Feb. 17, 2013
SARASOTA, Fla. – Behind strong pitching from starter Brad Goldberg and timely hitting, the Ohio State baseball team earned its first win of 2013, 3-1, over St. John’s Sunday afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 1-2 while the Red Storm drops to 0-3.
“It was a tough weekend but I was pleased with how our guys responded,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. “It was great to see Brad out on the mound and he set the tempo for our ball club today. We had a great start, a couple key hits when we needed them and we played a good, clean game of baseball. St. John’s is in the same boat we are right now. They’re getting acclimated and will definitely win their share of games so this is a quality win for our team.”
After Tim Wetzel led off the bottom of the first with a single and advanced to third before the Buckeyes were retired, both pitchers cruised until St. John’s starter Ryan McCormick ran into a little bit of trouble in the bottom of the fifth. Jacob Bosiokovic reached on an error by Dustin Breshears and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Aaron Gretz. However, after a walk by Ryan Cypret but runners on first and second with one down, McCormick struck out Greg Solomon swinging and got Craig Nennig to pop out to short to end the threat.
The Red Storm then threatened against Goldberg in the top of the sixth after a single by Martin Kelly and a sacrifice bunt by Bret Dennis put a runner on second with one down. Sean O’Hare followed with a hard-hit grounder up the middle but Nennig ranged far to his left to make a diving stop and throw to first to get O’Hare and Goldberg rolled a groundball to third by Frank Schwindel to keep the game scoreless.
St. John’s had an opportunity again in the top of the seventh when an error and a sacrifice bunt put a runner on second with one down but Goldberg induced a fly out to center by Zach Lauricella and struck out Jimmy Brennan to end the rally.
The Buckeyes then took the lead in the bottom of the frame against St. John’s reliever Matt Clancy. After Mike Carroll grounded out to start the inning, Bosiokovic and Gretz each singled, Cypret walked and Greg Solomon drew a bases-loaded walk to give Ohio State the 1-0 lead.
Goldberg gave way to Ryan Riga in the top of the eighth and, after retiring the first two St. John’s hitters, Riga allowed a walk to Dennis and a single through the left side to O’Hare to put runners on first and second for the Red Storm. However, Trace Dempsey came on and struck out Schwindel to end the threat and preserve the 1-0 advantage.
Ohio State then added to its lead with a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the frame. Brad Hallberg singled up the middle to lead off the inning and Pat Porter walked to put runners on first and second. After a Carroll fly out, a groundout by Bosiokovic moved both runners over and Gretz followed with a two-out, two-run single to left-center to push the Buckeye advantage to 3-0.
Dempsey allowed the first three two reach in the ninth on a pair of singles and a walk but the sophomore shut the door with a pair of strikeouts looking and a game-ending fielder’s choice as the Buckeyes picked up their first win of the season.
Gretz went 2-for-3 with two RBI for the Buckeyes while Goldberg was brilliant in his Ohio State debut after transferring from Coastal Carolina. The senior right-hander picked up the win going 7.0 innings, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out seven. He allowed just one runner past second base.
“It felt great to get back out there,” Goldberg said. “I’ve been waiting a long time. We needed the win and I told the guys last night that we weren’t going to lose so it was really good to get that first win.”
Ohio State travels to Port Charlotte, Fla., Feb. 22-24 for the Snowbird Classic. The Buckeyes will play a pair of games against South Dakota St. and two more against Mount St. Mary’s.