FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – In the first game of their weekend series in Fayetteville, North Carolina for the Armed Forces Invitational, Ohio State faced off against Campbell, who in their last game beat #8 ranked NC State. Ohio State was only able to muster four hits on the day, and Campbell took their four-run fourth inning and ran away with the game, winning 7-2.
Ohio State struck first and took the lead in the opening frame. Leadoff hitter Marcus Ernst continued his on-base streak with an infield single to start the game, and advanced to second on a wild pitch. He then moved to third on a bunt single by Trey Lipsey. With two outs in the inning and Brent Todys at the plate, the Buckeyes executed a first-and-third rundown play after a pitch, allowing Ernst to score. However, Lipsey was thrown out in a rundown between first and second, and Ohio State led 1-0 after their first at-bat.
Buckeye starter Isaiah Coupet came into the game with a 1-1 record and a 3.38 ERA in his first two Friday starts. He was dealing through the first three innings, allowing only two hits and striking out six batters with a single run allowed on a solo home run in the third. In the fourth, he walked the leadoff hitter before striking out two more Campbell hitters and was a pitch away from another shutout inning. Coupet went on to walk the next three batters, which pushed a run across for Campbell and gave them a lead they would never relinquish. Nate Karaffa entered the game to spell Coupet immediately following the his third consecutive walk and gave up a two-RBI single to the first batter he faced. The Camels led 4-1 after four innings.
Karaffa stayed in the game for the fifth, allowing back-to-back singles that gave Campbell another run to add to their lead. Ohio State went three-up, three-down in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings and did not threaten Campbell’s four run advantage.
Trent Jones entered the game in the sixth inning on the mound for the Buckeyes and pitched two scoreless innings, striking out two. In the eighth, he allowed two unearned runs after a throwing error on a double play ball by Zach Dezenzo. The Ohio State offense could not muster a comeback in the later innings, and a solo home run in the ninth by Mitchell Okuley gave the Buckeyes their second run in the 7-2 loss.
With the loss, Ohio State moves to 3-6 on the season. They play the second game of their invitational schedule tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. EST against Pitt, and will conclude the series at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday against Army before heading home for Columbus.