GREENVILLE, S.C. – The Ohio State baseball team fell, 8-5, against Western Carolina at the 2019 First Pitch Invite Sunday night at Fluor Field. The Catamounts (8-5) rallied with five runs in the seventh vs. the OSU bullpen in the win over the Buckeyes (7-7). WSU reliever Jacob Corn received the win to improve to 2-0, while OSU reliever Mitch Milheim received the loss to fall to 0-1. WSU reliever Chase Walter claimed his first save of the year.
QUOTE FROM COACH
“The two things that stuck out tonight that we need to learn from is we need to be willing to play hard from the very first pitch,” head coach Greg Beals said. “Our intensity for the last two innings is where we need to be at for all nine innings. We hit some balls hard, just too little too late. We need to question pitching changes as a coaching staff and learn from that too. Facing lefties, I thought it was a good situation, but it didn’t work out for us tonight in the seventh inning. We need to do a better job of preventing the big inning.”
AT THE PLATE
Ohio State collected 11 hits vs. the WSU pitching staff led by junior Dominic Canzone, who went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, home run and walk. Freshman Nolan Clegg was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI. Redshirt sophomore Brent Todys drove in a run on a double and one walk and fifth-year senior Nate Romans also had a pinch-hit homer.
It was a back-and-forth battle in the last game of the First Pitch Invite at Fluor Field. The Catamounts loaded the bases in the bottom of the second after a pop-up to shallow right field dropped safely between two Buckeye infielders. A line drive to center scored the first run for a sac fly.
The Buckeyes struck back with three runs on three hits and one WCU error to grab a 3-1 lead in the top of the fourth. Canzone led it off with a single up the middle. After Conner Pohl reached on an error, Todys slammed a RBI double off the Green Monster in left to tie the game. A two-out, two-run double by Clegg put the Buckeyes on top vs. WCU left-handed starter Taylor Purus.
⬆️4⃣ | Two-out, two-run double for @nolanclegg. The boys take the lead. 👏👏👏
— Ohio State Baseball (@OhioStateBASE) March 10, 2019
Western Carolina made it 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth with a RBI single up the middle by Jalen Jones. The Buckeyes loaded the bases in the top of the fifth, but Purus fanned an OSU hitter to leave them loaded. Matthew Koehler tied the game at 3-all in the bottom of the fifth with a two-out, solo home run to center.
Canzone hit a solo homer to give OSU the 4-3 advantage in the top of the seventh. However, the Catamounts batted around in the order and tallied five runs in the bottom half to take control of the game. A two-run single off the bat of first baseman Luke Robinson vs. Milheim and a two-run double by Immanuel Wilder vs. right-handed reliever Thomas Waning highlighted the big inning for WCU.
Ohio State cut the deficit with a pinch-hit homer by Romans in the top of the eighth. The Buckeyes loaded the bases in the top of the ninth, but a line out to shortstop ended the rally short. The Buckeyes left 12 on base, while the Catamounts stranded 11.
Cred: Press Pros Magazine
ON THE MOUND
Ohio State left-handed starting pitcher Griffan Smith worked five innings on eight hits, three runs, one walk and three strikeouts in a no decision. Right-handed reliever Will Pfennig worked one inning on one hit and two strikeouts. Milheim went 0.2 innings and gave up four runs on two hits with one walk. Waning threw 0.1 innings, allowing one run on one hit with three walks. Right-handed reliever Joe Gahm pitched a scoreless eighth with one strikeout.
Ohio State is set to play at Furman at 6 p.m. Monday at Latham Baseball Stadium.