Despite the cold temperatures, the Ohio State baseball team heated up to end itsfive-game losing streak in its home opener.
Ohio State (8-9) routed Lipscomb (9-7) 14-3. The bats came alive for the Buckeyes, producing 18 hits, a season-high, and two home runs.
“I told [the team] after the game, ‘That’s us. That’s what we’re capable of. That’s what we can do,’” head coach Greg Beals said.
The Buckeyes blew the game open with a seven-run fifth inning. Four of those runs were scored with two outs, and the lead was extended to 13-1.
Freshman third baseman Zach Dezenzo erupted with two home runs in the game, his second and third of the year, adding three RBIs. “Both those pitches were up and out,” Dezenzo said. “Just tried to put a good swing on it and hit something hard.”
Freshman pitcher Garrett Burhenn shined against a Lipscomb team that came into the game batting .297. Burhenn allowed three runs, one of which was earned, and two hits in six innings of work.
“It feels really good to be back at home and being able to start our home series and set the tone for the weekend,” Burhenn said. “I feel like we all did a great job. It was a good team win.”
Burhenn struck out five, while walking two.
The solid pitching was continued by Ohio State redshirt senior Thomas Waning and junior Joe Gahm. The pair struck out three and allowed only one hit in two innings of relief.
With two runners on via walk, Ohio State junior first baseman Conner Pohl opened the scoring with a two-out single in the bottom of the first inning, knocking in junior shortstop Noah West. Pohl would finish the game with three RBIs.
West recorded his first two stolen bases of the season. The Buckeyes increased their season stolen base total from five to eight.
Lipscomb came into the game with 25 stolen bases, but were unable to steal a bag in the series opener.
Lipscomb senior pitcher Chris Kachmar would go on to struggle recording outs in an efficient fashion. He was pulled in the fourth inning after recording only nine outs on 93 pitches.
Kachmar came into the game with a 3-0 record and seven walks allowed in four starts. The starter earned his first loss of the season and had an uncharacteristic four walks allowed in only three innings pitched.
After a pair of singles by Ohio State junior right fielder Dominic Canzone and senior left fielder Brady Cherry and a walk to redshirt sophomore catcher Brent Todys, the bases were loaded in the third inning. A 10-pitch at bat to fifth-year senior designated hitter Nate Romans ended with a two-run, two-out single to right field to balloon the lead to 4-0.
“I was just trying to fight, because I was down to two strikes both at bats. Just fighting off his good pitches and then put a good swing on it,” Romans said.
Romans finished the game with three RBIs on two hits.
The first hit surrendered by Burhenn came by way of a solo shot in the fifth inning over the left field wall. It was junior Lipscomb junior shortstop Brian Moore’s first home run of the season.
Dezenzo hit his second home run of the day when he skied a two-run bomb over the right field fence in the fifth inning. After a triple by redshirt senior center fielder Ridge Winand, West hit him in with a one-out double to extend the lead to 9-1.
The Bisons drew more blood in the sixth inning as sophomore outfielder Carson Wright brought in two runs on a two-out single to make the game 13-3.
Winand scored his third run of the game on a wild pitch in the sixth inning to end the scoring for the Buckeyes.
Burhenn moved to 3-1 on the year with the win.
“I think we’re really confident in this home stretch here that we can get things turned around the right way,” Dezenzo said.
The Buckeyes will play their second game against Lipscomb at 3:05 p.m. Saturday.