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Baseball: Two key home runs propel Ohio State past Youngstown State

Ohio State junior infielder Conner Pohl (39) runs toward third base after a home run during the game against Michigan on April 12. Ohio State won 10-5. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

After trailing 4-0 through four innings Tuesday against Youngstown State, the Buckeyes battled back to even the score at 4-4. All that would be for not if they couldn’t claim victory.

Junior right fielder Dominic Canzone, team leader in batting average, stolen bases and home runs, blasted his fifteenth long ball this season to give the Buckeyes a 6-4 lead.

Ohio State (28-24) held on from there for a 7-4 victory against the Penguins (12-38) to capture some momentum before its final series of the season against Purdue.

Two outs into the fifth inning, the Buckeyes couldn’t muster anything against Youngstown State redshirt freshman pitcher Jon Snyder, and trailed 4-0 as a result.

Snyder fanned six Ohio State hitters to get to that spot. Senior left fielder Brady Cherry had just struck out swinging in a one-out, bases loaded opportunity and it seemed the efforts to finally break through may be squandered.

Instead, junior first baseman Conner Pohl came through with a crucial grand slam home run.

Suddenly it was a tie ballgame.

Canzone and Pohl’s home runs didn’t place the Buckeyes over-the-top yet, however.

The arms in Ohio State’s bullpen were scarce for the midweek game, and it called upon junior right-hander Joe Gahm, who’s pitched the fewest innings for the staff this season.

He took over for junior starter Jake Vance and threw 2.2 shutout innings.

A collaborative effort from freshmen Brayden Root and Mitch Milheim closed out the affair for the Buckeye bullpen. The latter earned a save and together the three relievers combined for six shutout innings.

Control issues on the mound helped place the Buckeyes in hot water early.

Junior Jake Vance started on the hill for Ohio State, and immediately pegged Youngstown State sophomore outfielder Logan Nasonti. Sophomore left fielder Jeff Wehler singled him home three batters later to score the game’s first run.

With the Penguins still ahead 1-0 in the third, Vance hit a second batter and walked another.

Wehler stepped to the plate and delivered a three-run bomb that extended the advantage to 4-0, before the Buckeyes overcame the deficit.

Ohio State travels to West Lafayette, Indiana to play Purdue in its final regular season series this weekend. It currently sits a half game behind Rutgers for the last spot in the Big Ten tournament.

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