It was a good day for Ohio State baseball on Sunday against Penn State. After coming from behind to capture a 5-2 victory in game one of the day’s doubleheader, the Buckeyes kept the offensive juice going in game two, notching an 11-2 win.
The sweep of the double dip gave the club a much-needed first series win in Big Ten play, bringing its conference record to 3-6.
Four members of the Ohio State lineup had multi-hit games, highlighted by Noah McGowan, Brady Cherry, and Dominic Canzone, all of whom drove in multiple runs as part of the winning effort. The Buckeyes also stole four bases and benefited from four Nittany Lions’ errors.
Reece Calvert, who has had more than his fair share of struggles in his first season in scarlet and gray, took the ball to start the game, and gave up the lead almost right out of the box. A hanging breaking ball to the second batter of the game for Penn State, Conlin Hughes, was deposited over the left field wall for a solo home run.
The Lions’ starter, freshman Myles Gayman, had his issues as well, though, and Ohio State took the lead in the top of the second. The Buckeyes did so by scoring a pair of runs without officially recording a hit. A pair of walks put two runners on base with two outs for Bo Coolen, who scorched a ball to first base. Ryan Sloniger couldn’t make the play, though in his defense, it’s tough to catch what you can barely see. The ball ended up in the right field corner and both runners came around to score.
Penn State tied things up in the bottom of the frame after Calvert yielded a single and a double to put two runners in scoring position. Alex Malinsky grounded out to third to bring the run home.
Ohio State used more free baserunners in the fourth to reclaim the lead. Coolen walked and Jalen Washington was hit by a pitch for the 13th time on the season. Cherry stepped in with two outs and ripped a single up the middle to bring Coolen around.
After a McGowan walk loaded the bases, Canzone went the other way on an outside fastball to drive in Washington and Cherry. The hit extended the freshman’s hitting streak to nine games and put the Buckeyes on top 5-2.
Meanwhile, Calvert settled down and put zeroes on the board in the third and fourth. The big junior right-hander gave up just the two runs on four hits, walking one and striking out four, in his four innings of work. He gave way to sophomore Ryan Feltner after giving Ohio State exactly what was required.
The Buckeyes tacked on another trio of runs in the sixth against reliever Cole Bartels, with Cherry once again coming through. Tre’ Gantt worked a one-out walk and came all the way around when the sophomore third baseman sent a double into the left field corner. Cherry would score himself on a McGowan single, pushing the advantage out to 7-2.
Canzone collected his second opposite field hit of the game, advancing McGowan to third, and a Bartels wild pitch, allowed him to come plateward for a six-run lead.
Nittany Lions’ reliever Tom Mullin didn’t fare much better in the eighth. Gantt led things off with a single, stole second, and scored on a throwing error by shortstop Logan Goodnight. McGowan then launched a ball to left field that nearly exited the yard but hit off the top of the wall, allowing Cherry to score once more.
One last run came in for the team from Columbus in the top of the ninth, as a pair of walks and a bloop single loaded the bases against Penn State’s Blake Hodgens. Cherry hit a grounder to third which scored Coolen, making it an 11-2 ballgame.
Feltner followed Calvert’s lead on the bump, giving Ohio State three innings of shutout work. He didn’t allow a hit, walking two and striking out a pair. Freshman Jake Vance then kept it going with a scoreless pair of innings of his own, striking out four, to close things out.
Up next for Ohio State is a pair of midweek games in Columbus. The Buckeyes will take on Cincinnati on Tuesday and Eastern Michigan on Wednesday before hitting the road once more to face Michigan State in a three-game series beginning on Friday.