Feb. 27, 2016
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CONWAY, S.C. – The Ohio State baseball team rallied with a five-run, fourth inning to claim a 6-4 victory at No. 19 Coastal Carolina Saturday afternoon at Springs Brooks Stadium in Conway, S.C. With the ranked win, the Buckeye improve to 4-1-1 overall, while the Chanticleers fall to 3-2 in 2016. Freshman Brady Cherry homered twice, while senior co-captain Nick Sergakis hit a three-run home run vs. his former team to guide the Buckeyes in the big road win.
“It’s a big win against a great program in their ballpark today,” sixth-year head coach Greg Beals said. “I really liked the fact that we did it on the heels after not playing very well yesterday. The character that we should to bounce back – it was good to come in here and get a win. We did a lot of little things right today too. We used a couple pickoff plays that we’ve been working on during the offseason and also had a big out on a bunt play. The home runs look great on the scoresheet, but we did the little things right this afternoon.”
On the mound, junior left-hander Tanner Tully also had a career day. The 2014 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Tully limited the Coastal bats to three runs, two earned with a career-high nine strikeouts with no walks in 5.1 innings pitched. The OSU junior improves to 2-0 on the early season. The bullpen closed the door on the CCU hitters as the staff combined for another 10+ strikeout performance with 13 punch outs total.
“Tanner gave us a great start and got us into that sixth inning,” Beals said. “We did some mixing and matching in the bullpen and Yianni did a great job to finish the ball game.”
TULLY’S FAST START
Five of his opening-six outs went down in the box score as strikeouts. Nineteen of his first 28 pitches were strikes as well. After allowing a two-run HR in the third, he scattered three hits in the following three innings in route to his second straight win of 2016.
BY WAYS OF THE LONG BALL
Down by two runs in the fourth, the OSU senior co-captain had other plans vs. his former team. The Columbus, Ohio, native, Sergakis launched a three-run home run over the wall vs. CCU right-hander Alex Cunningham in left to push the Buckeyes ahead, 3-2. Three batters later, Cherry juiced a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left center for his first career long ball to end Cunningham’s day on the mound. A native of Pendleton, Ind., Cherry launched his second of the day deep over the wall in left in the top of the eighth vs. reliever Andrew Beckwith.
“Nick Sergakis showed that he is a good college baseball player today,” Beals said. “Brady Cherry told me he was ready to play today too and it’s great to see the young man play as well as he did against a strong opponent.”
BULLPEN FINISHES THE JOB
The bullpen did its job too. Sophomore right-hander Seth Kinker tossed 0.2 scoreless innings on two hits, while senior left-hander Michael Horejsei pitched a scoreless seventh with a strikeout and a key 6-4-3 ground ball double play to strand a runner on third base. Horejsei tossed 1.1 innings and allowed one run on two hits with a strikeout. Horejsei got the lead runner at third base for the first out and was then relieved by Yianni Pavlopoulos with one down in the eighth. The redshirt sophomore right-hander quieted the home crowd when he picked off the lead runner at second base before fanning the final out of the frame. In the ninth, Pavlopoulos claimed his first career save when he struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth, leaving the bases loaded on a called strike three.
PLAY OF THE DAY
Junior left fielder Ronnie Dawson had a web-gem in the first inning, laying out for a sinking line-drive down the left field line to retire the first CCU hitter of the afternoon. He made a leaping catch in the bottom of the sixth to leave a runner on too.
The Buckeyes take on Liberty at 1 p.m. ET Sunday at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark in Myrtle Beach, S.C.