In the fifth and final game of the Scarlet & Gray Series, a quick offensive start by Team Gray coupled with starter Will Pfennig’s steady presence on the mound helped them build and maintain a lead from the first inning until the final pitch. While the bats of Scarlet’s Tyler Pettorini, Kade Kern and company kept the game tight down the stretch, Ethan Hammerberg closed the door on a 7-6 Team Gray victory, giving them a 3-2 Scarlet & Gray Series win.
After pulling out the victory in Game 4 while being down 2-1 in the series, Team Gray made known that they came ready to play in Game 5 with a three-run inning in the top of the first. Trey Lipsey singled to lead-off the game, and singles by Marcus Ernst and Brady Emerson produced runs in Team Gray’s explosive start. Starter Will Pfennig put together a stand-out performance on the hill for Team Gray, allowing two earned runs across four innings of work while striking out a staggering nine Scarlet batters.
Hank Thomas’s RBI fielder’s choice and Archer Brookman’s two-run home run in the third inning gave Gray a four run cushion that relievers Tim Baird, Garrett Peters, and Gavin Bruni were able to hold onto, as the three gave up only three runs. This set up a save opportunity for Ethan Hammerberg, who closed the door on Game 5 and the series after giving up a leadoff home run in the seventh inning. Trey Lipsey and Marcus Ernst eached racked up two singles, and Zach Dezenzo singled and reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring twice.
Team Scarlet put together a valiant effort, nearly coming all the way back from their early deficit on the back of two moonshot home runs by standout sophomore Kade Kern in his last two at-bats. Kern went 3-4 with another single and drove in three of Scarlet’s six runs. Freshman Tyler Pettorini continued his breakout fall season, going 2-3 with a triple, a double, a walk, a stolen base, and an RBI.
Scarlet starter Nate Haberthier went four innings, turning it over to TJ Brock for the last three frames. Brock gave up only one run and struck out seven of the nine batters he faced, lighting up the radar gun and giving Team Scarlet a chance to win in the late innings. Drew Reckert walked twice and scored, Blayne Robinson and Josh McAlister each singled, and Nolan Clegg added an RBI double in the sixth inning to bring the game within one run.
Despite falling down 2-1, Team Gray takes home the Scarlet & Gray World Series crown after two complete team efforts in games 4 and 5, capping a productive and incredibly competitive fall season for the Ohio State Buckeyes baseball team.
A special thanks to director of baseball operations Blair Everhart for a rousing performance as PA announcer and unofficial stat keeper during the series.