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Ohio State baseball heads back down south for the Snowbird Classic

After a good showing that included a win over nationally-ranked Coastal Carolina last weekend, the baseball Bucks will play three in the Sunshine State against Seton Hall, Illinois State, and Boston College.

Ohio State Athletics

One out. That's all that separated Ohio State baseball from having a great showing at the Caravelle Resort Baseball at the Beach tournament last weekend. The Buckeyes were one out away from a second victory over nationally-ranked Coastal Carolina and a three-win tournament in South Carolina, but ultimately fell short.

As it is, Ohio State had a good weekend, going 2-2 against solid competition and playing the aforementioned Chanticleers right to the brink of a sweep. Head coach Greg Beals and his squad are now 5-2-1 in 2016, and received votes in the NCBWA poll this week for the first time this season.

Senior co-captain Nick Sergakis continued to swing a hot bat, extending his season-opening hitting streak to eight games. The Columbus native is batting .455, and smacked his first home run of the season against his former school, Coastal Carolina, in Saturday's 6-4 win.

Freshman Brady Cherry also showed well in Saturday's victory over the Chanticleers, hitting the first two homers of his collegiate career and driving in three runs.

Jacob Bosiokovic, the redshirt junior who got off to a scalding start opening weekend, came back down to earth a bit in Myrtle Beach, recording just a single hit in 17 at-bats. But the one he got was huge, a two-run home run against Liberty that helped propel the Buckeyes to a comeback victory.

Ohio State was without junior center fielder Troy Montgomery for the final three games of the weekend after a collision with second baseman L. Grant Davis on Friday put him into the concussion protocol. The Buckeye leadoff man, who has been setting the table to the tune of a .316 batting average and .500 on-base percentage, should be back this weekend.

On the mound, junior lefty Tanner Tully put in a second straight solid outing to start the season, allowing two runs in 5.1 innings in the win against the Chanticleers, striking out a career-high nine batters. Freshman Ryan Feltner also pitched well against Coastal, yielding just one run and striking out six in five innings for a no-decision.

Another trip down south awaits Ohio State this weekend, as the team travels to Port Charlotte, Florida to participate in the Snowbird Classic. The Buckeyes will see Seton Hall, Illinois State, and Boston College in the Sunshine State, as they look to capitalize on last weekend's momentum.

Seton Hall Pirates

Seton Hall enters the weekend with a 3-5 record after consecutive four-game series against Missouri and Florida International to open the season. The Pirates, picked to finish third in the Big East in the preseason, began the year receiving votes in the national polls, and will be a good test for Ohio State.

Sophomore right fielder Ryan Ramiz is hitting .357 to lead a Seton Hall offensive attack that is averaging just a shade over three runs per game. Senior Derek Jenkins in center field is the leadoff man, batting .286 and already 5-for-5 in stolen bases, and juniors Mike Caputo and Mikael-Ali Mogues on the right side of the infield have been supplying the pop, as each is slugging .500 thus far.

Taking the ball for the Pirates against the Buckeyes will be sophomore Andrew Politi, who will be making the first start of his collegiate career. The right-hander has appeared out of the bullpen twice this season, allowing two runs in five innings of work.

Illinois State Redbirds

After losing three of four to nationally-ranked Oregon in Eugene last weekend, Illinois State sits 2-5 on the young season. The win over the Ducks on Saturday was the Redbirds' first over a ranked opponent in nine years.

Illinois State has averaged seven runs per game in the young season, and boasts four regulars hitting .290 or better. Freshman shortstop Owen Miller is off to a fast start in his collegiate career, leading the team with a .333 average. Senior first baseman Brian Rodemoyer anchors the middle of the order, hitting .318 with two home runs, 10 RBIs, and a .682 slugging percentage.

On the bump, senior Steve Heilenbach is coming off a great showing in earning the win over Oregon. The righty went 8.1 innings, limiting the Ducks to just two runs on four hits. For the season, Heilenbach is 2-0 with a 1.35 earned run average, sporting a WHIP of 0.75.

Boston College Eagles

Undefeated Boston College will provide the Buckeyes with a stern test. The Eagles are 7-0 and outscoring opponents 52-16 so far in 2016. Holding the opposition to a collective .193 batting average, head coach Mike Gambino leans on his pitching staff heavily.

Sophomore second baseman Jake Palomaki is the leadoff man, hitting .310 with three stolen bases thus far. Fellow sophomore Donovan Casey anchors the middle of the lineup, hitting .455 and leading the team with 10 hits, while junior catcher Nick Sciortino has hit a blazing .563, and senior first baseman Joe Cronin leads the team with seven RBIs and slashes .292/.375/.419.

Pitching for BC against Ohio State will be senior Jesse Adams. A native of Maumee, Ohio, Adams is 1-0 on the season, having allowed six runs in eight innings. The lefty has walked six, struck out six, and held opponents to a .267 batting average.

Game times and probable pitching matchups

Friday, Mar. 4, 11 a.m. ET vs. Seton Hall

Tully (2-0, 1.59 ERA) vs. Politi (0-0, 3.60)

Saturday, Mar. 5, 2:30 p.m. ET vs. Illinois State

Adam Niemeyer (0-1, 5.73) vs. Heilenbach (2-0, 1.35)

Sunday, Mar. 6, 1 p.m. ET vs. Boston College

John Havird (0-0, 5.25) vs. Adams (1-0, 6.75)