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Feb. 25, 2007

Box Score

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TAMPA, Fla. – Seton Hall scored three times in the bottom of the eighth and twice more in the bottom of the ninth to come back from a 5-1 deficit and claim a 6-5 victory over Ohio State Sunday in the Buckeye Baseball Classic at the New York Yankees Player Development Complex.

Ohio State had built a 5-0 lead through 3 ½ innings before the Pirates got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning. Neither team scored any runs until the eighth when Seton Hall was finally able to get to tiring OSU starter J.B. Shuck (So., Galion, Ohio/Galion). Pinch hitter Robbie Hime led off the inning with a solo home run to left field and Matt Smedberg followed with a double and John Walsh hit another home run to pull the Pirates within one, 5-4. Shuck gave up another hit before ending his day. Reliever Theron Minium (Fr., New Cumberland, Pa./Cedar Cliff) came in and got a ground out to end the inning.

The Buckeyes were retired in order in the top of the ninth, but Minium gave up a lead-off double and OSU head coach Bob Todd went to right-handed closer Rory Meister (Jr., Mansfield, Ohio/Mansfield Madison). Meister retired the first two batters he faced before surrendering a base hit to Smedberg that tied the game. Mark Pappas delivered the winning run with a shot to left field.

A win by the Buckeyes would have given the Buckeyes a .500 start at 2-2 and put a positive bookend to the weekend that saw Ohio State drop both ends of a doubleheader after opening with a win over James Madison. Instead, the Buckeyes are 1-3 after slipping in the final two innings Sunday. Visiting Ohio State took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Justin Miller (So., Dayton, Va./Turner Ashby) led off the inning with a single to left-center and then with one out, Tony Kennedy (Jr., Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington South) singled down the right-field line to move Miller to third. Jason Zoeller (Sr., Verona, Pa./Shady Side Academy) grounded out, scoring Miller and second Kennedy, who had stolen second, to third. Cory Rupert (Fr., Mansfield, Ohio/Mansfield Madison) singled through the left side to plate Kennedy for an early two-run lead.

The Buckeyes plated another two runs in the third inning to take a 4-0 lead. Ryan Dew (Fr., Croton, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) delivered a two-out base hit up the middle and scored on a double by Miller over the head of Seton Hall centerfielder Matt Smedberg. Jonathan Zizzo (Jr., Youngstown, Ohio/Sarasota [Fla.]) singled to left to score Miller and build a four run lead.

A solo shot over the left-field fence by Zoeller put Ohio State on top 5-0. The home run was the first by the Buckeyes this season and the 12th of his career.

Seton Hall scored an unearned run off Shuck in the bottom of the fourth inning. Walsh reached on a throwing error by Kennedy, the Buckeyes’ third baseman and then scored on a double to the gap in left-center field by Greg Miller. Shuck coaxed a pair of ground outs to strand a runner.

Greg Miller was a 4-for-4 against the Buckeyes and drove in one run. Smedberg had two hits, while Walsh delivered a pair of RBI. Justin Miller led Ohio State in a 3-for-4 day. He drove in one run and scored two. Zoeller drove in two runs, while Dew had a pair of hits. The top three in the Ohio State batting order was 0-for-13.

Seton Hall out-hit Ohio State 10-9 and each team had an error.

Kansas State won the 2007 Buckeye Baseball Classic after going perfect in four games. Seton Hall finished 2-2, while both Ohio State and James Madison were 1-3.

The Buckeyes’ 17-game slate in Florida continues next weekend when Ohio State returns to Clearwater to face Georgetown, Duquesne and Lehigh at Jack Russell Stadium.