April 5, 2017
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The night ended with a flash and a bang at Bill Davis Stadium. Down 7-0, the Ohio State baseball team rallied to win, 9-8, against Kent State in seven innings on a stormy and thunderous Wednesday evening at Nick Swisher Field in Columbus. Fifth-year Zach Ratcliff tied the game at 8-all in the bottom of the fourth with his first career grand slam before junior Bo Coolen stole home to end the fifth for the eventual game-winning run. The game was called in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs due to severe weather in the campus area. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 12-16 overall, while the Golden Flashes fall to 17-10 in 2017.
A WORD FROM THE SKIPPER
“I want to start out by saying it’s a critical victory and especially the way we won, down seven to nothing, with no momentum, everything rolling their way,” head coach Greg Beals said. “They did a really good job hitting. We didn’t do a good job pitching early in the game, but they got on top and hit balls hard and every ball they hit found its spot. With a team that’s been struggling, they may start questioning themselves. A win like today means a lot more than just one win because it gives them that belief. It should rekindle that believing factor that we certainly need to finish strong.”
KENT STATE JUMPS OUT TO LEAD
The Golden Flashes scored three runs on four hits in the opening inning. A lead-off double and bunt single put runners on first and third to start the game. A double to the wall in center field by Dom Iero made it a 2-0 score. A two-out single by Reilly Hawkins plated the third KSU run.
Kent State posted its second straight three spot in the following inning. A RBI single by Luke Burch made it 4-0. A two-run single through the right side by Iero pushed the score to 6-0. The Golden Flashes scored a seventh run in the top of the third on a two-out RBI single from Mason Mamarella.
DOM CLEARS THE BASES
Down 7-0, freshman Dominic Canzone got the Buckeyes back in it with a bases-clearing, two-out double to the gap in right center to make it 7-3. Tre’ Gantt doubled before Jacob Barnwell and Ratcliff both walked to set up the scoring play.
KENT STATE ADDS ONE IN THE FOURTH
The Golden Flashes scored a run in the fourth when Reilly Hawkins grounded out with runners on second and third in the top of the fourth to push the score to 8-3.
RATCLIFF RAKES! GRAND SLAM IN THE FOURTH
After Noah McGowan forced home a run with the bases-loaded walk vs. Zeigler on a 3-2 count, Ratcliff tied the game with one swing of the bat when he blasted a 1-0 pitch off KSU reliever Jared Skolnicki over the wall in left center to tie the game at 8-8. It was Ratcliff’s first career grand slam and fifth home run of the year.
⬇️4⃣ | GRAND SALAMIIIII!! 💣💣💣💣
RATTY launches his fifth of the year to tie the game!
— Ohio State Baseball (@OhioState_BASE) April 5, 2017
BO KNOWS, HE SCORES THE GO-AHEAD RUN
Things got interesting in the bottom of the fifth. Storm clouds began to surround the ball park with the score tied. Coolen worked a walk and advanced to third on a heads-up base-running play on a single to left by Gantt. With two outs on the board, Gantt was caught off the bag on a pickoff attempt by Skolnicki. The OSU lead-off hitter took off for second base and was chased down by KSU first baseman Dylan Rosa. Looking like he would be tagged out, Gantt made an immediate stop and ducked out of the way of a bare-handed tag by Rosa, allowing the pickle play to continue and Coolen to cross home before Gantt was finally tagged out to end the inning. Five innings were officially in the books and the Buckeyes had their first lead of the game. It went as a stolen base for Coolen, the first of his OSU career.
— Ohio State Baseball (@OhioState_BASE) April 5, 2017
FREE PASSES A FACTOR TONIGHT
Ohio State walked nine times vs. the KSU pitching staff to set up the three runs in third and its big five-run inning in the fourth. Coolen walked for the second time in the bottom of the fifth before scoring the go-ahead run to end the fifth.
ON THE MOUND
Ohio State starter Austin Woodby lasted 1.1 innings in his second start of the season. He allowed six runs on seven hits with one strikeout in a no decision. Left-handed reliever Connor Curlis pitched the next 1.2 innings and gave up one run on four hits with a strikeout. Right-handed reliever Reece Calvert picked up his first win as a Buckeye, throwing three innings and allowed one run on three hits with two strikeouts. Left-handed pitcher Joe Stoll registered his first career save, throwing a scoreless final inning with a punch out.
A KENT STATE ALUM
“I told the guys before the game that it’s my alma mater and I love it, but it’s like playing your brother in the backyard and I want to kick his butt too,” Beals said. “Their pitching coach Mike Birkbeck is one of my best friends and I have tons of respect for their program, their coaching staff. Between my wife and I, we have four diplomas from that school, so it’s a place that’s fond to us, but it doesn’t mean anything come competition time. You want to beat even the ones you love.”
Ohio State travels for a three-game series at Penn State Friday-Sunday in University Park, Pa. The series finale will be televised live on BTN at 3 p.m. Sunday. Fans can listen to each game on the radio on AM 1460 ESPN and online at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.