March 6, 2022

Clutch home runs give Ohio State 12-7 win over Army

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – Ohio State capped off their trip to Armed Forces Invitational schedule with an early Sunday game at 11:00 a.m. against Army, who entered the game with a 2-6. The Buckeyes built a lead in the middle innings, but several untimely errors allowed Army to take a late lead. Clutch power hitting by the heart of the Buckeye order in the bottom of the eighth inning pushed Ohio State over the top for a 10-7 victory, snapping their losing streak.  

Ohio State did not announce their starting pitcher until the pregame lineups were released and went with junior right hander Wyatt Loncar to open the game. Through two innings, Loncar walked four batters but struck out six, holding Army scoreless. In the third, Loncar allowed four consecutive singles which gave the Golden Knights an early 2-0 lead. Freshman Jake Johnson entered to finish the inning, giving up a run on a single that was earned by Loncar, and would go on to record the final out and toss three more scoreless frames to hold the Army bats at bay.  

Down 3-0 in the bottom of the third, Ohio State tied the game with a barrage of power hitting from the middle of the order. Marcus Ernst started things off with a one-out single and was driven in with a home run by Zach Dezenzo. Back-to-back doubles by Trey Lipsey and Drew Reckart plated another run for the Buckeyes to tie the game at three.  

Ohio State took their first lead in the fourth when Archer Brookman and Marcus Ernst hit consecutive singles to put runners on the corners. Brookman was driven in by a Zach Dezenzo sacrifice fly to make it 4-3 Ohio State. Drew Reckart’s fifth inning solo home run gave the Buckeyes a two-run lead. 

Errors by the Buckeyes allowed Army to remain in the game; they committed seven in total on the day. In the seventh, Mitch Milheim replaced Johnson on the mound and gave up a walk to the leadoff man, who was driven in with a double that cut the Ohio State lead in half. The next batter reached on a throwing error, and subsequently came home on a sacrifice fly to tie the game at five. In the eighth, Will Pfennig entered and walked the leadoff hitter. Three throwing errors and a double netted two more runs for Army to give them a 7-5 lead heading into the bottom of the inning.  

The Buckeyes put together an explosive offense performance in the bottom of the eighth to snap their seven-game skid. Ohio State was able to use Army errors to their advantage, as Archer Brookman reached with one out on a fielding error, and Marcus Ernst followed with a walk. A wild pitch and a throwing error allowed Brookman to score and make the game 7-6. After a Zach Dezenzo walk, Trey Lipsey broke the game open with a three-run home run, pushing the Buckeyes ahead by two runs. In the next at-bat, Drew Reckart hit his second home run of the day. A single by Mitchell Okuley and a double by Tyler Pettorini put more runners in scoring position, and both came around to score on a wild pitch to give the Buckeyes a 12-7 lead heading into the ninth.

Will Pfennig remained in the game for the top of the ninth and retired the side in order and earned the winning decision in the game. Ohio State snapped a seven-game losing streak that dated back to their first series of the season. The Buckeyes travel to West Virginia University this weekend for a three-game series with the Mountaineers that will begin at 6:00 p.m. Friday evening.  

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