Ohio State's Jacob Bosiokovic has been the talk of the young season thus far, and he kept his name front and center in the conversation on Friday. The redshirt junior right fielder went 4-for-5 with a home run, three doubles, and three RBIs to help power the Buckeyes to a 9-3 win over Seton Hall in game one of the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Florida.
Behind Bosiokovic, a 3-for-4 day from Zach Ratcliff, and solid pitching out of the bullpen, the Buckeyes improved to 6-2-1 in 2016.
After being named Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week following an opening weekend that saw him hit .412 with three home runs, eight runs scored, and nine runs batted in, Bosiokovic hit a dismal .059 with eight strikeouts in his next four games. The big day against the Pirates in the Sunshine State was a great bounce-back for Ohio State's two-hole hitter.
Seton Hall wasted no time in getting to Ohio State starter Tanner Tully, scoring a run in the top of the first inning. Left fielder Zack Weigel led off the game with a double down the right field line and third baseman Joe Podsulenko singled him home two batters later.
In the fourth, the Pirates touched up Tully for two more. A leadoff walk to first baseman Mikael-Ali Mogues and a single by right fielder Ryan Ramiz put two on with nobody out. After a sacrifice bunt put both runners in scoring position, a run-scoring groundout by center fielder Derek Jenkins brought Mogues plateward for a 2-0 lead. Catcher Chris Villa followed that up with a single that scored Ramiz and a 3-0 advantage.
Tully finished his third start of the season with three runs allowed on six hits, walking one and fanning five in 5.1 innings of work. The lefty got a no-decision after being relieved by sophomore Austin Woodby.
The Buckeyes got on the board in the bottom of the fourth, though, when Bosiokovic led things off with his fifth home run of the season. The Delaware, Ohio native entered the weekend leading the Big Ten in longballs and tied for the top spot in RBIs.
Seton Hall starter Andrew Politi seemed to settle down after Bosiokovic's homer, quickly erasing left fielder Ronnie Dawson and second baseman Nick Sergakis. But a two-out walk to catcher Jalen Washington started an Ohio State rally. Ratcliff singled back up the middle and third baseman Brady Cherry walked to load the bases and end Politi's day. Reliever Zach Prendergast then yielded a two-run single to shortstop Craig Nennig to tie the game at three.
Politi finished with a line of three runs allowed on two hits, with three walks and two strikeouts in 3.2 innings.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Buckeyes took the lead. Ratcliff collected his second single of the game back through the middle, and Cherry doubled down the line in right to put two runners in scoring position with one out. Prendergast then retired Nennig for the second out, but balked with first baseman Ryan Leffel at the plate to allow Ratcliff to trot home with the go-ahead run.
Ohio State added a couple of insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a 6-3 lead. Bosiokovic doubled for the second time, a shot off the wall in center, and Dawson walked. Sergakis then singled to load the bases, extending his season-opening hitting streak to nine games. Washington lifted a sacrifice fly to left-center to plate Bosiokovic, and Ratcliff singled for the third time to bring Dawson around.
Bosiokovic stayed scalding in the bottom of the eighth, ripping a double down the left field line, his third of the day, driving in a pair of runs. Nennig led the inning off getting hit by a pitch and Leffel got the Buckeyes' tenth hit of the game. Both came around to score on Bosiokovic's fourth hit of the day, and he would come around to score on a double by Dawson.
The bullpen trio of Woodby, senior Michael Horejsei, and sophomore Seth Kinker combined to toss 3.2 innings of no-hit ball to lock down the victory. Woodby picked up his second win of the season.
Day two in Port Charlotte will have Ohio State matched up with Illinois State. Sophomore Adam Niemeyer will be on the bump for the 2:30 p.m. ET start.