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Baseball: Early innings determined outcomes in Ohio State’s split series against Bethune-Cookman

Ohio State assistant coach Chris Holick (6) embraces and greets players after the top of the fifth inning in Ohio State’s 2-1 win against Cal State Northridge in extra innings on Mar. 16 in Bill Davis Stadium. Credit: Ebo Amissah-Aggrey | Lantern Reporter

Early starts dictated success in Daytona, Florida, as the Ohio State baseball team (7-5) split its four-game series against Bethune-Cookman (5-6).

Game 1

A comeback fell short for the Buckeyes in Florida on Friday.  

Despite an 11-strikeout game from redshirt freshman pitcher Seth Lonsway, Ohio State (5-4) came up short against Bethune-Cookman (4-4), losing 4-3. Lonsway had the most strikeouts by an Ohio State pitcher in nine years in the losing effort.

Ohio State then-junior Alex Wimmers struck out 11 batters back in 2010 in a game against Minnesota.

Junior pitcher Anthony Maldonado allowed only three hits and one run in seven innings of work for the Wildcats for his first win of the season.

Bethune-Cookman redshirt senior center fielder Zach Spivey got a two-out hit with the bases loaded to drive in two runs in the bottom of the second inning. The Wildcats would add two more runs to balloon the lead to 4-0.

Ohio State surged late with a two-run single by freshman third baseman Zach Dezenzo in the bottom of the ninth inning to reduce the deficit to one run.

Redshirt senior pitcher Brandon Wilkes recorded the last out for the Wildcats to earn his second save of the season.

Game 2

The Buckeyes bounced back with their third shutout win of the season.

Ohio State (6-4) defeated Bethune-Cookman (4-5) by a score of 6-0. Freshman pitcher Garrett Burhenn earned his second win of the season in 6 1/3 innings of work.

Despite allowing 10 hits, the Buckeyes turned three double plays to prevent any damage on the scoreboard.

The baserunning for Ohio State made an impact as well, with a season-high four stolen bases.

After scoring two runs in the first inning, the Buckeyes never looked back. Junior right fielder Dominic Canzone produced three hits and an RBI in the win.

Senior pitcher Tyler Krull was given the loss for the Wildcats.

Game 3

An explosive showing from the bats helped Ohio State to its second straight win.

The Buckeyes (7-4) beat Bethune-Cookman (4-6) by a score of 16-9 on Sunday, the most runs the Buckeyes have scored in a game this season.

Five different Buckeyes had multiple-RBI games, including a three-RBI game from junior shortstop Noah West.

The Buckeyes pounced to a 14-1 lead before the Wildcats stepped up to hit in the bottom of the second inning.

Despite giving up his most runs this season, sophomore pitcher Griffan Smith earned his third win in 2019. Smith had six earned runs in five innings of work.

Junior pitcher Bryan Melendez was given his first loss of the season for the Wildcats.

Game 4

Ohio State lost the series finale to split the series with Bethune-Cookman.

The Buckeyes (7-5) could not overcome an early deficit to the Wildcats (5-6) in their 8-3 loss. Missed opportunities and free baserunners plagued the Buckeyes throughout the game.

Although seven runs were scored during junior pitcher Jake Vance’s time of the mound, only two counted as earned runs against him after a six-run second inning fueled by an error and a flyball lost in the sun.

The Buckeyes also allowed seven walks in the contest, tying the season-high for walks previously set in both of the Texas A&M Corpus Christi games.

Senior first baseman Danny Rodriguez drove in three RBIs for the Wildcats.

Vance fell to 1-1 on the year, and Jordan Pinto earned his second win of the season.

Ohio State takes on Furman in Greenville, South Carolina as part of the Greenville Drive First Pitch Invitational. The game is set for 6 p.m. Friday.

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