April 22, 2018

Buckeyes Edge Spartans in Thrilling 6-5 Comeback Win

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – For the first time since 2015, Ohio State swept a three-game series with Michigan State thanks to an exciting 6-5 comeback win in front of over 1,700 fans at Buckeye Field on Sunday afternoon. The victory puts the Buckeyes at 29-11 on the season and 10-6 in the Big Ten. The Spartans close the weekend at 16-24 overall and 4-11 in conference action.

KEYS TO VICTORY

The Scarlet & Gray erased a four-run deficit to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth on a RBI single by Lilli Piper and three-run homer from Emily Clark. Shelby McCombs scored the walk-off run on a throwing error by the right fielder.

THE SCORING

  • After two scoreless innings, Michigan State put up a four-spot in the top of the third. It began with a run coming in on a fielding error. Kaitlyn Eveland kept things going with a two-RBI triple to right field before she scored on a fielder’s choice after a stolen base.
  • Facing two outs, Piper singled up the middle for her first hit of the series. McCombs followed with a single to left center and advanced to second on the throw while Piper bolted to third base. In the clean-up spot, Clark hit a RBI single to plate Piper and put the Buckeyes on the board home half of the third.
  • The Spartans had runners on the corners in the fourth for Kelcey Carrasco, who singled to right field to open the lead to 5-1.
  • Ohio State put on a clinic in the bottom of the fifth with four runs on four hits. It all started with an outstanding triple to the right field wall by Niki Carver. Down 0-2 in the count, Piper had a single to right field, allowing Carver time to get in. The hits kept coming as McCombs doubled down the left field line, which sent Piper over to third. The bats stayed hot as Clark delivered yet again, this time on a three-shot home run to tie the game at 5-5.
  • The game remained tied heading into the seventh. A hit batter and two walks had the bases loaded for MSU but the Buckeyes stayed focused and unfazed on defense. McCombs was clutch with a pair of swinging strikeouts and Clark made the play at second for a groundout to retire the side.
  • It was a quick showing for Ohio State in the final frame. McCombs showed she could do the job on both sides of the ball as she smacked a leadoff double to left center. The next play was definitely a doozy. Clark sailed the ball to the grass and the Spartans made the routine play on the right side to record the out while McCombs scurried to third base. However, a poorly thrown ball by the right fielder rolled across the dirt and McCombs made a great decision to sprint home to score the game-winning run.
  • RHP Morgan Ray opened the game in the circle and tossed three innings of four-run, two-hit, one-strikeout ball.

SHINE COMBEY, SHINE

Shelby McCombs lit the Spartans up on the offensive and defensive ends. Although she started the game as the designated player, she moved to pitcher at the top of the fourth. She spent four innings of relief in the circle, where she fanned five batters and allowed one run and four hits to pick up her 13thwin. At the plate, McCombs tied her career high with three hits and added a run to the stat sheet.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • In her first time up, Lilli Piper drew a walk. It was the 15th time in the last 12 games that she has earned a free base.
  • It was the second time in 2018 that McCombs was responsible for Ohio State’s walk-off victory.
  • For the sixth time this season, Bri Betschel had two hits in a game.
  • Lilli Piper was 2-for-3 with two runs and a RBI. She has gotten on base in 15 consecutive outings.
  • Niki Carver connected on the second triple of her career.
  • Emily Clark had a team-high four RBI, two hits and one run.
  • Lilli Piper’s single in the fifth drove in the 100th run of the career.
  • With 11 hits, Ohio State reached double figures for the 12th time this season.
  • Head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly now has 192 wins during her six seasons at the helm for Ohio State. Over her 12-year career, she has amassed 380 wins.
  • 1,719 of the Best Fans in the Land showed up to support the Buckeyes on Sunday, the fourth-largest crowd at Buckeye Field.
  • The Buckeyes swept the Spartans over the weekend, the first time since 2015.