On the final day of the Historic Dodgertown Classic in Vero Beach, Ohio State baseball had another gut-wrencher on its hands. The Buckeyes played Toledo to a tie in nine innings, 5-5, as the game was called as both sides needed to catch flights home.
Ohio State once again used late-inning heroics to overcome a deficit, finishing its trip to Vero Beach, Florida with a 3-0-1 record. The Rockets ended up 0-3-1 on the weekend.
Right fielder Ronnie Dawson had a nice day, going 2-for-4 and driving in a pair of runs, while on the other side designated hitter Dan Zuchowski was 4-for-5.
Ohio State got to Toledo starter Kyle Slack right away. After center fielder Troy Montgomery was hit by a pitch to lead off the game and right fielder Jacob Bosiokovic drew a walk, right fielder Ronnie Dawson ripped a double to left-center, scoring a pair. Freshman Brady Cherry, making his first career start, followed with a sacrifice fly for the inning's third run. It was Slack's only inning of the day, as he was pulled to begin the second inning.
But the lead would not be safe. The Rockets got a run off Feltner in the second and touched him up for three runs on five hits in the third to claim a 4-3 advantage.
Feltner went four innings in his first outing, earning a no-decision. The Walsh Jesuit product yielded eight hits, allowing four runs, three earned, striking out three, and walking three.
Lefty Alex Wagner came out of the Toledo bullpen and shut the Buckeye bats down, throwing 5.2 shutout innings, allowing just four hits and striking out six.
Senior Daulton Mosbarger, a transfer from the now-defunct Akron baseball program, relieved Feltner and showed well. The lefty tossed three shutout innings, striking out six, as he kept the deficit to just one run.
In the eighth, Ohio State got things tied up. Dawson singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and moved to third on a sacrifice fly by shortstop Nick Sergakis. Designated hitter Zach Ratcliff then sent a fly ball to center and Dawson came plateward.
But an error by Sergakis turned into the go-ahead run for the Rockets in the bottom of the inning, and things were starting to look an awful like Saturday's games.
Down to their final three outs, the Buckeyes managed to load the bases after a walk to second baseman L. Grant Davis, an error on a sacrifice bunt attempt that allowed first baseman Troy Kuhn to reach base, and an intentional walk to Montgomery. Bosiokovic then sent a fly ball to center to tie things up once again. Ohio State was unable to push anything else across, though, and went to the bottom of the ninth.
Sophomore Kyle Michalik set Toledo down in order in the ninth, and the game ended in a tie. As is sometimes forgotten, the players are students and have classes to get back to. Both teams had flights to catch, so no extra innings on this day.
Next up for Ohio State is a trip to Myrtle Beach for the Coastal Carolina tournament. The Buckeyes will kick things off against Duke on Friday at 4:00 p.m. ET.