The combined pitching staffs of Ohio State and Youngstown State dragged on a Wednesday night matchup for three hours and 26 minutes, struggling to find the strike zone while issuing a combined 17 walks.
The difference for Ohio State (25-10, 6-3 Big Ten) was its ability to strike out batters, 15 in total, with the team cruising to a 12-3 victory against Youngstown State. (10-23, 7-7 Horizon).
“We can’t create that type of help for our opponent if we’re gonna beat a really good team,” head coach Greg Beals said.
Youngstown State’s control issues began early. Junior starter Kip DeShields walked four batters, threw a wild pitch and surrendered three runs on one hit while recording just one out before being pulled.
The Penguins’ pitching struggles continued in the third, when the Buckeyes strung together five straight hits to extend their lead to 6-2.
Youngstown State’s pitching staff finished with 10 walks, a hit batter, four wild pitches and a balk.
Ohio State sophomore first baseman Conner Pohl extended his hitting streak to 15 games, swatting a three-run home run in the fourth. He finished the day 2-for-4.
“[I’m] not chasing any off-speed, just playing my game honestly,” Pohl said. “I’m a fastball hitter and just seeing fastballs to hit.”
Youngstown State trailed the game by seven runs late in the game and had back-to-back innings with the bases loaded, but both times failed to capitalize.
Ohio State sophomore Jake Vance got off to a rocky start on the mound with a 43-pitch first inning, but smoothed things out in the second and finished with one earned run and five strikeouts in three innings.
Redshirt sophomore second baseman Matt Carpenter recorded his first career hit in the victory.
“You could tell by the reaction from the dugout tonight, that tells you what type of teammate he is,” Beals said. “Speaks to the talent that’s up and down the lineup and throughout that locker room. There’s guys that aren’t getting regular playing time that can play.”
Redshirt senior Austin Woodby pitched a pair of innings for the Buckeyes and received his first win of the season.
Even with the 12-run performance on Wednesday, Ohio State had the opportunity to do more damage against Youngstown State. The Buckeyes left 12 runners on base while the Penguins left 14 runners on base and scored only three runs.
After scoring 31 runs in their past two games, the Buckeyes will begin a three-game set with Indiana on Friday.