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Baseball: Noah McGowan’s game-winning single gives Ohio State 5-4 extra-inning win against Georgetown

Ohio State Utility player Noah McGowan (4) hits the ball foul during the sixth inning of Ohio State’s 2-1 win against Cal State Northridge in extra innings on Friday, March 16, 2018 at Nick Swisher field in Bill Davis Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Credit: Ebo Amissah-Aggrey | Lantern Reporter

Ohio State junior second baseman Brady Cherry stood tall after a game-tying double in the bottom of the 10th inning, but was soon running again. Sophomore right fielder Noah McGowan chopped a 2-0 fastball through the hole on the left side of the infield sending Cherry down the baseline and around third base.

Cherry scored the game-clinching run with ease, and the Buckeyes overcame the Georgetown Hoyas in a 5-4 extra-inning thriller.

“I was just trying to get down the line,” McGowan said. “I just try to hit the ball hard and let whatever happen happen after that.”

Ohio State’s offense was sputtering the entire game. Through eight innings, the Buckeyes (16-7) stranded 10 runners in scoring position. But the crowd at Bill Davis Stadium rose as a ball off the bat of senior left fielder Tyler Cowles flew high into a cold March sky that had blown balls back toward the fence all game. This one cleared the left field fence, knocked in two runs and tied the game at three in the bottom of the ninth inning.

“I was literally just trying to get a hit,” Cowles said. “[Georgetown pitcher Matt Randolph] ended up hanging a changeup and I just put a barrel on it.”

Freshman shortstop Eddie McCabe delivered a lead-taking single, knocking freshman right fielder James Gabor in from third base with two outs in the 10th inning to put Georgetown (6-16) up 4-3.

That was McCabe’s second RBI of the game.

In the top of the fourth inning with runners on the corners and no outs, he smacked a ball on the left side of the infield. Ohio State junior shortstop Kobie Foppe slid smoothly into a backhanded stop before flipping the ball to second baseman Brady Cherry. McCabe was called safe, despite Ohio State head coach Greg Beals arguing the call, and the game’s first run scored.

Georgetown scored an additional run in the inning with two outs on an infield single by sophomore center fielder Ryan Davis.

With senior Seth Kinker on the mound for the Buckeyes in the eighth inning, Georgetown senior second baseman Jake Bernstein looped a single into left field that went under Cowles’ glove and into the corner. Bernstein advanced to third on the play, then scored on sophomore first baseman Freddy Achecar III’s dribbler down the first-base line to give Georgetown a 3-1 lead.

“You’ve just gotta take care of the baseball,” Beals said. “It’s good that it happened and we won because now [Cowles] knows when he does his drill work he’s gotta make sure he’s clean.”

Redshirt senior pitcher Adam Niemeyer started for Ohio State, going five innings with two earned runs, five strikeouts and one walk.

Niemeyer relied on his fastball early early and mixed in a changeup. He struck out four batters in a row between the first and second innings. Kinker entered in the seventh inning in relief of Yianni Pavlopoulos and delivered four innings with one earned run for his fourth win of the year.

“I felt a little bad for [Pavlopoulos],” Beals said. “But on the other hand we thought that we had gotten to the point in the game where Kinker could take us to the finish line.”

Georgetown junior Jack Cushing, using a strong fastball, struck out four Ohio State batters before he lost command of the strike zone toward the end of the third inning. He finished with one earned run and six walks after 4.1 innings.

Foppe, who had two putouts and five assists, was a bright spot for an otherwise spotty Ohio State defense. The Buckeyes committed two errors compared to Georgetown’s single error.

Ohio State junior catcher Jacob Barnwell cut down both Hoyas attempting to steal, despite Georgetown’s 93 percent success rate on stolen bases this season.

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