It is rare that a team’s quality control coordinator would receive the game ball after a big win, but that is exactly what happened in Ohio State’s 6-4 win against Hawaii Thursday.
Junior pitcher Andrew Magno was on the mound for the save, but it was a save that came in the most bizarre way. Trailing 6-3 in the ninth, a two-out single brought home two runners for the Rainbow Warriors.
It appeared the Ohio State lead would be reduced to one run with a runner on first, but the game was called after the runner from second missed the bag rounding third.
Magno credited Kirby Pellant, the quality control coordinator, for pointing out the error.
“Kirby had the call on that, so I gave him the game ball after the game,” Magno said. “Good eyes on Pellant.”
Ohio State (11-10) defeated Hawaii (9-12) 6-4 Thursday. Powered by big-time pitching from freshman pitcher Garrett Burhenn and Magno, Ohio State was able to keep Hawaii at bay long enough to produce insurance runs late in the game.
Burhenn allowed two runs in an inefficient first inning, but settled down to pitch seven innings to move to 4-1 on the season.
“He was definitely able to settle down a little bit and pitch to the bottom of the zone and get his pitches working,” sophomore catcher Dillon Dingler said.
Magno was asked to come in the eighth inning, as Ohio State clung to a one-run lead. With two runners on and no outs the lefty was able to produce three-straight outs to maintain the lead.
The pressure is not something that Magno shies away from.
“I love it. It’s really fun,” Magno said. “I think the first one I had against Florida Gulf Coast just set the precedent for the rest of them.”
Magno earned a one-inning save in a 2-0 victory over Florida Gulf Coast back on Feb. 18.
Dingler made his first start since injuring his hamate bone on Feb. 20. Dingler produced two hits, an RBI and a steal in the win.
“[His] presence and production were huge for us,” head coach Greg Beals said. “It’s awfully nice to write Dingler’s name in the lineup.”
Down 2-0 after one inning, Ohio State redshirt junior second baseman Matt Carpenter drove in the first run of the game with a triple.
On the next at bat, senior left fielder Brady Cherry recorded his team-high 18th RBI of the season with a double off the wall to tie the game 2-2. With runners on the corners and one out, Dingler poked a sacrifice fly ball out to right field to give the Buckeyes a 3-2 lead after one inning.
Ohio State freshman third baseman Nick Erwin was able to record the first hit of his career with a two-out RBI single to make the score 4-3 in favor of Ohio State in the fourth inning.
Hawaii sophomore pitcher Jeremy Wu-Yelland would finish the game with four runs allowed in four innings.
Ohio State’s pitching continued its success in the sixth inning, but with the help of the defense.. A diving play by junior first baseman Conner Pohl to record the first out was topped the very next play by a spectacular backhanded play and throw from Erwin at third.
The offense backed up Ohio State’s pitching, as redshirt sophomore designated hitter Brent Todys was able to drive insurance run, with a triple that landed on the third-base line in right field.
The Buckeyes continued to do damage with two outs, as freshman center fielder Nolan Clegg made the score 6-3 after a single to right field.
“You can’t put a value on two-out hits,” Beals said. “They either mark the scoreboard, or you go out to play defense without any runs.”
Ohio State will return to the field at 5:05 p.m. Friday for the second game against Hawaii.