It took a ninth inning rally, but Ohio State baseball got a big win to start off the NCAA Tournament. Jalen Washington's RBI single with two outs and bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth gave the Buckeyes a 7-6 win over Wright State on Friday afternoon in Louisville.
Ohio State trailed 6-5 entering the inning, but managed to tie the ballgame on a Ronnie Dawson RBI single before Washington's heroics against Raider freshman Caleb Sampen.
The Buckeyes will now await the winner of this evening matchup between host Louisville and Western Michigan. That game will take place at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday afternoon.
Dawson drove in two on the day, and Troy Montgomery picked up where he left off in the Big Ten tournament, going 4-for-4 with two runs batted in and a run scored for the Buckeyes.
After Ohio State ace Tanner Tully had a rough outing, the bullpen threw five scoreless innings to give the offense a chance to make its move. Seth Kinker, Michael Horejsei, and Kyle Michalik came up huge for head coach Greg Beals and his Buckeyes.
Tully had three shaky innings where it was clear his command just wasn't there today but he limited damage. The wheels came off for the junior lefty after that, though. In the fourth and fifth innings, the Raiders scored six runs, four earned, on five hits, two walks, and a hit batter, and Tully's day was over.
Wright State starter Jesse Scholtens also had an uncharacteristic game. The Raiders' ace right-hander entered the day with a 10-1 record, a 2.72 earned run average, and a WHIP under 1.0. Scholtens allowed the five runs in the third inning, the only real hiccup of the day for him, as he went seven innings in all and was in line for the win.
After the two teams felt each other out through the first couple of innings, Ohio State got to Scholtens for a crooked number in the bottom of the third. The Buckeyes got five hits, a walk, and a hit batter to score five runs, all after the first two outs of the inning had been recorded by Wright State. Dawson and Montgomery each had two-run doubles and Jacob Bosiokovic added an RBI single to do the damage.
The Raiders got on the board themselves in the top of the fourth with a pair of runs against Tully. An error by Bosiokovic on a ground ball at first allowed the first to score and a narrowly-missed double play brought home the second.
Tully's struggles continued in the fifth, as Wright State loaded the bases with nobody out. A hit batter brought in one run and a bases-clearing double by cleanup man Ryan Fucci scored three more as the Raiders took a 6-5 lead and chased Tully from the game.
Things remained the same until the ninth, as Ohio State's late-inning magic continued.