The struggles for Ohio State baseball continued on Friday night in Las Vegas. The Buckeyes fell 5-2 to UNLV in a game where the bats just couldn't come through when the team needed it most. It was the third straight loss for the scarlet and gray, who are now 6-5-1 on the season.
Ohio State had opportunities throughout the night, putting runners in scoring position in the first, second, fourth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, but failed to take advantage. The Buckeyes left twelve runners on base on the night.
The Rebels used one big inning to pull out the victory, getting to Ohio State starter Tanner Tully for all five of their runs in the fourth.
UNLV starter D.J. Myers worked around trouble all game, allowing only two runs on four hits in six innings. The righty struck out a career-high eight batters.
After threatening in the first two innings but failing to cash in, Ohio State drew first blood in the top of the third. Ronnie Dawson ripped a ball into the gap in right-center that UNLV center fielder Cody Howard somehow tracked down but couldn't haul in, allowing Dawson to make it to second. After the junior left fielder stole third, Nick Sergakis sent a ground ball to the right side of the infield to score the run.
Tully breezed through the first three innings, but the Rebels got to him in the bottom of the fourth in a big way. Payton Squier led things off with a single and moved to second on a groundout. Justin Jones followed that with an RBI double to tie the game.
After a wild pitch and a walk to Vince Taormina put runners on the corners, Tully gave up back to back doubles to Andrew Yazdanbakhsh and Nick Rodriguez. An error by Zach Ratcliff at first on a grounder off the bat of Howard allowed the fifth run of the inning to cross the plate.
Tully worked seven innings in this one, allowing five runs, four earned, on six hits. The Elkhart, Indiana native struck out seven and walked two in his first loss of the season.
Dawson did get one back in the top of the fifth when he crushed his second home run of the season, a towering shot over the wall in right-center. But Ohio State simply couldn't get a hit when it was needed.
The Rebels got three innings of shutout relief out of Larry Quaney and Ben Wright to close out the win.
The two squads will play the second game of the four-game series on Saturday at 5:05 p.m. ET. Adam Niemeyer will be on the bump for the Buckeyes against UNLV's Dean Kremer. Live streaming of the game can be found here.