March 2, 2018

Ohio State Beats Nicholls State, 6-3

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March 2, 2018

RELATED INFO: 2018 Team Guide | 2018 Schedule | 2018 Roster | Baseball Homepage | Big Ten Baseball | Box Score | PDF: Box Score  | Season Stats | Follow the Buckeyes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram  | Cox Diamond Invitational Website |

PENSACOLA, Fla.  – The Ohio State baseball team got the weekend off to a good start on the shores of the Pensacola Bay with a 6-3 win over Nicholls State Friday afternoon at Blue Wahoos Stadium in Pensacola, Fla. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 6-3 overall in 2018, while the Colonels fall to 1-8 overall this season. Left-handed stating pitcher Connor Curlis fanned seven over 6.1 innings, while junior second baseman Brady Cherry homered for the first time this year. Right-handed reliever Seth Kinker earned his second save of the season.

QUOTE FROM COACH
“Connor pitched well today and used his changeup and breaking ball to along with a good fastball,” head coach Greg Beals said. “He got some strikeouts with late fastballs and kept them off-balanced. We were held at bay offensively, but came out and got two doubles to score the first run in the fifth. If we can stay gap-to-gap and drive the baseball, this team has a lot of potential. It was great to see Brady put a good swing on that ball. He’s been working hard and we have all the confidence in him. A big home run that broke the game open.”  

STARTER TALK
Curlis, from Findlay, Ohio, improved to 2-0 on the year after striking out seven over 6.1 innings and scattered two hits on two runs, one earned, and two walks. After the lead-off man got aboard in the top of the second, Curlis sent down the next 14 hitters. His seven strikeouts was a season-high.

COLONELS TAKE THE EARLY LEAD
Nicholls State took the 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Kyle Knauth knocked an RBI single to center field to score Ethan Valdez.

BUCKEYE SCORING PLAYS
The Buckeye bats woke up in the fifth inning, scoring five runs on four hits. Tyler Cowles got the hitting started when he ripped a double over the head of the NSU left fielder. Kobie Foppe then slapped a single through the left side to give Ohio State the lead. Cherry then rocketed the first pitch he saw against left-handed pitcher Alex Ernestine over the wall in right for a three-run home run, his first long ball of the year.

Ohio State added a run in the seventh when Foppe doubled to right center to score Dominic Canzone.

NICHOLLS STATE CUTS LEAD
The Colonels scored a run in the seventh and eighth to make it a three-run game. A RBI groundout by Dane Simon and solo home run by Kyle Knauth put the away squad within three.

📽️ Head coach Greg Beals talks about the win over Nicholls State today in Pensacola. #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/LYcNlubIMF

— Ohio State Baseball (@OhioState_BASE) March 3, 2018

BULLPEN CLOSES THE DOOR
Right-handed reliever Kyle Michalik got a big strikeout and a ground out to leave the bases loaded in the seventh to keep the Buckeye lead. He pitched 1.2 innings on one hit, one run, one strikeout and one walk. Kinker threw a scoreless ninth to claim his second save of the season.

UP NEXT
Ohio State faces No. 16 Southern Miss at 4 p.m. ET Saturday at Blue Wahoos Stadium. Junior right-hander Ryan Feltner gets the ball for the boys. The game will be televised live on Cox Sports Television and streamed on ESPN3 (blacked out in local markets).

GAME NOTES

  • Today marked the first game played in Pensacola, Fla., for the Ohio State baseball team.
  • Ohio State improves to 1-0 all-time vs. Nicholls State.
  • Foppe had his fifth multi-hit game, which leads the team.
  • Multi-RBI games: Cherry (3) and Foppe (2).
  • Barnwell extended his team-high hit streak to eight straight games.
  • Other hit streaks extended: Cowles (5) and Foppe (3).
  • Reached base streaks extended: Cowles (9), Foppe (9), Barnwell (8) and Pohl (6).
  • Kinker claimed his 11th career save to move him to 12th on the OSU career saves list.
  • Curlis picked up his eighth career win and Cherry homered for the 10th time in his OSU career, which leads all active Buckeyes.

RANDOM NOTES FROM AROUND THE BALLPARK

  • Waking up to the sound of waves crashing into the white pearly sand, there’s nothing like it. That’s what the Buckeyes did this morning as the team is stationed at a beachside hotel resort located at Pensacola Beach, a 20-minute drive over two long bridges to the ball park. Led by assistant coach Chris “Hollywood” Holick, the support staff got out to the volleyball courts located next to the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier. The student managers won the first day of play. Follow them on twitter: @OSUBASEMgrs.
  • The boys were pleasantly surprised with gifts from the Pensacola Sports Association arriving at pregame breakfast. Each member received an official tournament t-shirt, a beach towel and a rambler cup with the official Pensacola Sports logo. All perfect items for a morning or afternoon at the beach.
  • It was one of the most scenic rides you could ask for on the way to the ball park. Palm trees, seafood restaurants, waves, docks, and of course, boats. Construction workers were hard at work on the big construction project of the Pensacola Bay Bridge. It’s mind-boggling how they can get those colossal concrete 70-foot beams deep down to the ocean floor. The construction project costs $500 million.
  • Arriving to the field, the boys made sure to have their cameras on their smart phones ready before putting them away for pregame stretch. Behind the walls at Blue Wahoos Stadium wasn’t just your usual scenery. Instead of parking lots or buildings, there were crystal blue waters, palm trees, dolphins and yachts. Baseballparks.com namedthe facility it’s 2012 Ballpark of the Year, which included facilities within the entire realm of baseball, including the Major Leagues.
  • Pitching coach Mike Stafford enjoyed some pregame candy before first pitch. He might have spilled a few, while showing off to the camera. Check it out on our Instagram page @OhioState_BASE or follow him too on his own Instagram page at @staff2222.
  • The Ohio State SID had some company upstairs in the press box. Sitting between him was an Alabama alum and Auburn alum. We all got along just dandy. Baseball brings everyone together.
  • A resident of Pensacola helped run the scoreboard at the park today. He gave us some fun facts about the town including:
    • Oldest settlement in America (1559)
    • Where the state of Florida became a part of U.S. from Spain
    • First capital of Florida
    • Home of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels
    • Oldest Naval Air Station in the U.S. Navy

Home Run Brady Cherry pic.twitter.com/bjq82iMxom

— Scott Brooks (@Brookzcom) March 3, 2018