February 15, 2019

Buckeyes Claim Opening Day Win vs. Seton Hall Friday

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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.  – Redshirt freshman left-handed pitcher Seth Lonsway struck out nine in his collegiate debut as the Ohio State baseball team defeated Seton Hall, 4-3, in the 2019 season opener Friday afternoon at Charlotte Sports Park. Lonsway, from Celina, Ohio, struck out nine over six innings of work and limited the Pirates to three hits and one run to claim his first career win. Guided under ninth-year head coach Greg Beals, the Buckeyes claim a victory on Opening Day for the sixth straight year.

QUOTE FROM COACH
My first thoughts are of Seth Lonsway and we got a great first starting pitching job out of him,” Beals said. “Highly touted, we’ve got big expectations for him to be a Friday night starter. He certainly showed that today. The defense was critical to us and all offseason we’ve worked on playing better defense. We were really good this afternoon and supported our pitching staff. Offensively we got big hits from the guys that we needed them from like Canzone and Pohl.  We are going to need them to be consistent in our lineup.”

STRONG DEBUT FOR LONSWAY
There weren’t any nerves by No. 11 in his collegiate debut. Lonsway, from Celina, Ohio, struck out the side in his first inning of work. He followed that up with a nine-pitch second frame and had five strikeouts through three scoreless stanzas. He left two on in the fourth and hung zeros in both the fifth and sixth innings to improve to 1-0 on the year.

“It was amazing,” Lonsway said. “Just being able to get out there and help my team win was great. My defense behind me made big plays. Starting out on a good note was key for me and attacking the hitters right away. I was able to get ahead on hitters. The adrenaline was flowing and it was an exciting moment.”

JUNIORS LEAD THE WAY AT THE PLATE
Junior right fielder Dominic Canzone hit a solo homer in the bottom of the fifth and scored two runs. Classmate Conner Pohl drove in two runs on an important single down the right field line in the bottom of the sixth and junior Noah West also had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double and run scored.

TEAMS TRADE RUNS
Ohio State found the first run of the season in the bottom of the third when Canzone pushed home West on a RBI grounder to second. West began the OSU at-bat with a lead-off single. The Buckeyes looked to add on when they loaded the bases vs. right-handed starter Ricky DeVito but a pop-up to third base eliminated the chance.

Seton Hall answered with one run on one hit in the top of the fourth. Christian Del Castillo hit a lead-off double off the wall in right to start it. He eventually scored on a wild pitch strikeout with the bases loaded. Lonsway induced a pop-up to keep it tied at 1-all.

DOM NO-DOUBTER
With the game knotted up, Canzone, a junior captain, took matters into his own hands when he unleashed a solo homer on a 2-2 count in the bottom of the fifth against SHU left-handed reliever Blake Espinal. The homer ended up on top of the right field pavilion for a no-doubt shot.

POHL EXTENDS THE LEAD
In the bottom of the seventh with two in scoring position after a double by Brent Todys, Conner Pohl pulled a pitch down the right field line for a two-run single to make it a 4-1 game.

SMITH CLAIMS FIRST CAREER SAVE
Right-hander Thomas Waning relieved Lonsway in the seventh and pitched one scoreless inning on two hits with one strikeout. The Pirates cut the lead to a one-run game in the top of the eighth when Matt Toke hit a two-run homer. However, sophomore left-hander Griffan Smith got through the eighth with no more damage and sent Seton Hall down in order in the ninth to earn his first career save. He struck out two and gave up two runs on three hits in two innings of work.

GAME NOTES

  • Ohio State has won six straight Opening Day games under head coach Greg Beals.
  • Seth Lonsway made his collegiate debut on the mound for the Buckeyes and picked up his first career win.
  • Lonsway struck out nine hitters in his OSU debut. He becomes the first Buckeye to strike out eight or more batters in a debut since former Brett McKinney fanned eight hitters in his debut vs. Florida A&M (Feb. 20, 2010).
  • Dominic Canzone made his 100th career start today. He blasted his first homer of the season and eighth of his career.
  • Noah West had his first multi-hit of the season with a three-hit contest.
  • Griffan Smith earned his first career save.
  • Brent Todys made his OSU debut today and got his first career hit as a Buckeye with a double.

UP NEXT
Ohio State and Seton Hall meet at 2 p.m. ET Saturday at North Charlotte Regional Park.

RANDOM NOTES FROM AROUND THE BALLPARK

  • Opening Day. There is no other day quiet like it for a college baseball team. It’s the start of a new season and for new opportunities. For the Baseball Buckeyes, the team woke up around 8:30 a.m. at their waterfront hotel standing right off the crystal-blue Peace River, which flows south into the Charlotte Harbor in sunny Charlotte County. The smell of the salty air. The cries of the seagulls on the docks. A perfect backdrop to start the day for the boys. If you’re lucky enough, you might even see a school of bottlenose dolphins leaping in the waters on a morning walk or jog across the Gilchrist Bridge. Way cool.
  • Breakfast was delicious. Ask strength and conditioning coach Dean Hansen. He loaded up on the bacon (like a lot, like 16 pieces), but that’s nothing new though. That one of the first signs for the team that it’s officially gameday.
  • Electric bus ride as the boys pulled up to Tampa Bay Rays spring training stadium, Charlotte Sports Park. A well-known electronic mashup tune was the final song played. Energy was right where it needed it to be, after all, it was Opening Day.
  • Some known faces were back in the Ohio State dugout. Like they never left. Former Buckeye Kirby Pellant, now quality control coordinator, and former Buckeye Ryan Riga, now student assistant coach. Riga was back in those all white OSU baseball pants, and so was first-year assistant coach Matt Angle. Looking good boys.
  • Hundreds of Ohio State fans in attendance today. It felt like we were playing at Bill Davis Stadium. The right side of the facility was drenched in scarlet. Some nice foul ball catches too by the Buckeye faithful. They saw an exciting game and a win on Opening Day. We hope to see you tomorrow at North Charlotte Regional Park.