Feb. 22, 2013

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – The Ohio State baseball team evened its 2013 record with a 10-2 victory over South Dakota State Friday afternoon at Charlotte Sports Park. The Buckeyes improve to 2-2 on the season while the Jackrabbits fall to 2-1.

“Our pitching was solid but it was good to bust out with the bats,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. “We put together quality at-bats and it was key for the offense to show up. The most important part of the night was how clean of a game we played. We didn’t commit any errors, only walked two batters and made them have to earn it.”

Both starters cruised through the first three frames before the Jackrabbits were able to get to Ohio State right-hander Jaron Long in the top of the fourth. Back-to-back one out doubles by Andrew Melton and Jake Ratz scored the first run of the game and, after a groundout by Aaron Machbitz, a two-out double by Daniel Marra gave South Dakota St. a 2-0 advantage.

Ohio State then tied it with a pair off South Dakota State starter Layne Somsen in the bottom of the fifth. After a walk, a single and an error on a fielder’s choice loaded the bases with one down, Ryan Cypret scored on a wild pitch and Joe Ciamacco plated the tying run on a sacrifice fly to right by Brad Hallberg.

The Buckeyes took the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Pat Porter reached on an error, stole second and scored on an RBI single to right by Aaron Gretz. Ohio State added to its lead in the bottom of the seventh after South Dakota State pulled Somsen in favor of Talon Jumper. Ciamacco led off the inning with a walk, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kirby Pellant and scored on an RBI single up the middle by Hallberg to push the Ohio State lead to 4-2.

Ohio State then put the game out of reach with a six-run bottom of the eighth, capped by a two-run single through the right side by Tim Wetzel and a two-run double to right-center by Hallberg, to extend the advantage to 10-2.

Ryan Riga and Brett McKinney, who earned his first career save in the victory, were excellent out of the bullpen, striking out four and giving up two hits over three scoreless innings.

Ciamacco finished the day 3-for-3 with an RBI and three runs scored while Hallberg went 2-for-4 with a career-best four RBI and a run scored. Long picked up his first victory of the season, allowing two earned runs on six hits while striking out six over six innings pitched.

Ohio State takes on South Dakota St. at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow before facing Mount St. Mary’s at 7 p.m. in Port Charlotte.