COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio State surrendered a big lead to Eastern Michigan but rallied late to defeat the Eagles, 15-12, on Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium. Freshman Chris Griffin, in his first extensive playing time, had the go-ahead RBI with a seventh inning single to spark the Buckeyes.
Justin Miller led the Buckeyes offensively with four hits and three RBI. Every starter had hits for the Buckeyes, with Ryan Meade collecting two hits including his first career home run. Zach Hurley, Brian DeLucia, Dan Burkhart and Tyler Engle also had two hits. Josh Edgin struck out a career-high eight batters in 3.0 innings of work. Eric Best got the win in relief and improved to 2-1. Alex Wimmers pitched the final two innings, striking out four EMU batters, to earn his third save of the year.
Ohio State clicked early against EMU starter Tim Combs, scoring a run in the first on an RBI single by Miller and then adding nine more in the second to build a 10-0 lead. The nine-run inning was a season-high for the Buckeyes. Highlights of the second inning:
The Buckeyes had 10 hits (eight singles and two doubles).
Hurley had two singles and scored two runs.
Burkhart had two singles and drove in a pair of runs.
Miller, who has been on a tear throughout the month of April, had a two-run double.
Dew stroked a two-run single.
Engle had two hits, including a run-scoring double, and scored a run.
Edgin, meanwhile, was razor sharp on the mound for the Buckeyes through the first two innings. The first six Eagle outs were Edgin strikeouts, which tied the sophomore’s career high set last year vs. Purdue.
Despite trailing 10-0, Eastern Michigan didn’t quit. The Eagles scored four runs in the top of the third off five hits to close the gap to six runs at 10-4. But Edgin re-discovered his groove before any more damage could be done, striking out Zach Leonard and Michael Boyd setting a new career strikeout high in the process to end the inning.
The first career home run by the freshman Meade in the third inning, an opposite field, two-run shot, extended the lead to 12-4.
EMU came right back, though. Edgin was replaced at the start of the inning and the Eagles scored five runs off three hits with Jeff Leonard’s three-run home run to right field the big hit of the inning.
An RBI single in the fifth by Josh Ivan brought the Eagles to within 12-10. The Eagles then completed their comeback from 10 runs down when Steve Bradshaw hit a two-run home run to left center with two out in the seventh, tying the score at 12.
Griffin, in just his fourth at-bat as a Buckeye, hit a bases loaded single in the seventh to reclaim the lead for Ohio State, 13-12. It was the red-shirt freshman’s first collegiate hit. Cory Rupert followed with a sacrifice fly to increase the lead to 14-12.
“Chris was put into a tough situation and he came through with a big hit right after Eastern had tied the game,” Ohio State coach Bob Todd said. “That hit completely turned the tide of the game.”
Michael Arp added an RBI single in the eighth to increase the lead to 15-12. Wimmers then held the Eagles scoreless over the final two innings to preserve the victory and earn his third save.