Ohio State baseball’s season of struggles continued on Wednesday night as the team dropped a midweek game against Eastern Michigan by a score of 3-1 at Bill Davis Stadium in Columbus. The second loss for the club in as many nights, it followed a familiar script wherein the Buckeyes’ offense simply did not perform.
Head coach Greg Beals’ squad is now 14-19 for the year, and saw its record at home fall to 4-8.
Freshman Connor Pohl collected both the second hit and run batted in of his young career and junior Noah McGowan had his ninth multi-hit game of the season, but there was little else to celebrate at the plate. Ohio State left seven runners on base, going just 2-for-12 in those situations.
In a group effort on the mound, the Buckeyes’ pitching staff did what it could to keep the team within range of a win. Austin Woodby tossed the first three innings, yielding a pair of runs, only one earned, on four hits, while striking out two. Jake Vance followed and walked one, struck out one, and surrendered one hit in two scoreless innings before giving way to Curtiss Irving.
Irving, Reece Calvert, Ryan Feltner, and Seth Kinker each threw an inning to finish the game. Only Kinker had a blemish on his line, giving up a solo home run.
EMU took advantage of an early Ohio State miscue to score two of its three runs of the game in the first inning. Leadoff man Mike Mioduszewski reached base on an error by shortstop Jalen Washington and moved to third on a double by third-place hitter Brennan Williams. Cleanup man John Montgomery then singled to plate both runners.
Eastern starter Justin McMurtrey found ways to work around Buckeye baserunners in the first couple of innings, but his luck ran out in the fourth. McGowan led off with his second single of the night, advanced to second when Bo Coolen walked, and came home with the only run for the scarlet and gray when Pohl turned on a fastball and lined it into right. The lead was cut in half, but it still proved too high a mountain for Ohio State to climb.
Right-hander Justin Thompson entered the game in relief for the Eagles after that and completely shut down the Buckeye bats. In 4.1 innings, Thompson allowed just a single walk, striking out four, to put his squad in position for a big win.
With Kinker on the hill in the top of the ninth, Eastern’s John Rensel Jr. hit a high fly ball to right field that just barely cleared the fence, putting a cap on the scoring for the night.
Matthew Beaton worked the ninth for the Eagles, working around a one-out walk to retire the side and end the ballgame.
Ohio State now heads to East Lansing for a three-game weekend series with Michigan State. Now the owners of a two-game losing streak, the Buckeyes will face an extremely sound Spartans club in what is a series of vital importance in conference play.