COLUMBUS, Ohio – Set the tone for conference play. That’s exactly what the Ohio State baseball team did on a rainy Wednesday night at Bill Davis Stadium, blowing out in-state foe Toledo, 19-4, to push to 10 games over the .500 mark for the first time this year at 17-7 overall. The midweek win over the Rockets (6-15) marked the biggest home margin of victory in exactly 10 years since the 2008 squad beat Penn State, 15-0, March 28, 2008. The Scarlet and Gray are set to open Big Ten play Friday-Sunday with a three-game home series against defending champion Nebraska in Columbus. The game Friday will be televised on BTN and can also be heard on the radio at AM 1460 ESPN.
QUOTE FROM THE SKIPPER
“The thing going into today was getting everybody in the clubhouse in the right frame of mind leading into conference play,” head coach Greg Beals said. “It was really important to us to have a good game tonight. I told the guys the rain is going to clear and we are going to play, so get in that gameday mindset. The other thing that is important to us is defending Ohio and making sure The Ohio State wins the in-state games. We took care of business. It’s nice to get our bench guys some work and it was critical to get all those relievers in the game and polish up. It was great to see Conner have a big night and have a feel-good day heading into Big ten play.”
IN THE BOX SCORE
Sophomore third baseman Conner Pohl led the charge, going 3-for-3 with two runs scored, home run and career-high six RBI. Senior first baseman Noah McGowan also had a three-hit game with two runs scored, two RBI, one walk and one double. Junior second baseman Brady Cherry scored three times and the two Buckeye catchers of Jacob Barnwell and Dillon Dingler drove in a combined five runs.
On the mound, sophomore right-handed starter Jake Vance improved to 2-1 in a controlled start, throwing 4.1 innings on one run, no earned, with one walk and three strikeouts. He scattered four hits in his second start of 2018.
NINETEEN STRAIGHT RUNS FOR THE BOYS
After the Rockets scored the first run in the top of the first, the Buckeyes scored 19 straight runs in five innings.
The OSU bats scored three runs in the second and another run in the third to grab a 4-1 lead. Barnwell singled to center field to push two around before a sac fly by Dominic Canzone made it 3-1. Pohl singled down the left field line in the following at-bat to score Cherry.
SIX SPOT IN THE FOURTH
Highlighted by a three-run bomb by Pohl, Ohio State opened the game with six runs in the fourth vs. the Toledo bullpen. Canzone doubled down the left field line to score Barnwell to begin the stanza. Kobie Foppe put a bunt down to score a run before McGowan singled to center field for his first RBI of the night. Pohl then blasted the first pitch he saw vs. Nolan Silberhorn over the left field wall for the 10-1 advantage.
Ohio State tacked on five in the fifth and four in the sixth. Kobie Foppe had a RBI single, McGowan had a bases-loaded walk on a nine-pitch at-bat, Pohl drove in two on a single and Dingler had a bases-loaded walk in the fifth. In the sixth, a balk allowed Malik Jones to score. Scottie Seymour drove in a run on a RBI grounder and Dingler scored the final two runs on a two-run single through the left side.
TO THE BULLPEN
A combined six relievers were used tonight. Left-hander Griffan Smith got a double play to retire the top of the fifth. Right-hander Yianni Pavlopoulos walked one and allowed one hit in one inning. Right-hander Thomas Waning put up a scoreless seventh with two strikeouts. Left-hander Andrew Magno allowed three runs on one hit with two walks in the seventh. Right-hander Curtiss Irving pitched a scoreless eighth with two strikeouts and right-hander Austin Woodby closed out the ninth with a scoreless frame on one hit.
– Ohio State improves to 32-6-1 all-time vs. Toledo. The Buckeyes are 26-3 at home against the Rockets and are 25-0-1 in the last 26 meetings.
– The Scarlet and Gray have won nine of their last 10 games.
– The Buckeyes improve to 6-1 at home this year. The team is hitting .314 with 16 doubles, four home runs and 9-for-10 in stolen bases at Bill Davis Stadium, while the OSU pitching staff has a combined 2.82 ERA with 66 strikeouts in 67.0 IP.
– Ohio State had its biggest margin of victory at home in exactly 10 years tonight. (Last time the Buckeyes won by 15 runs or more at home: March 28, 2008, 15-0 win over Penn State).
– Pohl had a career-high six RBI and has four home runs this year.
– McGowan leads the team with 14 multi-hit games with three hits tonight. He leads the Buckeyes with 32 RBI.
– Canzone scored twice and has a team-high 27 runs scored. McGowan and Canzone each have 38 hits through 24 games.
– Dingler had a season-high three RBI and Cherry tied his career-high with three runs scored. Seymour drove in his first run as a Buckeye tonight.
– Hit streaks extended: Cherry (7), Foppe (6) and Pohl (4).
– Reached base streaks extended: Cherry (10), Canzone (9), Foppe (8), Pohl (4) and Barnwell (3).
– The Buckeyes hit .435 (10-for-23) with runners on and .500 (9-for-18) with runners in scoring position.
RANDOM NOTES FROM AROUND THE BALLPARK
– No random notes tonight, the OSU SID forgot to make note of his random notes during the game. After all, a combined 24 substitutions were made in the game, including 15 different pitchers. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.