The question for Ohio State in 2017 was never about if the team could compete, but rather if it would. On the heels of a commanding win over Indiana in game one of this weekend’s series, the Buckeyes reverted to their inconsistent ways, losing 8-4.
The Hoosiers put up seven runs in the third inning, and while Ohio State didn’t throw in the towel, going so far as to bring the tying run to the plate with two outs in the ninth, it proved to be enough.
Redshirt senior Jake Post made the final start of his career on the bump in scarlet and gray, and it was one he’d likely prefer to forget. In just 2.2 innings, the right-hander gave up seven runs on seven hits, walking three, hitting a batter, and striking out one.
Jalen Washington and Dominic Canzone helped pace the Buckeyes’ offense, each turning in multi-hit performances. Washington went 3-for-5 and scored a pair of runs, while Canzone had a 2-for-4 night as well, extending his hitting streak to eight games, and scoring a run of his own.
Brady Cherry drove in two runs and scored one, and Connor Pohl collected his tenth and eleventh hits in the past four games, driving in a run in the losing effort.
In the first inning, Ohio State kept up its role as aggressor from Friday night. Washington doubled and moved to third on an infield single by Canzone. With two outs, Canzone took off for second and stopped halfway, drawing a thrown from Indiana catcher Jake Matheny (son of the St. Louis Cardinals’ manager). As soon as the ball was released, Washington broke for home and slid in safely to give the Buckeyes the early lead.
Post got through the first two innings without allowing any damage, but ran into trouble in the top of the third. Three straight singles to lead off the frame resulted in the Hoosiers’ first run of the game, and a groundout by Craig Dedelow gave them the lead.
An RBI double by Luke Miller made it a crooked number, and after a single by Alex Krupa, a Matt Gorski triple pushed the lead out to 5-1. Jeremy Houston followed with a squeeze bunt and Tony Butler doubled, scoring two more, making for the kind of nightmare inning Ohio State could not afford and ending Post’s night.
The Buckeyes didn’t roll over, though. With one out in the home half of the inning against Indiana starter Pauly Milto, Washington and Canzone singled back-to-back, then Cherry drove them both home with a double to the right-center gap. Two batters later, Connor Pohl delivered a two-out RBI single to bring Cherry plateward and cut the deficit to three at 7-4.
Adam Niemeyer relieved Post, and aside from a Gorski two-out RBI single in the fourth, did his job to keep Ohio State in the game. In 5.1 innings out of the bullpen, the redshirt junior gave up just the one run on four hits. He punched out four against two walks.
With a four-run lead at stretch time, Indiana went to its pen. Milto had given the Hoosiers six innings of six-hit, four-run ball, walking just one and striking out eight. Tim Herrin came on, and he worked the final three innings without giving up a run, despite loading the bases in the ninth, allowing four hits while striking out five.
Saturday’s series finale was pushed up to 12:00 p.m. ET due to weather concerns. It will be senior day for the Buckeyes, who will be looking to capture just their second series victory in Big Ten play in their final game of the season.