March 20, 2016
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team rallied late with a two-run, seventh inning, while senor left-handed pitcher John Havird limited the Pride bats to one run in seven innings of work to guide the Buckeyes to a home series sweep with a 2-1 win over Hofstra Sunday afternoon at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. With their fourth-consecutive victory, the Buckeyes improve to 11-6-1, while the Pride drops to 5-14 in 2016.
“The last two days were built for pitching and defense with the colder weather and the wind blowing,” sixth-year head coach Greg Beals said. “Our pitching was very good. John Havird was solid and rolled a bunch of groundballs. I think he had 18 groundball outs. We mixed it up with the bullpen and it went as we planned. We didn’t allow any free bases as well. I’m pleased with how our guys trusted and believed in themselves this weekend.”
Freshman infielder Brady Cherry tied the game at 1-all with a one-out triple to left center in the bottom of the seventh before junior left fielder Ronnie Dawson lined in the go-ahead run with a first-pitch single to right field. Cherry went 2-for-3 with a run scored, walk and RBI, while Dawson was 2-for-4 with a RBI. Senior co-captain infielder Nick Sergakis had a 2-for-4 performance too.
In his longest outing of his OSU career, Havird, a native of Mesa, Ariz., limited the Hofstra bats to one run, scattering three hits with no walks and three strikeouts to receive his first win of the year and move to 1-1. He tossed a career-high 7.0 innings vs. the Pride, sending down the first eight hitters he faced on a chilly afternoon in Columbus.
“I was able to throw in and out and I had good success with my changeup,” Havird said. “It’s not the easiest thing to do to throw in cold-weather games but I overcame it today. Coach Stafford has really helped me develop over the past year and to trust my pitches.”
BULLPEN GETS THE JOB DONE AGAIN
The trio of sophomore right-hander Seth Kinker, senior left-hander Michael Horejsei and redshirt sophomore right-hander Yianni Pavlopoulos shut the door on the Pride bats in the final two innings. Kinker allowed a hit before claiming the first out in the eighth to set up Horejsei, who left the runner on second base with his 14th strikeout of the season and ground out to second base. Pavlopolous sealed the win with his fifth save of the year after a scoreless ninth. In the series, the OSU pitching staff combined for 12 strikeouts to no walks.
BUCKEYES RALLY AGAIN
Hofstra starter Bowie Matteson quieted the OSU bats for six straight stanzas until a one-out triple to left center by Cherry tied the game at 1-all following a walk to Troy Montgomery. On the next at-bat, Dawson drove a first-pitch liner to right field to give the Buckeyes their first lead of the day in the bottom of the seventh. Matteson received the tough-luck loss, throwing 6.1 innings and allowed two runs on six hits, six walks with six strikeouts.
“We faced a lot of off-speed stuff today but I got a pitch up in the zone and went after it,” Cherry said. “I’m just ecstatic right now. I love to compete and help our team win.”
HOW THE PRIDE SCORED
The first five frames went scoreless until the Pride pushed the first run home in the top of the sixth. After a lead-off bunt single, Steven Foster sent a two-out single to left center field for the 1-0 advantage.
Ohio State continues its opening seven-game homestand vs. in-state opponent Xavier at 5:05 p.m. ET Tuesday at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium.