April 14, 2017
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team fell, 2-0, in the series opener at Michigan State Friday afternoon at Kobs Field at McLane Stadium in East Lansing, Mich. With the loss, the Buckeyes fall to 14-20 overall and 3-7 in Big Ten play, while the Spartans improve to 19-11 overall and 4-3 in conference action.
MICHIGAN STATE SCORES FIRST
The Buckeyes looked like they were about to get out of a jam in the bottom of the third after sophomore Brady Cherry threw out the advancing runner at the dish for the second out, but a two-out triple by lead-off hitter Bryce Kelley off the wall in right center put the Spartans on top, 1-0. Ohio State redshirt junior starting pitcher Yianni Pavlopoulos limited the damage with a ground out to Cherry to leave two on base. The Green and White added a run in the bottom of the fourth on a two-out RBI double by Royce Ando. That’s all the Spartans would need for the league win.
Ohio State had the lead-off man aboard in the first three innings vs. left-handed starter Alex Troop, but failed to score a run. In the first, Washington knocked a lead-off double down the left field line. Junior Tre’ Gantt advanced the OSU captain to third on a sac bunt. After a ground out, junior Noah McGowan walked to put runners on the corners with two down. But McGowan was caught stealing between first and second before Washington touched home plate to get Troop out of the jam. After sophomore Jacob Barnwell was left on first in the second, Ohio State had two runners in scoring position with one out vs. Troop in the third. However, a strikeout and fly out ended the chance.
In the sixth, a walk to McGowan and two-out double by Zach Ratcliff gave the Buckeyes another opportunity, but Troop got a pop-up to leave both runners on base. Junior Bo Coolen had a lead-off, pinch-hit single in the seventh vs. right-handed reliever Jake Lowery, but was left on second base. A final seventh runner was left on base in the eighth.
PAV KEEPS IT TWO-RUN DEFICIT
Pavlopoulos ran into some trouble in the fifth, but did a great job of slowing things down and got out of the inning with no damage done. A single, fielding error and a two-out walk loaded the bases, but the native of Homer Glen, Ill., Pavlopoulos got the called strike three against his counterpart Troop to leave the bases loaded and keep it a two-run margin.
ON THE MOUND
Pavlopoulos worked six innings, allowing two runs on five hits with a strikeout and two walks and received the loss to drop to 2-4 on the year. Right-handed reliever Kyle Michalik relieved Pavlopoulos to begin the seventh. He pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, allowing one hit with two strikeouts. Left-handed pitcher Joe Stoll threw 1.1 innings of scoreless relief work. Right-handed reliever Curtiss Irving recorded the final out of the eighth after allowing one hit.
Ohio State and Michigan State meet in game two at 1:05 p.m. Saturday in East Lansing, Mich. The contest will be streamed on BTN Plus ($) and fans can listen on AM 1460 ESPN or on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.