April 15, 2017
EAST LANSING, MICH. – A ninth-inning rally fell short in game two of a three-game series at Michigan State as the Ohio State baseball team fell, 6-5, Saturday afternoon at McLane Baseball Stadium. With the loss, the Buckeyes fall to 14-21 overall and 3-8 in Big Ten play, while the Spartans improve to 20-11 overall and 5-3 in conference action.
NINTH-INNING RALLY NOT ENOUGH
Down, 6-4, senior co-captain Jalen Washington knocked a lead-off home run in the top of the ninth off right-handed closer Riley McCauley to trim the deficit to one run. Junior Tre’ Gantt followed the long ball up with a double to the gap in left center. However, McCauley struck out three straight Buckeye hitters to end the game and record his seventh save of the season.
TOUGH BREAK TO START
Right-handed pitcher Jake Post struck out the first two hitters of the game, but was hit by a comebacker on the mound and had to leave the contest. The play went in as a double down the left field line by Dan Durkin. A single up the middle by Matt Byars made it 1-0 before Zach McGuire knocked a three-run home run over the right center wall to put the Spartans ahead, 4-0.
BUCKEYES ON THE BOARD
The Scarlet and Gray answered with two runs in the top of the second on two RBI doubles by OSU left-handed hitters. After a lead-off single by freshman Dominic Canzone, junior Bo Coolen rocketed a 3-1 pitch vs. right-handed starter Ethan Landon off the grass hill in right center field to chalk up the first Buckeye run. Freshman Conner Pohl then ripped a 0-1 pitch to right center to trim the deficit to 4-2.
Ohio State ended Landon’s day in the top of the third after a lead-off single by junior Tre’ Gantt and a walk to sophomore Brady Cherry. With one out, junior Noah McGowan put the ball in play off right-handed reliever Walter Borkovich and pushed Gantt around on a RBI ground out. The Buckeyes had a chance to tie the game up in the middle innings vs. the MSU bullpen, but left two runners on in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, respectively.
SPARTANS EXTEND THE LEAD
Michigan State pushed its lead to three runs in the sixth when Dan Chmielewski sent a two-run home run over the wall in left with two outs vs. Feltner.
DOM GOES DEEP
An OSU rookie continued to swing a hot bat. Freshman Dominic Canzone, the Big Ten Freshman of the Week, struck a 1-1 pitch off left-handed pitcher Joe Mockbee deep over the fence in right field into the Red Cedar River to put the Buckeyes within two runs.
ON THE MOUND
Post gave up one run on one hit with two strikeouts in 0.1 innings of work and received the tough-luck loss to fall to 1-3. He was replaced by sophomore right-handed reliever Ryan Feltner with two outs in the bottom of the first. After allowing three runs in his first inning of work, Feltner settled down on the mound and registered four straight zeros on the board. He ran into trouble in the sixth, allowing a two-out, two-run home run. The OSU sophomore worked five innings of relief and allowed five runs, five earned, seven hits with seven strikeouts and no walks. Redshirt junior right-handed reliever Kyle Michalik replaced Feltner in the bottom of the sixth and recorded the final out on two pitches. Sophomore left-handed pitcher Connor Curlis tossed 1.1 scoreless innings and struck out two, while redshirt sophomore right-handed reliever Thomas Waning fanned two in 0.2 innings of relief work.
Ohio State and Michigan State conclude the series at 1:05 p.m. Sunday in East Lansing, Mich. The contest will be streamed on BTN Plus ($) and fans can listen on AM 1460 ESPN or on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.