After suffering its first loss of the season on Friday afternoon to Duke, the Ohio State baseball team was able to pull off a big upset on Saturday, knocking off No. 22 Coastal Carolina, 6-4, at the Caravelle Resort Baseball at the Beach tournament. The victory gives the Buckeyes a signature win in the early season, and keeps them in position to emerge from the weekend with a winning record.
Ohio State is now 4-1-1 on the year, and plays Liberty on Sunday before wrapping things up on Monday with a second matchup against the Chanticleers.
Freshman Brady Cherry, making just the second start of his young career, hit his first two home runs and drove in three, and senior Nick Sergakis hit a three-run homer of his own to give the Buckeyes all the offense they needed.
T4 | HOME RUN @SurgieeBaby!!! The OSU captain puts the Buckeyes ahead by 1️⃣.— Ohio State Baseball (@OhioState_BASE) February 27, 2016
OSU 3, No. 19 CCU 2#GoBucks pic.twitter.com/ZP6ONn556z
Starter Tanner Tully put in his second solid start to begin the season, tossing 5.1 innings in a winning effort. The southpaw allowed three runs, two earned, while scattering nine hits, striking out nine, and not issuing a walk.
Tully cruised through the first two innings, striking out five Coastal Carolina hitters, but the Chanticleers got on the board first with a two-run third inning. Freshman catcher Cameron Pearcy hit the first pitch he saw out of the park, the fifth home run allowed by Ohio State pitching in the past two days. Then three straight singles and a passed ball resulted in junior shortstop Michael Paez crossing the plate for an unearned run and a 2-0 lead.
Coastal Carolina starter Alex Cunningham had similar early success to Tully, retiring the first nine batters he faced. But the wheels came off in the fourth, as the junior righty walked four batters and surrendered a three-run home run to Sergakis. Three batters later, Cherry hit a two-run homer of his own, the first of his career, for a 5-2 Buckeye advantage.
T4 | FIRST career ! @brady_cherry launches a two-run shot to LF.— Ohio State Baseball (@OhioState_BASE) February 27, 2016
OSU 5, No. 19 CCU 2#GoBucks pic.twitter.com/kodNoiLMrq
Cunningham's day was done at that point, after throwing just 3.2 innings, allowing five runs on two hits, with four walks and four strikeouts. The five runs scored by Ohio State were the most in any single inning thus far this season.
The Chanticleers cut it to 5-3 in the sixth, chasing Tully from the game. A pair of singles and a wild pitch put senior Tyler Chadwick in position to bring home a run with a groundout. Sophomore Seth Kinker came in out of the bullpen and ended the threat.
Cherry then smacked his second homer of the game in the top of the eighth to push the lead out to 6-3. Despite an RBI single by Coastal senior Connor Owings off of senior Michael Horejsei that cut the lead to 6-4, the Buckeyes had all the runs they needed to pull of the upset.
Sophomore Yianni Pavlopoulos got the final five outs of the game, striking out four, to earn the save.
Called strike 3️⃣!!@YIANgomes claims his first career save.— Ohio State Baseball (@OhioState_BASE) February 27, 2016
FINAL: Ohio State 6, No. 19 CCU 4#GoBucks pic.twitter.com/8Xeclihf2B
Ohio State will take the field against Liberty on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. ET in Myrtle Beach. Senior John Havird is slated to take the ball for the scarlet and gray against the Flames' Mike Stafford.