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Feb. 28, 2016

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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – For the second time in two weeks, redshirt junior Jacob Bosiokovic hit a go-ahead home run to help the Ohio State baseball team rally for a win on the road. Down 4-3, the OSU right fielder launched a two-run shot in the bottom of the eighth vs. Liberty relief pitcher Eric Grabowski to give the Buckeyes a 5-4 lead heading into the final inning at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark. Redshirt sophomore pitcher Yianni Pavlopoulos claimed his second save in two days, while redshirt sophomore pitcher Austin Woodby earned his first win as a Buckeye. With the victory, Ohio State improves to 5-1-1, while the Flames drop to 5-3 in 2016.

“It was a great win for the team,” head coach Greg Beals said. “It was a crazy game and a lot happened. We jumped out to a lead and they brought in a guy that threw a really tight slider and kept us in check in the middle innings. We fueled their fire offensively with some free bases to start some innings. Great to see Bosiokovic who struggled earlier this weekend get the big hit for us to basically win the ball game.”

Senior left-handed starter John Havird had a strong start in his second appearance of the year, limiting the Flame bats to three runs, two earned, on five hits in 6.1 innings of work. He scattered five hits with six strikeouts and two walks in a no decision performance.

At the plate, senior co-captain Nick Sergakis went 3-for-4 with a double, run scored and RBI, while senior Daulton Mosbarger was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and Jalen Washington was 2-for-4 with a double.

IN THE ZONE TO START
Havird didn’t mess around on the hill. He went right after the Liberty hitters in the opening frame and sent down the first 10 batters highlighted by four strikeouts. Liberty didn’t get their first base runner and hit until the top of the fourth vs. the OSU lefty. 

BUCKEYES GRAB EARLY LEAD
Ohio State jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first, notching three runs on five hits highlighted by a RBI triple by Dawson and RBI doubles by Sergakis and Washington, respectively, against LU left-handed starting pitcher Mike Stafford. The LU lefty only lasted 1.1 innings before the Flames went to reliever Evan Mitchell with one down in the top of the second.

MORE CHANCES, BUT NO RUNS FOR AWHILE
Before the big hit by Bosiokovic, Ohio State had several chances to add to the runs column, but failed to push them around. Ohio State left 10 runners on base, including a bases-loaded situation in the fifth and a first and third chance in the seventh. LU reliever Evan Mitchell tossed 5.1 scoreless innings of relief work and allowed four hits with two walks and a strikeout.

HOW THE FLAMES SCORED
Liberty collected a run in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, on a pair of two-out singles up the middle. The away team scored its first run of the day on a RBI single up the middle by Dalton Britt before Dylan Allen cut the lead to one run on a two-out single in the fifth vs. Havird. That’s all Liberty would get against the OSU starter, though, as he left two Flames on base in the fifth and one final runner in the sixth.

Liberty tied the contest at 3-all in the top of the seventh when D.J. Artis doubled to right center off left-handed reliever Michael Horejsei. The Flames then gained their first lead of the afternoon in the eighth on the decision change by the umpires to rule the tagging runner as safe and did not leave early on a sac fly by Andrew Kowala. Senior center fielder Daulton Mosbarger made a diving catch before the runner tagged to give the Flames the 4-3 advantage.

BULLPEN DOES THEIR JOB AGAIN
The bullpen allowed one run in the final 2.1 innings to help Ohio State to the win. Michael Horejsei pitched 0. 1 innings and allowed one hit before Woodby relieved him in the seventh with two down. It took him one pitch to get out of the inning on a grounder to first. Woodby tossed 1.1 innings and allowed one run on one hit with a walk to earn the win, while Pavlopoulos closed the door on the Eagles in the final inning, limiting Liberty to one hit with two strikeouts and no walks.

PLAY OF THE DAY
Just like the Coastal game yesterday, the Buckeyes added another great play to the highlight reel early on in the contest. Sergakis dove to his left on a sharp grounder at third, got to his feet and fired over to Troy Kuhn for the second out of the game. He made SportsCenter’s Top Play last season at the hot corner in a win over No. 4 Louisville in Columbus.

UP NEXT
The Buckeyes conclude action at the 17th annual Caravelle Resort Baseball at the Beach Tournament at No. 19 Coastal Carolina at 4 p.m. ET Monday at Springs Brooks Stadium in Conway, S.C. The contest vs. the Chanticleers will be streamed on Big South Network. Links to live stats and video can be found on the Ohio State baseball schedule page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Freshman right-hander Ryan Feltner will make his second start of the season.

WORTHY NOTES

  • Ohio State improves to 3-0 all-time vs. the Flames. Head coach Greg Beals is 3-1 against Liberty in his coaching career.
  •  Bosiokovic collected his Big Ten-best fourth home run of the year. He leads the team with 10 RBI in 2016.
  • Havird made his second start of the season and fourth of his Buckeye career. He had a season-high seven strikeouts.
  • Woodby picked up his first career win as a Buckeye, while Pavlopoulos notched his second career save.
  • Today was junior co-captain Jalen Washington’s birthday.
  •  Sergakis has a hit in all seven games in 2016. He has already notched six multi-hit games.
  • Dawson collected the team’s first triple of the early season. He extended his hit streak to six straight, while Cherry pushed his hit streak to four games.
  •  The OSU pitching staff has struck out 31 batters, while walking just five in three games at Baseball at The Beach Tournament.
  •  Starting pitcher Mike Stafford went to the same high school (Canton; Canton, Mich.) as pitching coach Mike Stafford, but no relation. Just a coincidence.