SAN MARCOS, Texas – Ohio State’s relied heavily on their bats in their impressive opening weekend in Port Charlotte, Florida, but on an abnormally cool day in San Marcos, Texas, with temperatures under 40 degrees, the Buckeye bats went cold. Texas State starter Zeke Wood allowed leadoff baserunners in the early innings but was dominant throughout, retiring the last 18 batters he faced on his way to the win in a 9-1 defeat for the Buckeyes.
Wood and Ohio State starter Isaiah Coupet, who pitched six scoreless innings in the Buckeyes’ season opener last Friday, showcased their high-level abilities from the first inning on in what turned out to be a pitcher’s duel for most of the game. Each pitcher allowed a walk in the first inning followed by three straight outs, and similarly in the second inning, a single followed by three straight outs. Hank Thomas’ second inning single through the right side was Ohio State’s only hit.
Coupet was dealing early on, striking out eight Texas State batters and allowing only one hit through four and two-thirds innings. However, Coupet walked the leadoff hitter in the first three innings of the game, and the loss of control at certain points ultimately allowed Texas State to capitalize in the fourth. After consecutive strikeouts to begin the inning, Coupet gave up back-to-back walks, and a throwing error by Zach Dezenzo on what could have been the inning-ending out allowed Texas State to push a run across the plate. Coupet was knocked out of the game after giving up a two-RBI single and an RBI double to the next last two hitters he faced. Ethan Hammerberg came in from the bullpen and recorded the final out of the fourth, but not before allowing an RBI single, which gave Texas State a 5-0 advantage heading into the fifth.
Zeke Wood mowed down the Buckeye order after Thomas’ single in the second, retiring the next three batters in that frame followed by five perfect innings. Wood finished with ten strikeouts, allowing only one hit and one walk across seven innings and recorded his first win of the season.
Will Pfennig entered the game in the sixth for the Buckeyes and threw a perfect inning but allowed a leadoff home run in the seventh. While he was able to escape the seventh with no further damage, Pfennig allowed two singles, a walk, and a hit by pitch that resulted in another run being and a bases-loaded jam before he could record an out. Trent Jones entered for Ohio State, and an RBI hit by pitch followed by an RBI fielder’s choice made the score 9-0. An inning ending double play sent Ohio State into their final at-bat.
Ohio State came back from an eight-run deficit last weekend, but on Friday it was not to be. Ohio State gave the bench some run in the ninth and had their most productive inning. Pinch hitter Caden Kaiser led off the inning with a double, followed by a single by Archer Brookman and a sacrifice fly by freshman Tyler Pettorini to drive in the Buckeyes’ only run. Blayne Robinson subbed in and singled, but consecutive strikeouts to end the game closed out the 9-1 loss for Ohio State.
Ohio State is back at it tomorrow against the Bobcats for game two of the series, with first pitch slated for 2:30 p.m. CST/3:30 p.m. EST.