Ohio State baseball's season has come to an end. The Buckeyes dropped an elimination game in Louisville to Wright State, 7-3, to be bounced from the NCAA tournament.
It was a good ride for Ohio State, which finished 2016 with a 44-20-1 mark, including a Big Ten tournament title and its first berth in a regional since 2009. The Buckeyes will return to Columbus with a lot to be proud of.
Wright State now moves on to the regional finals against Louisville at 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday. It is the second straight year the Raiders will be playing in a regional final.
Much like the first two games of the regional, Ohio State's usually reliable starting pitching got knocked around. This time it was freshman Ryan Feltner, who allowed six runs on nine hits in just three innings of work. That followed Tanner Tully's six runs allowed in four innings on Friday and John Havird's eight runs in two innings on Saturday.
On the other side, Caleb Sampen overcame a rough start to settle in and hold the Buckeyes to two runs on four hits in five innings of work. Lefty Zane Collins also held the Ohio State bats in check, working four innings of one-run ball.
Ronnie Dawson, likely playing his final game in scarlet and gray, went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. The double was his 25th of the season, tying the program record and providing one of the few bright spots on the day.
The Buckeyes wasted no time getting after Sampen, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Nick Sergakis was hit by a pitch to lead things off, stole second, and went to third on a seeing-eye single by Craig Nennig. Dawson followed that with a well-placed single of his own through the right side of the infield to bring home the run.
Wright State repaid the favor to Feltner in the bottom half of the frame, stringing together six hits to push five runs across the plate. Ryan Fucci, J.D. Orr, and Brad Macciocchi had RBI singles and Sean Murphy delivered a two-run double.
Gabe Snyder added another run for the Raiders in the third, pulling a solo homer over the trees and onto the train tracks beyond the right field wall and pushing the lead to 6-1.
Ohio State got one back in the fourth. Troy Montgomery doubled off the wall in right with one out and advanced to third on a Jacob Bosiokovic single. Jalen Washington then sent a fly ball deep to left that Orr settled under on the warning track, bringing Montgomery plateward.
Seth Kinker relieved Feltner and put an end to the groove Wright State had going at the plate. The sophomore righty tossed three scoreless innings, yielding just one baserunner via a walk.
That kept the Buckeyes within striking distance, and they inched one run closer thanks to an RBI groundout by Troy Kuhn in the top of the eighth, but that was all they could muster.
An insurance run for the Raiders in the bottom of the eighth pushed the advantage back out to four, and Collins finished things off in the ninth.
Up next for Ohio State is the Major League Baseball draft and some interesting decisions to be made, as well as summer league ball for those not going pro the program.