PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – As the sun began to set in beautiful Port Charlotte, the Buckeye bats came alive in an impressive opening day win against Marshall. Ohio State took advantage of an eight-run bottom of the fifth inning and came away with an 15-4 victory to move them to 1-0 on the young season.
Sophomore Isaiah Coupet made his second collegiate start and was lights out, striking out 11 batters across six dominant innings and only allowing three hits and one unearned run. The southpaw used a mix of pitches that included a devastating breaking ball that allowed him to mow down the Thundering Herd order. Coupet tallied his first win as a Buckeye in the standout effort.
Coupet was given a substantial scoring cushion by way of the eight-run fifth, but it was two early solo home runs by the Buckeye middle infield that started the explosion. In his first at bat of the year, shortstop Zach Dezenzo blasted an opposite-field no-doubter over the right field wall to make the score 1-0 in the bottom of the opening frame.
In his first game for Ohio State after transferring from Dyersburg State Community College, second baseman Drew Reckart made his second at-bat one to remember. After Marshall knotted the score at 1-1 in the top of the third off of an error, Reckart showed off his power hitting ability with a solo shot of his own, a liner over the left field fence, to give the Buckeyes a lead they would never relinquish. Later in the bottom of the 8th, Reckart put a cap on his incredible debut with a two-run shot after Caden Kaiser’s leadoff double. Reckart finished the Day 4-5 with two additional singles, four RBI and four runs scored.
The fifth inning was powered by Ohio State’s two young standout outfielders. After Trey Lipsey reached on an error, Nick Irwin was walked, and a sac bunt by Marcus Ernst left first base open for Marshall to intentionally walk Zach Dezenzo. This strategy proved to be fatal as Kade Kern cleared the loaded bases with a stand-up triple for three RBI. Following two more walks and a single by Drew Reckart, freshman Trey Lipsey hammered a grand-slam in just his third collegiate at-bat, making the score 10-1 in favor of the Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes were not done scoring, and scored three runs and two runs in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively. Reckart added his second home run of the day, catcher Archer Brookman drove home a run with a single, and Colton Bauer, who replaced Nick Irwin at third base, drove in two runs with a double in his only at bat.
After Coupet’s dominant performance, Ohio State’s bullpen was tasked with holding a large lead for the final three frames. Redshirt-freshman Tim Baird, making his collegiate debut, recorded three strikeouts and only allowed one baserunner in a scoreless seventh inning. Junior Tyler Kean allowed three runs in the eighth, but sophomore Trent Jones cleaned up in a scoreless ninth inning, allowing two hits but ultimately recording the final outs of the game in the Buckeye win.
Ohio State opens a two game set with Indiana State on Saturday at 12:00 PM, and will turn around and play them again on Sunday at 3:30 PM before finishing their Snowbird Classic series against BYU on Monday at 12:30 PM.