COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio State and Akron split a doubleheader Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium, with the Buckeyes winning the first game, 8-7, and the Zips taking the second, 7-3. Ohio State is now 20-16 this season and Akron is 19-15. A crowd of 2,711 was on hand for buck-a-burger night.
The Zips commanded the Buckeyes’ attention right off the bat in both games, leading 6-0 in the first before the Buckeyes came back to win and 3-0 in the second, a lead they would not relinquish.
Akron scored a run in the first and two more in the third to go up 3-0 in the nightcap. Ohio State came back with two runs in its half of the third inning on a RBI single by Justin Miller and a sacrifice fly by Brian DeLucia.
The Zips, under the direction of former 14-year Ohio State assistant coach Pat Bangtson, extended the lead to 5-2 with two more runs in the fifth inning. A two-run single by Drew Turocy was the big hit of the inning.
Miller’s bloop, RBI single down the right field line scored Tony Kennedy in the seventh to cut the Zip lead to 5-3. Two more runs in the top of the ninth extended the lead to 7-3 and the Buckeyes were not able to rally, as they did in Game One.
Akron starter Ben Danziger pitched 5.0 innings to pick up the win and improve to 4-3 this season. Ryne Romick allowed one run over four innings and earned his first save of the season. Ohio State’s Drew Rucinski, making his first career start after 11 appearances in relief, took the loss and is now 1-4.
Ohio State rallied for an 8-7 win in the originally scheduled seven-inning Game One. The Buckeyes, after trailing 6-0, scored three runs in both the third and sixth innings and two in the seventh to win.
Trailing 7-6 entering the seventh inning, Ryan Dew hit a pinch hit single. Brian DeLucia followed with a single, and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Dew then scored on a Tony Kennedy single, tying the score at seven. DeLucia scored the winning run on Cory Kovanda’s sacrifice fly.
In the sixth, Kennedy and Cory Kovanda had RBI singles and Kennedy scored on a wild pitch to close to within 7-6.
Kennedy had the second four-hit game of his career his first was last year vs. Iowa to go with two runs scored and two RBI to spark the Buckeyes. Kovanda had two RBI as did Michael Arp. Rory Meister pitched 3.0 innings of two-hit, one earned run relief to improve to 1-1 on the season. Akron reliever Tom Farmer dropped to 1-3 with the loss.
Akron scored six runs in the first inning off Buckeye starter Josh Edgin. Second baseman Ryan Frazee, a junior from Gahanna who got the start in his home city, hit a grand slam home run with two outs for the big hit of the inning.
Edgin settled down nicely, though. He retired 10 consecutive batters through the fourth inning to keep the game from getting out of hand, and then the Buckeye bats came alive in the third inning to make a game of it. The first three batters reached base, with Kennedy doubling followed by a Kovanda single and a walk to J.B. Shuck. Miller hit a sacrifice fly to score Kennedy and, in a nice piece of two-strike hitting, Arp lined a two-out single to left to score Shuck and Ryan Meade, who had reached on a fielder’s choice. That inning cut the lead to 6-3.
Edgin, who did not allow a hit after the first inning, left after four innings. Kurt Davidson greeted reliever Meister with his sixth home run of the season to right to make the score 7-3 and setting the stage for Ohio State’s late-game comeback.
Game Notes and Good Stuff:
The Buckeyes had a 2-8 record in games that they trailed after the sixth inning before winning game one with five total runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
Tony Kennedy’s four-hit game was the seventh this season by seven different Buckeyes. Cory Kovanda, J.B. Shuck, Justin Miller, Dan Burkhart, Ryan Meade and Tyler Engle also have four-hit games. Miller has a five-hit game as well.