AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Ohio State scored nine runs on 20 hits but six Buckeye errors proved to be the difference in a 14-9 loss to Army Sunday afternoon at Lake Myrtle Park.
Army jumped out to the early lead, using a walk, two errors and three soft singles to plate four runs in the top of the first.
The Buckeyes then cut the lead in half, using four singles and a sacrifice fly to plate a pair in the bottom of the frame. Tyler Engle and Ryan Cypret each singled to lead off the game and Josh Dezse singled to left to score Engle. After a strikeout of Brian DeLucia, Matt Streng hit a fly ball to center to score Cypret and make it 4-2 Black Knights after one.
Army added to its lead with three more in the top of the second, this time using three more singles and two Ohio State errors. After Matthew Carter walked to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, Carter scored when Ben Koenigsfeld chopped an infield single up the middle and Engle’s throw to first sailed wide to plate the Black Knights’ fifth run. Joey Henshaw then singled to right and advance to third while Koenigsfeld scored on a two-base error by DeLucia. Kevin McKague then singled in Henshaw for his third run batted in of the game, making it 7-2 Army.
However, the Buckeyes answered back with four in the bottom of the second to cut the Army lead to 7-6 after two innings. After a single by Joe Ciamacco to lead off the inning and a fly out by Greg Solomon, Ohio State reeled off four straight singles by Engle, Cypret, Dezse and DeLucia – Cypret and DeLucia each driving in a run – before an error by Army starter Chris Rowley on a chopper by Streng to the right side of the mound scored another. Brad Hallberg then followed with an RBI fielder’s choice to score Dezse and make it a one-run game.
Ohio State starter Greg Greve then settled down to strike out the side in the top of the third before an odd play cut down a Buckeye rally in the bottom of the inning. After Ciamacco and Solomon started the inning with back-to-back singles, the pair was cut down on the basepaths with Engle up and nobody out. Ciamacco was picked off second, got caught in a rundown and tagged out then Solomon, who was trying to advance to second during the rundown, was called out as he tried to dive into the base. Engle followed with a walk and Cypret singled to put runners on first and second with two out but Rowley struck out Dezse swinging to end the threat.
The Buckeyes loaded the bases with two down in the fourth off Rowley but reliever John Buckley came on to get Solomon to fly out to right as the Scarlet and Gray stranded nine baserunners through four innings.
Army then pushed the lead to 9-6 in the fifth when J.T. Watkins knocked a two-run shot to left-center.
The Scarlet and Gray cut into the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Streng reached on a fielder’s choice with one out, advanced to second on a passed ball, moved to third on a groundout by Hallberg and then scored on another wild pitch to cut the lead to 9-7.
However, Army answered right back in the top of the seventh with a solo home run to left off the bat of McKague and an RBI single by Watkins to make it a four-run cushion at 11-7 but the Buckeyes responded with two of their own in the bottom of the inning. Engle singled and Cypret doubled to lead off the inning. Dezse then groundout out to shortstop to drive in Engle and DeLucia had a hustling double to right-center to score Cypret and make it 11-9 after seven innings.
Army then added two in the top of the eighth off reliever Andrew Armstrong, using two singles, a pair of walks and a hit batter and another in the ninth, an unearned run off Dezse, to extend the lead to 14-9.
The Buckeyes loaded the bases with nobody out in the ninth on a walk by Engle and back-to-back singles by Cypret and Dezse but McKague thwarted the Buckeye rally by striking out DeLucia, Streng and Hallberg to end the game.
Cypret finished the day 5-for-6 with an RBI and three runs scored. Engle, Dezse, DeLucia, Hallberg and Ciamacco also had multi-hit games for the Buckeyes. Greve recorded the loss for Ohio State, evening his record at 1-1.
Up next, the Buckeyes (6-5) travel to California for their spring break trip March 18-26. Ohio State plays three games against California, two against Fresno State and three against Cal State Bakersfield.
– Ryan Cypret extended his career best hitting streak to 10 games.
– After getting off to a slow start with a .176 batting average through the first four games, Cypret has gone 16 for his last 28 to push is average to .422.
– Josh Dezse has a hit in 10 of 11 games this season.
– Seven of nine Buckeye starters recorded a hit against Army, with six recording multi-hit games.
– The Buckeyes last 20-hit game was March 20, 2010, when they recorded 22 hits in a 12-2 win over Army.
– The teams combined for 13 runs, 15 hits and 128 pitches (unofficially) through two frames