COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State seniors Brent Todys & Conner Pohl kept their hitting streaks alive and fellow senior Griffan Smith made his first start at home since 2019 but the Buckeyes couldn’t back up either of the performances with a win, falling 2-0 to Michigan State on Saturday afternoon.
The Buckeyes (18-16) will look to salvage the series finale at 1:05 on Sunday.
Smith made his first start of the season and looked very sharp. He went 3.1 scoreless innings and allowed just two hits while striking out two and walking one.
Todys clubbed a one-out single to center in the second inning to push his career-long hitting streak to 14 games. Pohl waited until the bottom of the ninth but dropped a single in down the left field line to extend his streak to a career-high 16 games. Colton Bauer and Marcus Ernst had the other two hits on the day for the Buckeyes.
Will Pfennig came on in the sixth inning and he gave the Buckeyes a chance as he worked four scoreless frames, allowing just one hit.
Michigan State put runners at second and third with one-out in the fifth and failed on a suicide squeeze for the second time in as many games this series. Momentum in the inning seemed to have swung the Buckeyes way but Adam Proctor slugged a two-run home run to right center to steal momentum right back.
Those turned out to be the only runs of the game. Ohio State had two runners with two-outs in the seventh but a strikeout ended that threat.
Sunday’s series finale should be a good one as Ohio State is starting junior right-hander Garrett Burhenn and MSU is starting its own junior right-hander in Sam Benschoter. Burhenn has won each of his last three starts and Benschoter is eighth in the conference in strikeouts per nine innings at 10.80.