Down 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning to Morehead State, OSU co-captain Nick Sergakis stepped into the batter’s box, knowing he had to make up for mistake he committed in the top of the fifth inning.
With two outs and a man on third, the normally sturdy third baseman tracked a hard-hit ground ball down the third base line, pushing him to the beginning of left-field grass. His arm failed him, one-hopping the throw to first baseman Troy Kuhn. The senior couldn’t handle it, which scored Eagles junior right fielder Will Schneider from third.
Focused and dialed in, the senior from Columbus planted his feet in the box, pointed his bat to the outfield and connected on the very first pitch he saw in his next at-bat, sending his sixth home run of the season over the trees in deep left field, pushing the Buckeyes ahead 4-3 on the two-run blast.
“To be honest with you, I didn’t know what I was going to see,” Sergakis said. “They haven’t really pitched to me at all lately. I was looking for a fastball up, and that’s what I got. I just put a swing on it, and once I hit it, I knew it and it put us ahead by one.”
The momentum provided by Sergakis in the seventh charged the Buckeyes into the eight, where they tacked on three more runs on three doubles, sealing the 7-3 win for the Scarlet and Gray.
“That’s just how quickly the game of baseball can change,” Sergakis said. “You could put your team down by one, then the next inning put them up by one. That’s how it is, and that’s why you can never hang your head over an error or a strikeout or anything like that.”
Earlier in the game, the Buckeyes overcame a slow start and a 2-0 hole thanks to junior center fielder Troy Montgomery. The Fortville, Indiana, native clubbed his sixth home run of the season off the scoreboard in right-center field, scoring sophomore outfielder Tre’ Gantt.
OSU coach Greg Beals said Montgomery’s home run really calmed his team’s nerves and allowed it to get settled in.
“Montgomery’s home run allowed everybody to be like, ‘OK we’re back into a tie ballgame, we’re not in the hole,’” Beals said. “And then Sergakis’s one was kind of the back-breaker for them, I believe, for him to get that big home run there. Both of them, really big time at-bats.”
OSU senior pitcher Daulton Mosbarger was effective in his first start of his career. In the no-decision, the Bellefontaine, Ohio, product lasted 4.1 innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits, two walks and one strikeout.
Redshirt sophomore pitcher Kyle Michalik (1-0) picked up his first career victory for his 3.2 innings of scoreless relief, allowing just two hits. The Brunswick, Ohio, native said it was great to pick up his first career win because his mother was in attendance to see it unfold.
“It’s a really good feeling, to finally get your first career win here,” Michalik said. “I’ve just been working real hard at everything, and I’m kind of at a loss of words to be honest with you. First win just feels really good.”
OSU is scheduled to return to action with a three-game Big Ten series against Rutgers. Junior lefty Tanner Tully is slated to take the mound in Game 1 for OSU, which is set to start at 6:35 p.m. on Friday.