After a miraculous comeback victory in the team’s first game of the day, Ohio State baseball’s luck ran out in game two, as the Buckeyes fell to Pittsburgh, 7-2. The scarlet and gray now stands 2-1 on the young season, with one game remaining at the Sunshine State Classic on Sunday.
The Panthers’ senior righty Josh Falk put the clamps on the Buckeyes’ bats, allowing just a run on three hits in eight innings, striking out seven and walking three.
Sophomore right-hander Ryan Feltner was on the bump, and he had his struggles with command. In 5.2 innings of work, the Walsh Jesuit product yielded four run on five hits, walking three, hitting two batters, and uncorking three wild pitches.
Matters were further complicated by five errors committed by Ohio State, including three by sophomore third baseman Brady Cherry. In three games, the Buckeyes have an astounding nine miscues.
Ohio State wasted no time getting on the board, scoring a run in the top of the first. Tre Gantt led off with a ground rule double, was bunted over to third by Jalen Washington, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Noah MCGowan. It was the last time the squad would sniff the scoreboard until the final frame of the game.
Pitt answered in the second, taking a 2-1 lead on a two-run ground rule double by Nico Popa off Feltner. The Panthers added another in the third thanks to a Manny Pazos RBI single.
The advantage was pushed out to 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth. Popa reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second, and advanced to third when Washington’s throw was awry. Jacob Wright then hit a ball hard to first for an infield hit, plating Popa.
Pitt added onto the lead once more in the bottom of the seventh against lefty Joe Stoll. Caleb Parry doubled to lead off, and came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Pazos off righty Kyle Michalik, who came on in relief.
In the eighth, the Panthers got even more. Relievers Austin Woodby and Andrew Magno walked the first four batters of the inning, forcing home a run. Magno rebounded to strike out the next two batters, but another walk forced in a second run, stretching the lead to the 7-1.
Ohio State managed to put a run on the board in the ninth when Shea Murray worked a walk with the bases loaded, but it was far too little, too late.
The Buckeyes wrap up their opening weekend with Kansas State on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. ET, with redshirt senior Jake Post on the bump for Ohio State against the Wildcats’ Parker Rigler.