Ohio State baseball wrapped up the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge in Surprise, Arizona on Sunday afternoon with a 5-1 loss at the hands of Oregon State, the fifth-ranked team in the nation according to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
The Buckeyes managed a 1-3 record in the desert, though that one win was a big upset of Oregon State on Friday night. For the season, the squad now sits at 3-5.
Junior righty Jake Thompson took the ball for the Beavers and was dominant. In eight innings pitched, he allowed just a run on two hits, walking three and racking up seven strikeouts.
Oregon State used Thompson’s performance and one big inning to claim its third victory of the weekend and run its season record to 7-1.
Jake Post looked sharp early on in his second start of the season for Ohio State, but ran into trouble and ultimately made an early exit. The right-hander allowed three runs on four hits in four innings of work, walking three and striking out two in suffering his first loss of the season.
Junior center fielder Tre’ Gantt hit his first career home run, but that was the extent of the offensive highlights for the scarlet and gray.
Thompson and Post were in command early on, putting zeroes on the board back and forth through the game’s first three and a half innings and never really running into any danger.
Oregon State finally broke the stalemate in the bottom of the fourth. KJ Harrison singled to center with one out, his team’s first hit of the game, and was followed by a seeing-eye single through the right side from Jack Anderson. A chopper down the first base line by Adley Rutschman eluded Bo Coolen, and made its way into short right field to score Harrison. Michael Gretler then collected the Beavers’ fourth straight hit, a double down the left field line to score Anderson and make it 2-0.
With two runners in scoring position, Jalen Washington couldn’t handle a grounder off the bat of Cadyn Grenier and Rutschman came plateward for the third run of the inning.
Post’s day ended the next inning when he walked the leadoff man and hit the second batter. Reece Calvert relieved and managed to work out of the jam without allowing Oregon State to tack onto the lead.
The Beavers made it 4-0 in the sixth when a leadoff walk to Grenier by Calvert resulted in a sacrifice fly by Christian Donahue three batters later.
Thompson entered the eighth inning having only allowed the bunt single, and quickly struck out the first two Buckeyes he faced. But Gantt put a jolt into a 1-2 offering and knocked it over the wall in right to break up the shutout.
An insurance run in the bottom of the eighth against Ohio State reliever Dustin Jourdan extended Oregon State’s lead to 5-1. Gretler led off with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball. He scored two batters later on an Andy Atwood double to right-center.
Max Engelbrekt came out of the bullpen for the Beavers in the ninth. The senior lefty allowed the first two hitters he faced to reach base, but he rolled a double play ball off the bat of Coolen and got a groundout from Tyler Cowles to end the game.
Next up for Ohio State is a trip to Buies Creek, North Carolina for a three-game series with Campbell. Game one will take place Friday evening at 6:00 p.m. ET against the Fighting Camels.