Ohio State flirted with history in the second game of Friday's doubleheader against Maryland, but fell in devastating fashion, 2-1, in ten innings. Buckeye pitching combined to no-hit the Terps through 9.2 innings, but the home team pulled off a walk-off winner to take their second game of the day.
The scarlet and gray fell to 2-3 in Big Ten play, while Maryland leapfrogged them in the standings, improving to 3-2.
Just as was the case in game one, this one was highlighted by the pitching. Ohio State senior John Havird was simply masterful, changing speeds and displaying pinpoint control in eight innings of no-hit ball. The lefty gave up one unearned run while striking out seven, walking two, and hitting a pair of batters, but ultimately came away with a no-decision.
Redshirt sophomore Yianni Pavlopoulos took the loss, as Maryland tied it in the ninth and won it in the tenth. It was the second straight blown save for the Buckeye closer, who gave up the game-winning RBI single to Madison Nickens with two outs in the final frame.
Nickens went 1-for-4 in the game, scoring a run and driving one in to will his team to victory.
Havird's counterpart, Brian Shaffer, matched him pitch for pitch. The righty tossed seven innings, allowing a mere one run on five hits while striking out five. Shaffer also did not factor in the decision.
After more than 15 innings on the day, the Buckeyes finally scored their first run. Senior third baseman Nick Sergakis was hit by a pitch and stole second, then moved to third on a single by his fellow co-captain, junior catcher Jalen Washington. Freshman DH Brady Cherry then lifted a fly ball deep to left for the RBI sacrifice fly and a 1-0 lead.
Ohio State had a chance to add insurance in the top of the eighth with runners on second and third and one out, but failed to capitalize against Terps' reliever Robert Galligan. It would come back to haunt the Buckeyes.
The bottom of the ninth began with Havird hitting his second batter of the game, Nickens, and being pulled for reliever Michael Horejsei. Horejsei did his job, inducing a loud fly out by Maryland's Nick Dunn for the first out of the inning.
Closer Yianni Pavlopoulos took over after that and the unthinkable happened. With two outs, Pavlopoulos struck out Nick Cieri, but the ball got away from Washington and Cieri reached first base safely while Nickens trotted into third. Up next, Kevin Biondic hit a hot shot to third which Sergakis knocked down but then threw away trying to end the game, and Nickens knotted the game at 1-1.
With two outs in the bottom of the tenth, the Terrapins finally broke up the no-hitter on a single up the middle by Zach Jancarski off Pavlopoulos. Jancarski then stole second, an innocuous enough looking play, but when Nickens sent a liner to center, it became the most important play of the game.
The two sides will finish the series on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET. Redshirt sophomore Adam Niemeyer will be on the bump for Ohio State against Maryland's ace, Mike Shawaryn.