March 3, 2018

Ohio State Rallies to Win, 9-6, over No. 16 Southern Miss

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March 3, 2018

? Hear what Coach Beals had to say about the big win tonight, and listen to some Queen in the background at Blue Wahoos. #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/8BXVUlrpHz

— Ohio State Baseball (@OhioState_BASE) March 4, 2018

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PENSACOLA, Fla.  – Chalk up a key win early in the year, that’s what the boys did in Pensacola tonight. The Ohio State baseball team rallied with seven unanswered runs to win, 9-6, over No. 16 Southern Miss Saturday night at Blue Wahoos Stadium in Pensacola, Fla. With their first nationally-ranked win of the season, the Buckeyes improve to 7-3 overall in 2018, while the Golden Eagles move to 7-3 this season. Ohio State sprayed 15 hits around the diamond highlighted by a four-run eighth inning and added two more runs in the ninth. Conner Pohl went 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI, while Noah McGowan was 2-for-4 with four runs scored, triple, RBI and two walks. Dominic Canzone also had three hits on the night with a RBI and stolen base. On the mound, Curtiss Irving claimed the win to improve to 2-0 and Seth Kinker picked up his third save.

QUOTE FROM COACH
I think that was the story more than anything was how we kept fighting,” head coach Greg Beals said. “It was a heavy-weight fight, especially early in the game. Those two starters were going at it and both paid a lot of tax. They didn’t go deep in the ball game because the lineups were tough. They pitched really well, but they had to pay the price. It became a battle of the bullpens and the bats really after that. What I really liked was that we were down 6-2 against a really good team in a hostile environment and our guys kept fighting back and put seven unanswered runs today to win an important baseball game. We need to verify a victory like tonight with another win tomorrow.”

ERROR HELPS GOLDEN EAGLES SCORE TWO
The Golden Eagles capitalized on a Buckeye throwing error with two outs in the bottom of the second to take a 2-0 lead. Matthew Guildry singled through the left side and Cole Donaldson hit a single through the right side to push two unearned runs around.

TOWERING SHOT BY POHL
Pohl got the Buckeyes tied up at 2-all in the top of the fourth when he blasted a 3-2 hanging slider off Southern Miss right-handed starter Nick Sandlin for a towering two-run home run over the wall in right. Noah McGowan was hit by a pitch to start the inning. The long ball was the first runs allowed by Sandlin this year.

“I know everyone can hit in our lineup,” Pohl said. “I never doubted one minute that we were going to lose. He got me to a 3-2 and he threw me two changeups that I saw that dipped off the plate on the right side and then he threw me a slider over the plate and it was up and I just took advantage of it.”

FOUR SPOT FOR SOUTHERN MISS IN FIFTH
Southern Miss regained the lead in the fifth with four runs on three hits. Hunter Slater singled to right field before a hit by pitch with the bases loaded scored a second run. Guildry reached on a fielder’s choice and pushed a run home and Donaldson singled through the right side for to 6-2 score.

THE COMEBACK
Ohio State made it a three-run game in the top of the sixth after Andrew Fishel hit a grounder to first base for a fielder’s choice to score McGowan. However, a 6-4-3 double play ended the rally early for the Buckeyes. The Scarlet and Gray would recover though with a four-run eighth inning to take their first lead of the evening. It all started on a dropped ball in right field score Brady Cherry to put the Buckeyes within two runs. Pinch-hitter Dillon Dingler then singled to deep right field to plate Tyler Cowles. Canzone then ripped an opposite field single to left field to give the team a 7-6 lead. In the ninth, Ohio State added two insurance runs with McGowan crushed a triple off the wall to dead center and Pohl singled to right field for his third RBI of the game.

? A few moments with Conner Pohl, who homered for the third time against a nationally-ranked opponent this year.

Enjoy some Prince in the background too. ☔#GoBucks pic.twitter.com/qLISq7QKqx

— Ohio State Baseball (@OhioState_BASE) March 4, 2018

STARTER TALK
Junior right-handed starter Ryan Feltner tossed five innings and allowed six runs, four earned, on nine hits with five strikeouts and two walks in a no decision. He did a good job to get out of a tough jam in the fourth, leaving two runners on base. A glove flip to Barnwell at the plate got the lead runner before a strikeout and ground out to Coolen ended the stanza. That was a big moment in the game as the Golden Eagles were looking to open the game in their favor.

TO THE BULLPEN
The bullpen was good again tonight, keeping the hot-hitting USM team off the board for the final four innings. Freshman left-handed pitcher Griffan Smith threw 1.1 innings and struck out two one hit. Irving came in the game in the bottom of the seventh with one out and a runner on third. His fastball was cooking and got back-to-back strikeouts to keep it a three-run deficit. Kinker pitched two scoreless innings with three strikeouts and one walk to claim his third save of the year and second in as many days.

UP NEXT
Ohio State concludes action at the 2018 Cox Diamond Invitational at 10 a.m. ET Sunday at Blue Wahoos Stadium in Pensacola, Fla. Adam Niemeyer gets the start for the boys.

GAME NOTES

  • Ohio State improves to 6-7 all-time vs. Southern Miss. Tonight was the first meeting between the two teams since the 1995 campaign.
  • Ohio State picks up its first ranked win of the year.
  • Multi-hit games: McGowan (6), Canzone (4), Pohl (4), Cowles (4) and Cherry (3).
  • Multi-RBI games: Pohl (2).
  • Cowles extended his team-high hit streak to six straight games.
  • Reached base streaks extended: Cowles (10), Barnwell (9) and Pohl (7).
  • Kinker claimed his 12th career save to move him to 10th on the OSU career saves list. He has appeared in 84 career games, which ties him with former Buckeye Drew Rucinski for eighth in the record book.
  • Irving picked up his second career win after earning his first victory last week in Arizona.
  • The OSU pitching staff has not allowed a home run in a game this year. Southern Miss had 12 through nine games coming into the game tonight.
  • The Buckeyes hit .400 (6-for-15) with runners in scoring positon and 2-for-4 with the bases loaded (.500)

We play a baseball game today.

But first we teamed up with @SouthernMissBSB this morning to help out at the local Ronald McDonald House. ❤#GoBucks pic.twitter.com/yVDtmLuOIX

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

RANDOM NOTES FROM AROUND THE BALLPARK

  • The day started for the boys with a service trip to the local Ronald McDonald House in Pensacola. Around 10 members of the team headed on an 8:30 a.m. bus with coach Beals and the Ohio State SID. Although they were opponents in the evening, Ohio State and Southern Miss teamed up for a good cause and helped out with the day-to-day chores at the nonprofit organization. To watch the video, click above.
  • We probably had our most famous and as well as our most athletic public address announcer in recent history today: Domenik Hixon. He won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants in 2007 and 2011. A native of Whitehall, Ohio, Hixson loves to fish the waters in the Pensacola area and also is a volunteer football coach for the local high school.
  • Blue Wahoos Stadium loved the 90s alternative pregame playlist. Volunteer video coordinator Matt “The Show” Angle brought up a good point on a song, Closing Time by Semisonic. “Wouldn’t this be a great walk-out for a closer”? Everyone in the dugout chuckled at first, but then realized the former Big Leaguer was right. Everyone Gather up your jackets, and move it to the exits, this ball game is almost in the books because this pitcher is nails.
  • It’s hard to watch baseball at Blue Wahoos Stadium. Kidding, but really it kind of is. From the view above in the press box, you can get lost staring at all the sail boats, dolphins, kites and of course, the gorgeous sunset sparkling the Pensacola evening skies. Hardest scoreboard job in the country. No doubt.
  • Following the big comeback win over the Golden Eagles, Cox Sports Television sideline reporter Carley McCord, who spent time in Cleveland, Ohio, working with the Cleveland Browns, took a group photo in the dugout with the boys. All smiles, it was a great Saturday at the beach.