It’s almost a relief to close the book on this Ohio State baseball season. It had started in February with high hopes and a flurry of wins. After all, nearly all of the position players, including the big hitters, were returning. But the Buckeyes lost their entire starting pitching rotation and, therefore, were counting on unproven arms. They had to come through for the Bucks to be successful. And, frankly, they didn’t. The team’s 6.51 ERA didn’t cut it.
Things quickly turned sour, and, as the year ground on, it became obvious that this one would be a stinker. OSU simply couldn’t get any traction, couldn’t put together any sort of win streak and finished the campaign with a 21-30 overall record, 8-14 in conference play. The top eight programs, of the 13 fielding baseball teams, made it into the Big Ten tournament. The Bucks finished 11th and were left out, the season ending when a matchup scheduled for 5/21 with USC-Upstate was canceled.
On Monday of this week, the Ohio State Athletic Department announced that they were canceling Greg Beals’ remaining year on his contract. A search for his replacement is scheduled to start immediately. Over his 12-season Buckeye career, Beals compiled a 346-288-1 record overall and 141-139 in the Big Ten. Not terrible certainly, but for Ohio State, not good enough. Beals’ accomplishments include winning the conference tournament championships in 2016 and 2019.
Since our last coverage of OSU baseball a couple of weeks ago, the Buckeyes have gone 4-2, taking two out of three from conference rival Penn State, beating Cincinnati in a mid-week game, and splitting a two-game series with USC-Upstate. Here are the scores of those six games.
Friday, May 13. Penn State 13, Ohio State 7
Saturday, May 14. Ohio State 11, Penn State 0
Sunday, May 16. Ohio State 12, Penn State 3
Tuesday, May 17. Ohio State 5, Cincinnati 3
Thursday, May 19. USC-Upstate 6, Ohio State 5
Friday, May 20. Ohio State 13, USC-Upstate 10
As we examine the stats for the year, it’s easy to see just what went wrong. It wasn’t the hitting. The Buckeyes put up an impressive .283 team batting average to their opponents’ .267. And even though the Buckeyes were outscored by the opponents this season, 374-351, OSU averaged nearly nine runs a contest – not bad by any means.
No, it was pitching (and, to a lesser extent, fielding) that let the Bucks down. The Scarlet and Gray committed 84 errors, to just 54 for their foes. The team ERA for the Buckeye pitching staff was 6.51 (to their opponents’ 6.15).
Batting leaders —
- Marcus Ernst: .337
- Zach Dezenzo: .319
- Brent Todys: .317
- Archer Brookman: .299
- Kade Kern: .298.
Home runs —
- Dezenzo: 19
- Kern: 9
- Mitchell Okuley: 8
- Trey Lipsey: 7
- Drew Reckart: 6
- Dezenzo: 56
- Kern: 49
- Okuley: 30
- Colton Braun: 28
- Lipsey: 26
Starting pitchers —
- Wyatt Loncar: 2-4, 4.56 ERA
- Isaiah Coupet: 5-6, 5.85
- Nate Haberthier: 0-6, 6.75.
Best reliever —
- T.J. Brock: 3.76 ERA
Four Buckeyes were named to various All Big Ten teams for 2022.
Dezenzo was placed on the second team. During the year, Zach established a new single-season home run record for Ohio State with 19. Moreover, he averaged more than one RBI per game, with his team-leading 56 in 51 games played.
Marcus Ernst, who led the Bucks in batting, and Kade Kern, who was a freshman All-American last season, were named to the third team. Leftfielder Trey Lipsey appeared on the All-Freshman team. Senior catcher Brent Todys received the Buckeyes’ Sportsmanship Award for 2022.
And that’s it until next season.