PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – Ohio State split a doubleheader with Western Michigan, dropping the first game, 7-4, before bouncing back for a 22-6 win in the second game Saturday afternoon in Port Charlotte, Fla. Game two marked the first time the Buckeyes scored 22 runs since a 29-2 win over Penn State on May 8, 2005.
Western Michigan got on the board first when they plated three off Buckeye starter Dean Wolosiansky in the second. Troy Forton hit a liner that sailed over the head of Ohio State right fielder Brian DeLucia for a double to lead off the inning and Ryan McMillin and Jack Scanlon followed with singles, with Scanlon’s plating Forton for the first run of the game. A balk sent McMillin and Scanlon to second and third, respectively, before Patrick Duncan had an RBI groundout to score McMillin and Brooks Beilke followed with a perfectly-executed squeeze play to score Scanlon.
Ohio State answered back with two in the bottom of the third to cut the Western Michigan lead to 3-2 after three frames. David Corna drilled a double down the left-field line to lead off the inning off Bronco starter Casey Webber. After a flyout by Steel Russell and a four-pitch walk to leadoff batter Tim Wetzel, Tyler Engle stepped up and knocked a single up the middle to score Corna for the Buckeyes’ first run of the game. The Scarlet and Gray then cut the Bronco lead to 3-2 when Wetzel scored on a fielders’ choice by Brad Hallberg.
However, after each pitcher had their rough inning, Wolosiansky and Webber settled down and were both able to battle through six frames.
Western Michigan then added to its lead in the seventh. After a one-out walk to Vinnie Booker, a call on a pickoff play at first did not go the Buckeyes’ way and gave the Broncos new life. Wolosiansky followed with a wild pitch that allowed Booker to move to second before striking out Zach Thoma. However, Grant Simotes drove Wolosiansky’s 0-2 pitch into the right-center gap to plate Book and give the Broncos a 3-2 lead.
David Fathalikhani then come on to replace Wolosiansky and promptly struck out Forton to end the threat.
Matt Streng led off the bottom of the seventh with an infield single and Josh Dezse followed with the Buckeyes first long ball of the season, a two-run shot to left, to tie the game at four apiece off Western Michigan reliever Monty Porter. Ryan Cypret then drilled a 2-2 pitch to right-center for a double to knock Porter out of the game.
Corna then drew a walk off Forton before a fielders’ choice erased Cypret and put runners on first and second with one down. A groundout to second by Wetzel moved runners to second and third with two down but Forton was able to strike out Engle to end the rally.
The game stayed tied until the ninth when Western Michigan scored three unanswered runs off Buckeye reliever Brett McKinney to pick up the win.
Cypret finished 2-for-4 for the Buckeyes while Wolosiansky did not factor in the decision, giving up four earned runs on six hits over 6.2 innings pitched.
After Hallberg led off the second in with a walk and Cypret reached on an error, Corna advanced the runners to second and third before Solomon drilled a double to center drove in a pair to give the Buckeyes an early 2-0 lead.
The Buckeyes then plated 11 runs on seven hits in the bottom of the fourth to extend the lead to 13-0. Hallberg walked to lead off the frame and was followed by back-to-back doubles from Cypret and Corna and a single from Greg Solomon. After a flyout by Wetzel, Engle walked, Dezse followed with a two-run single and Streng followed two batters later with another two-run single.
Hallberg then hit for the second time in the inning, knocking a two-run shot to left-center to make it 10-0. Cypret followed with a walk and Corna and Solomon were each hit by a pitch to load the bases. Wetzel then walked to score a run and Engle followed with a two-run single up the middle to push the lead to 13-0 after four.
After Western Michigan used three hits and a pair of Ohio State errors to put five runs on the board in the top of the fifth, Corna had the big blow in the bottom half of the frame, a grand slam to left for his first career home run as the Buckeyes added five to make it 18-5.
The Buckeyes added one more in the seventh on an RBI double by Cypret and, after the Broncos score one in the top of the eighth, three more in the bottom of the eighth to cap the scoring.
Dezse and Cypret each had three hits while Streng, Hallberg, Corna and Solomon had two apiece. Greg Greve picked up his first collegiate win for the Buckeyes, tossing six innings while giving up two earned runs on four hits while striking out six. Corna also drove in a career-high six runs while Hallberg and Cypret each scored four times.
The Buckeyes (3-3) and Broncos wrap up the four-game set at noon Sunday at North Charlotte Regional Park.
– Matt Streng and Josh Dezse each extended their hitting streaks to six games.
– Game 2 marked the first time the Buckeyes score 20-plus runs since a 20-9 win over Richmond on Feb. 21, 2010.
– Josh Dezse (.480), Greg Solomon (.438) and Matt Streng (.417) each finished the day with batting averages over the .400 mark after Saturday’s games.
– The home runs by Dezse and Corna were each the first of their career.
– Corna’s six RBI game in game two marked the first six RBI game for a Buckeyes since Justin Miller drove in six April 25, 2009 against Northwestern.