Zach Tuggle / The Lantern
A late rally propelled the Ohio State baseball team to victory in its home opener. The Buckeyes escaped with a 4-3 win over Toledo after producing two eighth inning runs.
After leaving the bases loaded in the seventh inning, the Buckeyes delivered in the eighth as RBI hits by Michael Stephens and Ryan Dew gave the Buckeyes their first lead.
“He gave me a third straight fastball, so I got on it and got the hit,” Dew said of his game-winning single.
After the game, the players expressed their excitement about finally playing a home game, after starting the season with 20 games on the road.
“It was great, we had a good amount of fans out there,” Dew said. “It’s always fun coming home, it’s been a while since we got to play here. And you couldn’t ask for better weather.”
While the Buckeye offense struggled to produce early, the pitching and defense kept them in the game.
“We didn’t make a single error,” coach Bob Todd said. “That’s key, especially in a one-run game like this.”
Todd had looked for more consistency from the defense and its flawless play – highlighted by second baseman Cory Kovanda – was instrumental in the win.
Pitching was also key for the Buckeyes as they allowed only three runs to a Rockets team that has put up 10 or more runs in six games this season.
“I don’t know how [Dean] Wolosianski did it. He gave up 10 or 11 hits, but only gave up two runs,” Todd said of his starting pitcher. Wolosianski went five innings, allowing 11 hits and two runs in a no decision.
Wolosianski was relieved by freshman right-hander Cole Brown. It was Brown’s first collegiate action.
“Cole did a good job in his first time out,” catcher Dan Burkhart said. “I think he was a little nervous. But for a first time you can’t really ask for more than that.”
Brown pitched one inning, allowing one run, but it was good enough to keep the Buckeyes in the game. And Burkhart believes Brown will be able to contribute moving forward.
“He’s got some good off-speed [pitches]. He’ll be able to keep hitters off balance,” Burkhart said. “If he can hit his spots and throw his changeup and curveball for strikes he’s going to be successful.
Pitchers Eric Best and Drew Rucinski followed Brown. The duo combined to go three innings, allowing no runs, which ensured the Buckeye victory.
Next up for Ohio State is a weekend series with Northwestern at Evanston, Ill. The Buckeyes play Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.