March 14, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team opened its home slate with an 8-5 win over Siena on a windy Friday evening at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 9-6 on the season while the Saints fall to 0-15.

“I liked how we produced early but I didn’t like how we finished the game,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. “We have to be able to finish and soundly beat a team and that’s all about attitude. The guys who come in the game late have to be ready to play and the guys who play regularly and go to the bench have to be willing to do that and support their teammates.”

After a scoreless top of the first by Ohio State starter Ryan Riga, the Buckeyes took the lead in the bottom of the frame off Siena left-hander Matt Gage. With one down, Jacob Bosiokovic tripled to right-center and came around to score on a passed ball for the 1-0 Ohio State advantage. After a Pat Porter groundout, Josh Dezse doubled to right, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a two-out infield single by Ronnie Dawson to push the lead to 2-0.

The Buckeyes threatened again in the bottom of the third after a Bosiokovic single, a fielder’s choice by Porter and a single by Dezse but Gage was able to get Dawson to hit into an inning-ending double play to keep it a 2-0 game.

Ohio State then tacked on three more in the bottom of the fourth. Zach Ratcliff and Craig Nennig each led off the inning with a single through the left side and, after a sacrifice bunt by Connor Sabanosh, Tim Wetzel was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one down. Troy Kuhn then scored both Ratcliff and Nennig with a sacrifice fly to deep center before Bosiokovic lined a double down the left-field line to score Wetzel for the 5-0 Ohio State lead.

Siena was able to get on the board in the top of the sixth when Mike Allen hit a two-out solo home run to left to cut the Buckeye advantage to 5-1.

However, the Buckeyes answered back in the bottom of the frame. Nennig walked to lead off the inning, Sabanosh followed with a single to left and Wetzel sacrificed both runners over before Kuhn blasted a three-run shot to left to push the lead to 8-1.

The Saints then tacked on an unearned run in the top of the eighth off Ohio State reliever Adam Niemeyer. Justin Esquerra reached on a two-out, three-base error and came around to score on a single up the middle by Andres Ortiz to cut the lead to 8-2. Siena would plate three more unearned runs in the ninth but Niemeyer closed it out to finish off the win.

Riga picked up the win to improve to 3-0, allowing one earned run on nine hits while striking out a pair over 7.0 innings pitched.

“I’m just trying not to do too much,” Riga said. “My defense really helped me out tonight by making some plays. It was a day to keep the ball down and it was good to start the series with a win.”

Bosiokovic went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored while Dezse, Ratcliff, Nennig and Sabanosh each notched two-hit games.

The Buckeyes and Saints conclude the series with a doubleheader at 1:05 p.m. tomorrow at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium.

– Kuhn tallied his second-career home run and a career-high five RBI.
– Wetzel had his eight-game hitting streak snapped against the Saints.
– Bosiokovic tallied his fifth multi-hit game of the season, Ratcliff earned his fourth, Dezse picked up his third and Nennig and Sabanosh each recorded their second.