Daniel Eddy / Lantern photographer
The Ohio State baseball pitching staff, led by freshman starter Jake Post, helped OSU to a four-hit shutout victory against Miami (Ohio) Wednesday night, 1-0, at Bill Davis Stadium.
Post retired the first 15 RedHawks he faced before Miami sophomore infielder Ryan Elble singled to start the sixth inning. He was able to work out of the jam, though, and complete the inning without a runner advancing past second base.
Back-to-back hits in the bottom half of the first by sophomore outfielder Pat Porter and freshman infielder Jacob Bosiokovic had the Buckeyes threatening early, but they were unable to push any runs across the plate. OSU would not record another hit in the game.
It was not until the fourth inning that someone for either squad reached base again, when Bosiokovic was hit by a pitch by Miami sophomore reliever Clay Cinnamon. That came with one out in the frame, and Bosiokovic advanced all the way to third following two consecutive wild pitches, with the latter hitting the grass in front of home plate before being knocked down by RedHawk catcher Max Andresen.
Freshman third baseman Troy Kuhn collected his sixth RBI of the season when he grounded out to second base to score Bosiokovic on the next pitch. The one run proved to be all Post and the rest of the OSU pitching staff would need. It was the second time in as many nights that OSU shut out its opponent after blanking Youngstown State, 3-0, on Tuesday. Coach Greg Beals said the strong showings from the bullpen is indicative of how deep the staff is as a whole.
“From the beginning of the season, we talked about how the strength of our team is going to be the depth our pitching staff,” Beals said. “That’s really proved itself these last two days.”
Beals said he was glad to see his freshman starter Post “finally do what he was recruited to do” as he continues to grow into the starter the team needs.
“He’s in a situation where he is learning what it takes,” Beals said. “He’s got the tools, he has the arm strength, he has the tilt on the breaking ball and he is learning what it takes to be good.”
Post said he agreed with his coach, and that the biggest thing was adjusting to the jump to college baseball.
“In high school I could throw stuff by everybody, I was confident with every single pitch,” Post said. “In my first outing here, I was hyped up and everything, but I didn’t know exactly what it would take and I’m starting to figure that out.”
Miami was kept out of the scoring column over the final three innings by sophomores Trace Dempsey and Ryan Riga, as well as junior Greg Greve. Dempsey recorded his team-leading ninth save after giving up two infield singles with one out in the frame. He got Miami first baseman Kevin Bower to hit a ground ball to redshirt senior second baseman Ryan Cypret, who then tagged senior center fielder Alex Johnson as he was running from first to second before throwing out Bower at first to end the game.
Dempsey said he was glad Cypret made the play, calling him “simply a stud” and part of the reason the pitching staff has had success the last two days.
“That’s another thing that speaks to our pitchers is our infield,” Dempsey said. “We haven’t committed an error in the last two games, and it’s just awesome knowing that if a guy gets on and I get a ground ball, the game is over.”
OSU (18-8, 4-2 Big Ten) is scheduled to travel to Minnesota this weekend for a series starting on Friday. First pitch is set for 4:05 p.m.