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Baseball: Home runs propel Ohio State to 9-4 win against Toledo

Ohio State sophomore catcher Dillon Dingler (10) swings at a ball during the game against Hawaii on March 23. Ohio State won 7-5. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

Ohio State, once again, showed its ability to hit for power as the team recorded its fifth multiple-home run game at home this season to bury Toledo.

Ohio State (14-11) defeated Toledo (9-13) 9-4. The Buckeyes were able to claim seven of nine games in its homestand and launched 12 home runs in the process.

In the previous eight games, Ohio State had hit .327 and scored an average of seven runs a game. The Buckeyes were able to carry their offensive success into Wednesday’s game.

Ohio State produced nine hits and two home runs in its win.

With two men on base, freshman shortstop Zach Dezenzo battled at the plate with two outs in the second inning. On the eighth pitch of the at bat, Dezenzo hit an opposite-field home run to put Ohio State up four runs.

“With every at bat he’s growing as a player,” head coach Greg Beals said.

Dezenzo hit four home runs during the homestand, giving him five this season.

The nine-game homestand allowed two other Buckeyes to excel at the plate. The outfielder duo of junior right fielder Dominic Canzone and senior left fielder Brady Cherry has been a staple for the Ohio State offense.

“Those are the guys we need to be productive for this offense to really be clicking,” Beals said.

Canzone hit .345 through the first eight home games this season.

He added three hits in five at bats against Toledo. The co-captain finished with four RBI.

Cherry has also enjoyed hitting at Bill Davis Stadium. Cherry had hit .469 and recorded nine RBI heading into Wednesday’s contest.

He finished with  one hit in three at bats against Toledo.

Ohio State threatened first after a pair of hits put runners in scoring position in the first inning. After an error at first base and a wild pitch, the Buckeyes took a 2-0 lead.

This would end the day for freshman pitcher Jamie Myers, who was only able to record two outs in his second start of the season. Myers has struggled this season with nine walks allowed to only seven strikeouts in 10.2 innings pitched.

Beals anticipated the Rockets would use a whole-staff approach to the ball game.

“I don’t know how long [Myers] would have gone, but we strung together quality at bats and put pressure on him.” Beals said.

Before the conclusion of the game, Toledo would rotate through a total of eight pitchers.

A pair of hits and a hit batsman loaded the bases with no outs for the Rockets in the second inning. Junior pitcher Jake Vance was able to respond with two consecutive strikeouts, but a hit to center field by redshirt senior center fielder Brad Boss brought in two runs to tie the game.

Vance would go on to have his longest outing of the season with six innings pitched. His previous high came on March 12, where he went 5.1 innings against Wofford.

“I needed that,” Vance said. “I’ve been trying to work on getting my innings up a little bit.”

Vance finished with six strikeouts, tying his season high, and two earned runs in his second win of the season.  

Beals emphasized the importance of getting that quality start and how it protected the bullpen moving into this weekend.

“The guys that pitched tonight are all guys we wanted to get work in order to be ready for the weekend,” Beals said. “We didn’t tax ourselves at all leading into the weekend.”

Canzone’s second hit of the game brought home freshman outfielder Nolan Clegg to give Ohio State the 3-2 lead after two innings. Dezenzo would complete the second-inning scoring with a three-run blast to right field.

With the score at 7-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Canzone launched a deep home run over the right field wall to add two more runs. This was Canzone’s team-high seventh home run of the season.

Toledo was able to add two more runs, but it never threatened to make the game close.

“Right now, I think we are clicking on all cylinders, at least for tonight,” Canzone said.

Ohio State will hit the road again to open Big Ten play. The Buckeyes will play a three-game series against Rutgers starting at 2 p.m Friday.

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