Taking on a nationally-ranked opponent in front of a national audience by way of the Big Ten Network, Ohio State commenced a big season ending nine-game homestand with a contest against No. 30 Georgia Tech. With hopes that a successful run against four ranked teams would shore up a berth in the NCAA Tournament, the first of two games with the Yellow Jackets showed the Bucks have work to do before rubbing elbows against the big boys as Ohio State (32-15) fell to Georgia Tech (30-18) 9-2.
In 19.0 innings over his last four starts freshman right-handed pitcher Jake Post scattered nine hits, yielded seven runs, for earned, for a 1.89 ERA with 16 strikeouts against two walks. But Georgia Tech is not Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati, Marshall or Miami. Against a lineup with more MLB draft prospects than what he faced in his prior four starts combined, Post showed signs of being overwhelmed, struggling with control and in avoiding the barrel of bats from the Atlantic Coast Conference foe.
After a game-opening fly out, Post plunked the next batter, then saw Yellow Jacket center fielder Brandon Thomas steal second base, the first of four successful swipes for Georgia Tech. A second consecutive plunking was delivered to right fielder Daniel Palka before an RBI-double put the guests in front 1-0 four batters in. Post would limit further damage, surrendering only a sacrifice fly to send the game to the home-half of the first down 2-0.
Where Post struggled, his classmate counterpart Jonathan King was a buzzsaw through the Buckeye lineup.
King would record 1-2-3 innings in his first two frames, recording a strikeout in each. With the score still 2-0, senior catcher Greg Solomon led off the bottom of the third inning pulling a double down the left field line. With a runner in scoring position and no outs, the opportunity was grand for the Buckeyes to chip into the deficit. But the Buckeyes were unable to score Solomon, he only advanced to third by way of a wild pitch as a fly to left, grounder to the pitcher and liner to left ended the inning without Ohio State scoring a run.
Where Post was able to put together a 1-2-3 inning of his own in the second and work around a one-out triple in the third, Georgia Tech showed its mite in the fourth with two-out lightning, putting away the game for all intents and purposes.
Putting away the first two batters of the inning, eight-hole hitting shortstop Mott Hyde hit a double over the head of Ohio State left fielder Tim Wetzel. A single past the out-stretched arms of diving shortstop Kirby Pellant scored Hyde, which was followed by a single up the middle from left fielder Kyle Wren. Post appeared to be on his way out of the inning, again limiting the damage done, but a dribbler off the end of Thomas' bat was unable to be curtailed by a charging Jacob Bosiokovic, an E5 on the freshman that loaded the bases.
Palka entered the game with 14 home runs, a clip that leads the ACC, and after being hit by a pitch in his first two plate appearances against Post the power was on display. Sending a ball off the wall in the deepest part of Bill Davis Stadium Palka's three-run triple to center broke open the game, giving Georgia Tech a 6-0 lead through 3.5 innings.
Ohio State would not place two runners on base against King until the six inning, two hits in the inning doubling up their hit total. But Ohio State was unable to string together hits, a big blast eluding the club. By the time Ohio State managed a run, a solo home run by Bosiokovic in the seventh, it was too little, too late, trailing 7-0. Georgia Tech would tack on two more runs, Ohio State adding one more as the game ended 7-2.
Dropping to 2-1, Post allowed six runs, three earned, off six hits, one walk and three hit batters, striking out three. Red-shirt junior Tyler Giannonatti pitched 4.2 innings in relief, allowed three runs off eight hits as he struck out five. Kind improved to 5-4 with a dominant six-inning, four-hit, no-run start as he struck out five Buckeyes.
Bosiokovic led the Buckeyes at the plate with a 3-for-4 outing that included his fourth home run of the season. Ending his prep career as the two-time Ohio High School Division I Player of the Year, Bosiokovic is carrying a .292 average as Ohio State enters the final eight games of his freshman season. Wetzel collected two of the remaining four Ohio State hits, grabbing two singles.
Georgia Tech and Ohio State resume their two-game midweek series with Wednesday's 6:35 p.m. first pitch.