March 19, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio – After jumping ahead 6-0 through two innings, the Ohio State baseball team topped Xavier, 10-3, Wednesday evening at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 13-6 on the season while the Musketeers fall to 11-7.

After a scoreless five-pitch top of the first inning by Ohio State starter Tanner Tully, the Buckeyes wasted no time getting on the board against Xavier starter Trent Astle in the bottom of the frame when Troy Kuhn led off the inning with a solo shot to left-center, his team-high fourth of the season, for the 1-0 lead. Jacob Bosiokovic followed with a single through the left side and a walk to Pat Porter put runners on first and second with nobody out. After Ryan Leffel fouled out for the first out of the inning, an error on a failed pickoff by Xavier catcher Daniel Rizzie allowed both runners to move up a base before Ronnie Dawson followed with an RBI groundout to score Bosiokovic and Zach Ratcliff lined a single to left to score Porter for the 3-0 Buckeye lead.

The Buckeyes opened the bottom of the second with three straight singles before a sacrifice fly by Bosiokovic scored Aaron Gretz and Troy Montgomery and a throwing error allowed Kuhn to move all the way to third with one out. Porter then plated Kuhn with a sacrifice fly to center to push the Ohio State lead to 6-0 after two innings.

Xavier threatened against the Buckeyes in the top of the fourth. Joe Forney doubled to left-center to lead off the frame and Derek Hasenbeck followed with a single through the right side to put Musketeers at the corners with nobody out. However, Tully bounced back to get Vinnie Nittoli to fly out to shallow right before striking out Brian Bruening and retiring Rizzie on a fly out to center to end the inning scoreless.

Tully then exited after a career-high 5.0 scoreless innings, allowing a pair of hits and striking out two. After Shea Murray came on in relief of Tully, the Musketeers were able to get on the board when Hasenbeck singled to lead off the inning and came around to score on a sacrifice fly to left by Bruening to cut the Buckeye lead to 6-1.

After Curtiss Irving tossed a perfect seventh in his first collegiate appearance, the Musketeers cut the lead to 6-3 in the top of the eighth. With two down, Bruening reached on a fielder’s choice and Rizzie walked before Patrick Jones plated both with a double to left-center. Tyler Giannonatti then came on with a runner on second and walked Stephen Schoettmer before striking out Andre Jernigan to end the frame.

Ohio State then tacked on four insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth. Singles by Leffel, Dawson and Ratclifff loaded the bases with nobody out for Nick Sergakis , who came on as a defensive replacement in the seventh. Xavier reliever Sean Campbell then walked Sergakis to score Jake Brobst, who came in to pinch run for Leffel, and Gretz singled to right to plate Dawson to push the lead to 8-3. Montgomery followed with a sacrifice fly to center to score Ratcliff and Kuhn plated Sergakis with an RBI fielder’s choice to extend the advantage to 10-3 after eight innings.

Giannonatti allowed two hits in the top of the ninth but was able to hold the Musketeers scoreless to pick up his first-career save with 1.1 scoreless innings of relief.

Tully picked up the win to improve to 2-0 on the season while Kuhn, Ratcliff, Gretz and Montgomery each tallied two hits.

The Buckeyes host Michigan State in a three-game set starting Friday at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. The series was originally scheduled for East Lansing but was moved to Columbus because of inclement weather so the Spartans will be the home team for each contest. The opener is slated for 6:05 p.m. Friday with the middle game at 3:05 p.m. Saturday and the finale at 1:05 p.m. Sunday.

– Kuhn’s first-inning home run was his fourth of the season, tying him with Iowa’s Taylor Zeutenhorst for the Big Ten lead.
– Kuhn tallied his sixth multi-hit game of 2014 while Ratcliff also picked up his sixth and Montgomery notched his second.