out the Bulldogs, who were averaging 11.2 runs per game, through five innings to pick up his second victory of the season while Ohio State improved to 4-1 overall. Wolosianski had only one difficult inning the fifth when the Bulldogs loaded the bases on three singles, but Ryan Meade made a diving stab of a low line drive down the line to end the inning with the bases loaded. Wolosianski’s line for the day: 5.0 innings pitched with no runs, six hits, six strikeouts and no walks. The loss dropped Louisiana Tech’s record to 6-2.
“This was a good first start by Wolosianski,” head coach Bob Todd said. “He did what he had to do: he threw strikes, mixed his pitches up and kept the Bulldog hitters off balance.”
Offensively, the Buckeyes’ season-high 15-hit attack was keyed by a four-hit, two-RBI day from J.B. Shuck and three hits and two RBI from Justin Miller. Zach Hurley and true freshman Tyler Engle also had a pair of hits for the Buckeyes with Engle and Cory Kovanda leading the way with two runs scored apiece.
Sophomore Josh Edgin and true freshman Drew Rucinski pitched in relief for the Buckeyes and, although both gave up two runs, they kept the explosive Bulldogs, who entered the game with 13 home runs in seven games, from having any huge innings.
Ohio State responded each time the Bulldogs cut into a 4-0 lead that the Buckeyes had manufactured through the first six innings. Louisiana Tech scored two runs in the seventh and two in the eighth, but the Buckeye bats responded with two runs in their half of the seventh and one in the eighth.
“What I like about this team is they are trying to compete,” Todd said. “We responded when we needed to today.”
Senior Rory Meister pitched the ninth for his second save of the season and 16th of his career. After the leadoff batter reached on the last of Ohio State’s three errors, Meister struck out a pair of plus-.400 hitters for the Bulldogs Jericho Jones and Albie Goulder to end the game.
“Teams that are successful have senior leadership, and I felt that Rory Meister came into the game in the ninth inning and pitched outstanding,” Todd said.
A quick look at how the Buckeyes won Saturday:
In the first inning: Shuck and Miller helped the Buckeyes take a 1-0 lead as Shuck led off with a single off Bulldog starter Dylan Mosely, moved to second on a groundout and then scored when Miller sent his fifth double of the season to the left center field wall.
3rd inning: A two-out rally pushed the score to 2-0. Meade hit a blooper over the second baseman’s head to score Ryan Dew from third.
4th inning: Ohio State extended the lead as Engle led off with a double down the left field line, moved to third on a sac bunt by Kovanda (who was safe at first on the play by error) and scored on a single by Shuck.
6th inning: Ohio State loaded the bases thanks to an error, a single by Shuck and Tony Kennedy getting hit by a pitch. Mike LeBreton replaced Mosely on the mound and was able to get the Bulldogs out of the inning after only one additional run scored, that on a sacrifice fly by Miller to score Kovanda, who had reached on an error.
The Bulldogs scored two runs with two outs in the seventh inning off two hits, a walk and a wild pitch to make the score 4-2…kicking up the pressure gauge just a notch in the process.
7th inning: Ohio State came right back with its own two-out magic, scoring two runs off four hits with RBI singles by Shuck his fourth hit of the game and Kennedy. That made the score 6-2 entering the eighth with Rucinski on the mound for the Buckeyes.
The temperature hit 81 degrees in the top of the eighth inning and the Bulldogs were getting hot. They loaded the bases off Rucinski and ended up scoring two more runs to close to 6-4. Rucinski escaped further damage by striking out the side.
8th inning: Cory Rupert, who made some nice defensive plays at third base, stroked an RBI single to score Meade with Ohio State’s finale run.
Sunday the Buckeyes try to get a win on get-away day as they take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in a noon game to close out the tournament. The game will be televised in parts of the country by Cox Sports Television. Shuck (1-0; 0.00 ERA) will be on the mound for the Buckeyes.
Notes from the Dominos Pizza Baseball Classic: