February 22, 2018

Ohio State Downs Utah, 7-2, Thursday Night in Surprise

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Feb. 22, 2018

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SURPRISE, Ariz. – Highlighted by a seven-run first inning, the Ohio State baseball team won, 7-2, over Utah Thursday evening to open action at the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Ariz. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 4-1 in 2018, while the Utes drop to 0-4 on the year. Up next, Ohio State takes on No. 2 Oregon State at 3 p.m. ET Friday at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Ariz.

QUOTE FROM THE SKIPPER
“It’s big to start out the weekend with a win,” head coach Greg Beals said. “We had a huge first inning offensively and got some help. They struggled with the strike zone early in the ball game, but we got some big hits also to extend that inning and stretch it out. I’m a little disappointed we didn’t add to it later in the game, but our pitching staff did a great job. We got a solid 5.1 out of Connor Curlis and a big double play out of Kyle Michalik and it’s great to see Thomas Waning up to strong form to finish out the ball game. I told the team after the game the same thing I told them at meet the team night. This team has some proving to do and what an opportunity tomorrow to prove how good we are and where we are at.”

STARTER TALK
Junior left-handed pitcher Connor Curlis had a solid outing in his second start of the season to improve to 1-0. He gave up one run on four hits with five strikeouts and no walks.

IN THE BOX SCORE
Conner Pohl went 3-for-4 with a run scored and RBI and Kobie Foppe was 2-for-5 with a run scored and RBI. Dominic Canzone also drove in a pair of runs and had a run scored and walk. Brady Cherry went 1-for-3 with a run scored and two walks and Tyler Cowles and Noah McGowan each had a hit, run scored and RBI.

SEVEN SPOT IN THE FIRST
One of the main points coach Beals told his team before first pitch was taking advantage of early opportunities, and that’s exactly what the Buckeyes did in the bottom of the first, scoring seven run on five hits. Canzone walked, Foppe singled and Cherry singled to load the bases. A walk to McGowan scored the first run and ended Utah left-handed starter Riley Pierce’s day early on the mound. Left-handed reliever Erick Migueles allowed the second run to score on a free pass. Cowles knocked a fielder’s choice up the middle to push Cherry around and an error was given after a bad toss by the second baseman, allowing the bases to remain loaded. Dingler sent a sac fly to center to score the fourth run. The Buckeyes batted around and Canzone ripped a two-out, two-run single up the middle to make it 6-0 before a two-out RBI single by Foppe scored the seventh run.

Hear what head coach Greg Beals had to say about the team's 7-2 win over Utah tonight.#GoBucks pic.twitter.com/dUeoj2pihK

— Ohio State Baseball (@OhioState_BASE) February 23, 2018

UTAH SCORING PLAYS
The Utes got on the board in the top of the fourth when Wade Golden hit a two-out RBI double down the right field line. Utah found a second run in the sixth after a two-out single by Oliver Dunn.

TO THE BULLPEN
Austin Woodby allowed one run on four hits with four walks in two innings. Kyle Michalik tossed 0.2 scoreless with a key double play in the eighth inning, while Thomas Waning threw a scoreless ninth with one strikeout.

UP NEXT
Ohio State takes on No. 2 Oregon State at 3 p.m. ET Friday at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Ariz. Right-hander Ryan Feltner gets the ball. Oregon State will have audio available for the game. Live stats also available on the Buckeye baseball schedule page.

GAME NOTES

  • Ohio State improves to 3-2 all-time vs. Utah and 2-3 at the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge.
  • Seven different Buckeyes recorded a hit tonight vs. the Utes.
  • The OSU defense turned three double plays tonight. The Buckeyes lead the country with 10 double play turns through five games.
  • McGowan now has 14 RBI in five games. He came into the contest leading the nation in RBI.
  • Ohio State left 11 on base, while Utah stranded eight
  • Foppe leads the team with a .471 batting average (8-for-17).
  • Hit streaks extended: Foppe (5) and Barnwell (4).
  • Reached base streaks extended: Canzone (14), Barnwell (11), Foppe (5), McGowan (5) and Cowles (5).
  • Multi-hit games: Pohl (2) and Foppe (2).
  • Multi-RBI games: Canzone (1).
  • Curlis picked up his first win of the year and seventh of his career.

RANDOM NOTES FROM AROUND THE BALLPARK

  • It looked and sounded like something out of the American movie classic “Top Gun” around the Surprise complex as F-16 Fighting Falcons and F-35 Lighting IIs were doing training exercises in the high-celling skies of the Valley of the Sun from the nearby Luke Air Force Base. The swords in the sky even did an unofficial fly over just as the National Anthem ended. It was the perfect way to start the game and no one spilled their hot coffee due to the unannounced flyover.
  • Field No. 6 KC of Surprise Complex was the location for batting practice as Nebraska and tournament-host Oregon State were playing in the stadium. Signs of “No autographs until after training sessions” were on display around the field. The Kansas City Royals were on the diamond in the late-morning and early afternoon as they prep for Spring Training 2018.
  • Senior Vice President and Wolfe Foundation Endowed Athletics Director Gene Smith was on hand to watch the boys take on the Utes and saw an electric first inning by the OSU bats.
  • Former Buckeyes were in attendance tonight too, including Brad Goldberg, Connor Sabanosh and the one and only, John Havird (aka “Kobe”). Former student manager Jeff Solloway was here too and well-dressed like usual. The boys all came up to say hey to the Ohio State SID in the fifth inning or really just to get out of the desert evening chills.