Hawaii did something on Sunday that it was unable to do in the previous three games of the series: limit Ohio State’s potent offense.
The Buckeyes had scored six or more runs in every game of its five-game win streak, but a season-best performance from Hawaii junior pitcher Logan Pouelsen brought the scoring streak and win streak to an end.
Ohio State (13-11) was overwhelmed 15-3 by Hawaii (10-14). Behind 19 hits, including a three-RBI game from senior third baseman Ethan Lopez, the Rainbow Warriors were able to support the team’s best pitching of the series.
“The backside hits they got seemed to find holes,” head coach Greg Beals said. “I think it was just their day.”
Pouelsen came into the game with a season-long outing of three innings in his only start of the season.
He eclipsed that performance in his seven-inning start against Ohio State. The junior allowed only four hits and two earned runs against an Ohio State offense that had excelled at home.
Ohio State freshman pitcher Will Pfennig’s first collegiate start was spoiled by Hawaii’s hitting barrage.
Lopez earned all three of his RBIs on a three-run home run in the top of the fourth inning, blasing an 0-1 pitch over the left field wall to make the score 10-1.
Ohio State shuffled through three freshman pitchers throughout the course of the game. Pfennig was followed by freshman pitcher Mitch Milheim, who allowed six runs in two innings.
The final freshman to visit the mound was freshman pitcher TJ Brock, who surrendered four runs in 2.2 innings.
Within their struggles, lessons were learned, according to Beals.
“I think they learned that pitch quality is got to be better,” Beals said.
After falling behind 0-2 in the count, junior right fielder Dominic Canzone fought back to earn a walk to start off the first inning for the Buckeyes. This extended Canzone’s on-base streak to 20 games, the longest of his career.
Canzone was able to successfully steal second base, and a throwing error on the throw down to second allowed him to advance to third. Redshirt junior second baseman Matt Carpenter was able to hit an RBI single up the middle to open up the scoring.
After a double off the wall and a successful bunt, the Rainbow Warriors had runners on the corners with no outs in the second inning. A hard grounder by freshman second baseman Dallas Duarte to second base resulted in a double play, but Hawaii was able to bring home the tying run.
A pair of two-out walks allowed Hawaii to threaten again, and freshman right fielder Tyler Best was able to provide an RBI single on the first pitch from Pfennig.
A throwing error on a pickoff attempt allowed another run to score and a runner to advance to third. Hawaii would score their fourth run of the inning after a hard hit to freshman shortstop Zach Dezenzo could not be fielded to end the inning.
Pfennig would end his first collegiate start after just two innings. The freshman allowed four runs and struck out one batter.
After a fielding error put the leadoff man on, a two-out double by Duarte pushed the score to 5-1. Senior shortstop Maaki Yamazaki ripped a single up the middle to bring in Duarte and extend Hawaii’s lead to five runs going into the home half of the third inning.
After a ground ball up the middle resulted in a force out at second, runners were on the corners with one out in the fourth inning for the Rainbow Warriors. Redshirt sophomore first baseman Alex Baeza was able to knock in Hawaii’s seventh run of the game with a single ripped to centerfield.
Lopez was able to clear the bases on a three-run home run lifted over the left field wall. The second four-run inning of the game for the Rainbow Warriors made the score 10-1.
With runners on second and third with one down in the fifth, a ground out followed by an infield single allowed Hawaii to scratch across two more runs. This marked the fourth straight inning of two or more runs scored by the Rainbow Warriors.
Singles from freshman third baseman Nick Erwin and Canzone began the bottom of the sixth inning for Ohio State. With one out, senior left fielder Brady Cherry’s RBI by way of a sacrifice fly to right field was able to end Hawaii’s unanswered run streak of 12.
After a leadoff single by Duarte opened the seventh inning, Yamazaki recorded his third hit of the game and put runners on first and third with no outs. A sacrifice fly from Best and a wild pitch would bring across a pair of runs for Hawaii.
Ohio State showed its most life on offense all day when the team loaded the bases with one down in the bottom of the ninth inning. Senior catcher Andrew Fishel was able to lift a flyball to left field to bring in Ohio State’s third and final run of the contest.
“We need to bounce back and have a good, quality game on Wednesday and roll that into conference play,” Beals said.
The Buckeyes will return to the field at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday against Toledo.