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Feb. 26, 2016

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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The Ohio State baseball team dropped an 8-1 contest against Duke in the opening game at the 17th-annual Caravelle Resort Baseball at the Beach Tournament Friday afternoon at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark. The Buckeyes dropped to 3-1-1 overall, while the Blue Devils improve to 4-1 in 2016.

Duke posted four home runs to claim the non-conference win highlighted by DU center fielder Evan Dougherty homered in three straight at-bats vs. the OSU pitching staff. Both starting pitchers dominated the majority of the game with a combined 16 strikeouts tallied in the box score.  Ohio State redshirt sophomore right-handed starter Adam Niemeyer had seven strikeouts and no walks, while Duke right-handed starter Bailey Clark fanned 10 with one walk.

The Buckeyes left two runners in scoring position in the bottom fourth vs. Clark. Duke struck first with a two-run home run by Dougherty in the top of the fifth. Ohio State answered when junior left fielder Ronnie Dawson hit his first home run of the year against Clark in the bottom of the sixth– a solo shot to center field. However, the Blue Devils came right back with a pair of runs in the seventh. Dougherty knocked his second home run of the day in the top of the seventh with a solo home run over the stands in left to make it, 3-1. A two-out single by Peter Zyla put the away team up, 4-1. A third home run by Dougherty made it 6-1 in the eighth. The Blue Devils added a pair of runs in the ninth on a two-run home run by Cris Perez.

Niemeyer received the loss to fall to 0-1, allowing four runs on nine hits in 6.2 innings. Clark earned the win and improves to 1-0, allowing one run on five hits in six innings.

NIEMEYER IN THE ZONE EARLY ON
A native of Minster, Ohio, Niemeyer was perfect through the first 3.2 innings with five strikeouts in the first three frames. Twenty of his opening 25 pitches went for strikes. He allowed his first runners on base in the top of the fourth with two down on a hit by pitch and single but left them stranded following a snag at the left field warning track by Ronnie Dawson. His seven strikeouts was one shy of his career high set in 2014.

HOW THE BUCKEYES SCORED
Ohio State answered in the bottom of the sixth when Dawson hit his first home run of the year to straight dead center to cut the deficit to one run. Dawson stopped a second base momentarily, but the umpire waved his hand in the air to confirm the solo home run off the green batter’s eye at TicketReturn.com Field – home of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, a single-A affiliate for the Chicago Cubs.

MONTGOMERY EXTENDS REACH BASE STREAK
On a 1-0 fastball in the opening at-bat of the game, junior center fielder Troy Montgomery sent a single off Clark right up the middle for a lead-off hit. It extended his reached base streak to 37 (since 2015).

UP NEXT
The Buckeyes return to action at 2 p.m. ET Saturday at No. 19 Coastal Carolina at Spring Brooks Stadium.

OTHER WORTHY NOTES

  •  Adam Niemeyer made his second start of the season and sixth of his career.
  • Tre’ Gantt made his first start of 2016 as the designated hitter.
  • Nick Sergakis has reached base safely in all five games in 201 6
  • Ronnie Dawson knocked his first home run of the year and 12th of his career. The OSU junior has a hit in three straight games.
  • Seth Kinker made his second appearance of the season in the bottom of the seventh. He tossed 0.1 innings and allowed no runs or hits.
  • Kyle Michalik made third appearance of the year in the eighth. He allowed four runs on five hits with two strikeouts.