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Baseball: Ohio State falls to Purdue 8-2 off monster sixth inning

Ohio State then-freshman second baseman Conner Pohl bats in the bottom of the seventh inning against North Carolina Greensboro. Credit: Edward Sutelan | Assistant Sports Editor

Ohio State didn’t get the same defensive support it needed to stop Purdue the first time around.

A day after snapping the Boilermakers’ 13-game winning streak, Ohio State (32-17, 12-8 Big Ten) failed to keep the momentum going, losing 8-2 to Purdue (30-17, 14-5 Big Ten) thanks to a five-run sixth inning by the Boilermakers.

With the bases loaded in the top of the sixth inning, junior starting pitcher Ryan Feltner drilled sophomore left fielder Milo Beam to bring home a run and extend Purdue’s lead to 4-2. From there, things only got worse for Feltner with Purdue tacking on four more runs with just two total hits in the inning.

“Beam is in the batters box, [Feltner] had struck him out twice, I liked the matchup, we go 0-2, call fastball in, we’d just blown a fastball by him, and we just didn’t execute a pitch,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said.

Feltner finished with 5.2 innings pitched, having allowed six earned runs on five hits and four walks while striking out seven.

“Feltner’s a pitch away from a statistical quality start,” Beals said. “I mean, if he executes that 0-2 fastball in, strikes that guy out, leaves the bases loaded, he’s got six [innings] on the board and three runs, and that’s a quality start.”

Senior reliever Kyle Michalik replaced Feltner following the hit by pitch. Two batters later, senior shortstop Harry Shipley hit a bases-clearing double that put Purdue up 8-2 after six.

Purdue opened the scoring with a second inning RBI groundout from junior third baseman Evan Warden. Ohio State immediately followed that up with a solo home run by senior left fielder Tyler Cowles to lead off the inning.

The Buckeyes had their strongest chance to take the lead in the third inning when sophomore right fielder Dominic Canzone attempted to tag up from third on a sac fly. But Beam threw a laser to home to nail Canzone at the plate, keeping the score at 1-1.

“I got burned on that,” Beals said. “I sent him and I thought the ball was going to push to the line and going to run him sideways, and he was able to get behind it and come right there and I couldn’t get the stop sign up fast enough.”

An inning later, the Boilermakers broke the tie on an RBI single by senior designated hitter Evan Kennedy. They then doubled the lead on a wild pitch by Feltner that allowed junior first baseman Jacson McGowan to score.

After junior starting pitcher Gareth Stroh left with back-to-back singles to start the fifth inning, the Boilermakers’ bullpen shut out Ohio State for the remainder of the game, allowing only one hit across the final five innings.

“They pitched ahead in the count, they threw strikes,” Beals said. “I just think more than anything it was the momentum of the game was in their factor today.”

Freshman reliever Matt Moore had a three-inning save for the Boilermakers to end the game and secure the victory.

Ohio State and Purdue face off in the final game of the series at 1:05 p.m. Sunday at Bill Davis Stadium.

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