March 8, 2014
EUGENE, Ore. – The Ohio State baseball team fell, 8-2, to No. 9 Oregon in the opener of a three-game set Friday night at PK Park in Eugene, Ore. With the loss, the Buckeyes fall to 7-4 on the season while the Ducks improve to 11-3.
“We need to make Oregon earn it more than we did tonight,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. “We gave them an unearned run and then the game got away from us in the big inning. We need to make sure we take care of the baseball, have them earn it and we’ll try to bounce back tomorrow.”
Oregon was able to get on the board in the bottom of the second against Ohio State starter Greg Greve. After a leadoff single by Kyle Garlick, A.J. Balta reached on a fielder’s choice and J.B. Bryant got on with a bunt single before a double steal put runners on second and third with one down. Greve was able to get Jack Kruger to pop out to second for the second out of the inning but an error on a ground ball by Mark Karaviotis allowed Balta to score for the 1-0 lead.
The Ducks then used five hits, two walks and a hit batter to plate seven in the bottom of the fourth. With one down, Garlick tripled to deep left and, after a walk to Balta, scored on an RBI single to left by Bryant. Kruger then walked to load the bases and Karaviotis plated Balta with a sacrifice fly to left before a hit batter and back-to-back two-run singles by Austin Grebeck and Tyler Baumgartner pushed the lead to 7-0. Mitchell Tolman then doubled to right-center to score Baumgartner to chase Greve and extend the lead to 8-0.
Ohio State was never able to get anything going against Oregon starter Tommy Thorpe. The left-hander allowed two hits over 7.0 shutout frames while striking out 10 before the Buckeyes got on the board in the top of the eighth against Oregon reliever Darrell Hunter. Aaron Gretz walked to lead off the inning and a double by Nick Sergakis put runners on second and third with nobody out before Tim Wetzel drove in Gretz with an RBI groundout and Troy Kuhn followed with another RBI groundout to make it an 8-2 game but that’s as close as Ohio State would get as Oregon opened the series with the win.
Adam Niemeyer pitched well in relief for the Buckeyes, retiring the first 12 batters he faced, striking out a career-high eight of them, in a scoreless 4.1 innings. Gretz, Sergakis and Wetzel each tallied hits for Ohio State
The Buckeyes and Ducks continue their three-game set at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at PK Park.
– Pat Porter has reached base safely in every game this season after getting hit by a pitch in the seventh inning.
– Sergakis tallied his first-career hit in an Ohio State uniform with an eighth-inning double.