June 1, 2018

South Carolina Rallies to Defeat Ohio State at Greenville Regional

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GREENVILLE, N.C. – The No. 3 seed Ohio State baseball team fell, 8-3, against No. 2 seed South Carolina in the opening game of the Greenville Regional in the 2018 NCAA tournament Friday afternoon at Clark-LeClair Stadium. The Gamecocks (34-24) rallied with five runs in the bottom of the seventh to claim the win over the Buckeyes (36-23). Ohio State left-handed starter Connor Curlis pitched a gem in his first NCAA regional start in a no decision performance, tossing six scoreless innings on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Freshman Dillon Dingler had a big day at the plate, going 2-for-5 with a double, home run and two RBI in the loss.

“It was a tough loss for our guys and I really liked how we competed,” head coach Greg Beals said. “We had ourselves in position. Connor Curlis gave us a great outing on the mound. We got to a spot where his pitch count we thought was at his max. All year long we’ve asked Seth Kinker to pitch three innings and we’re opening day of regional and had a two-run lead in that spot. I have no regrets about that. It didn’t work out for us. Give South Carolina credit. They put up tough at-bats all day even against Curlis and they were finally able to break through in those final couple of innings.”

Ohio State will play at Noon ET Saturday in elimination game against the loser of East Carolina/UNC-Wilmington. Junior right-handed pitcher Ryan Feltner (5-5, 4.62 ERA) will get the ball.

 

 

GAME SUMMARY

  • Ohio State grabbed the early lead in the top of the second off one swing of the bat from a Buckeye rookie. Dingler launched a 1-0 fastball vs. South Carolina right-handed starter Adam Hill into the trees behind the left field wall for the 1-0 lead. It was his fourth homer of the year.
  • Ohio State had a great chance to add to its lead in the fourth and fifth innings, but left them loaded. In the fourth, Dominic Canzone ripped a hard liner but right at the left fielder to end the chance. In the fifth, the Buckeyes ended Hill’s day after a lead-off walk to Kobie Foppe and double by Tyler Cowles. However, South Carolina right-handed reliever Eddy Demurias induced two pop-ups and a ground out to keep it a 1-0 game.
  • Curlis kept the Gamecocks off the board in one of his best starts of his career. He stranded a Gamecock on third in three straight innings, twice with strikeouts and once on a groundout. He rolled over a ground out to leave two more in the sixth in his final inning of work.
  • South Carolina took the lead in the bottom of the seventh when Danny Blair hit a three-run homer off Ohio State right-handed reliever Seth Kinker. The Gamecocks started the rally with back-to-back base hits before the long ball. A two-run single then made it 5-2.
  • The Gamecocks added three runs in the bottom of the eighth vs. the OSU bullpen. Kinker received the loss to fall to 6-2 this year. He allowed five runs on six hits.
  • Ohio State added a run in the top of the ninth on a sac fly by Conner Pohl.

GAME NOTES

  • Today marked the first meeting between Ohio State and South Carolina in 30 years. It was the first meeting between the two schools in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Ohio State falls to 43-42 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. This is the Buckeyes’ 21st appearance in the NCAA Tournament in school history.
  • Dingler launched his fourth homer of the year and first since April 14.
  • Cowles extended his hit streak to 15 straight games (career-high). His reached base streak extended to 16 (team-high).
  • Cowles has a team-high 20 doubles, which moves him to a tie for fifth-most in single-season history at Ohio State.
  • Foppe moved his reached base streak to 15 games.
  • Other hit streaks extended: Coolen (4).
  • Other reached base streaks extended: Dingler (5) and Coolen (4).
  • Kinker made his 108th career appearance today (school record holder).
  • Canzone has 83 hits this season (team-high). He is tied for 12th in single-season history with former Buckeye Jason Trott (1998).
  • Kyle Michalik made his 93rd career appearance today, which is fourth-most in school history.
  • Pohl drove in his 49th RBI of the season in the ninth.

RANDOM NOTES FROM AROUND THE BALLPARK

  • It was like Opening Day for the boys. The entire team was announced before the National Anthem. Even the talented Buckeye support staff. We see you Blair Everhart, Paul Dawson, Dean Hansen and Matt Angle. They took a jog out to the first base line like Big Leaguers when they surprisingly heard their name called. Tip of the cap to those guys. They are always working hard behind scenes for the program. Appreciate you.
  • Top of the line concession stand at Clark-LeClair Stadium. I mean this place knows what they are doing here. The combo package was a big hit here and one item in particular – the Rib-Eye sandwich. Buckeye Baseball supporter Bill Wells had the scouting report on it, “Had great flavor and very tender, a bit on the thin side. Doubled up the meat into one side of the bun and made a single sandwich with a slice of American cheese. May need to have another one soon.”
  • The best part about the ballpark? The Jungle. No question about it. The grassy berm located behind the outfield wall was already filled with Adirondack and other sorts of beach chairs from foul pole to foul pole by first pitch of the Buckeye-Gamecock game. Beautiful Elm trees added much needed shade for the fans to make it the perfect place to watch a ball game, even on a hot Carolina afternoon. The ECU fans knew they had to get there early to get their seat for the nightcap featuring the hometown Pirates and UNC-Wilmington. If you didn’t know, the entire regional this weekend is sold out. A very cool scene in college baseball. Check it out if you ever get a chance.