With a second loss in the Nashville regional Sunday, the Ohio State baseball team’s season came to an end.
The Buckeyes (36-26) fell 10-5 at the hands of Indiana State (43-17) to end their 2019 campaign, which saw both the lows of two five-game losing streaks and the highs of a Big Ten title.
A four-run sixth inning catalyzed the Sycamore victory Sunday, with RBI singles from senior center fielder Luke Fegen and senior shortstop Clay Dungan vaulting Indiana State to a 7-4 lead. It tacked on another run the following inning.
Ohio State pieced together a three-hit seventh to cut the edge back to 8-5, but couldn’t muster anything more after Indiana State sophomore reliever Jake Ridgeway entered to close the final 2.2 innings. The Sycamores, meanwhile, utilized an Ohio State error to add two insurance runs in the ninth.
Prior to the Sycamores’ monster sixth inning, the game was a tight affair with neither team gaining more than two runs’ separation.
Five combined runs were scored in the opening inning, the last of which came on a two-run home run by Ohio State junior first baseman Conner Pohl.
Indiana State redshirt senior designated hitter Joe Boyle blasted a longball of his own in the fourth, at that time cutting the Ohio State lead to 4-3.
Sophomore pitcher Griffan Smith started for the Buckeyes, tallying the team’s final loss after allowing seven earned runs in 5.1 innings.
Now with two losses in the double-elimination regional, Ohio State’s season is over. It was not expected to make the NCAA tournament, but earned an automatic bid after winning the Big Ten tournament, despite being its seventh seed.
Its first loss in the NCAA tournament came at the hands of No. 2 Vanderbilt by an 8-2 final, and the Commodores will play the Sycamores for the regional title. Should Indiana State win the first game between the two teams, a second will be played.
The Buckeyes beat McNeese State Saturday in a 13-inning slugfest to set up the match-up with Indiana State.
Ohio State baseball’s next season begins in Feb 2020. Key departing seniors include left fielder and team home run leader Brady Cherry, center fielder and captain Ridge Winand, mid-week starting pitcher Jake Vance and multi-year bullpen contributor Thomas Waning.