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Ohio State dominates Cal State Bakersfield in three-game sweep

The Buckeyes outscored the Roadrunners 45-16 over the weekend.

via @OhioStateBASE on Twitter

Saturday, March 11: 17-5 Ohio State

Ohio State came out of the gates hot on Saturday afternoon, putting up a three-spot in the 1st inning, highlighted by a two-run double by Hank Thomas. The Roadrunners got a run back in their half of the opening frame, and then both teams traded four-run innings in the 2nd as the Buckeyes began the 3rd with a 7-5 lead.

With early makings of a high-scoring, back-and-forth affair, OSU kept up their end of the bargain with a three-run home run by Marcus Ernst. Cal State Bakersfield went scoreless in their half of the inning, and Ohio State would crush another three-run homer — this time Josh McAlister — to take a 13-5 lead. That score would hold all the way until the 9th inning, where the Buckeyes tacked on another four runs for good measure, the key hit being a three-run triple by Cole Andrews.

Andrews and Ernst combined to drive in nine runs, with Ohio State collecting 15 total hits in the game. The Buckeyes also drew nine walks, aiding in their 17-run output — their highest of the season to that point (more on that later). OSU had five different pitchers combine to throw seven scoreless innings from the 3rd on. Jameson Campbell was the only one to toss multiple frames, collecting three strikeouts over three innings.

Sunday, March 12 (Game 1): 19-6 Ohio State

Those season-high 17 runs held up for one day, as the Buckeyes put up an even greater 19 runs in Game 1 of the doubleheader on Sunday to beat that mark.

Believe it or not, Ohio State actually trailed in this game, falling behind 3-0 in the 1st inning. It wouldn’t be like that for long, though, as a two-run home run by Andrews highlighted a four-run inning to put the Buckeyes up 4-3 in the 2nd. CSUB tied it back up with a run in the 3rd, and regained the lead with another run in the 5th before the wheels began to fall off for the home team.

Ohio State scored five runs in the top of the 6th, helped out by a pair of bases-loaded walks and a two-run single from the red-hot Andrews as well as an RBI single by Matthew Graveline. It would be three more runs for OSU in the 8th, with, stop me if you heard this before, Andrews right in the mix with an RBI single — one of three for the Buckeyes in the inning — as the scarlet and grey now held a 12-5 lead.

After the Roadrunners got one run in the bottom half of the frame, Ohio State pushed a big seven runs across in the 9th. Andrews AGAIN contributed, this time with a two-run double, and the combination of an error, a bases-loaded walk, a sac fly and then an RBI single by Ernst led to an eventual 19-6 win for the good guys.

Catcher Cole Andrews had a phenomenal afternoon, going 5-for-5 at the plate with seven (7!!) RBIs and three runs scored. Ernst and Graveline each went 4-for-6 in great performances of their own, with Graveline driving in three runs. Gavin Bruni went four innings in his start on the mound, striking out four and allowing three earned runs. Wyatt Loncar pitched two innings in relief, allowing no earned runs, and Jacob Gehring pitched an impressive final frame, striking out three of the four batters he faced.

Sunday, March 12 (Game 2): 9-5 Ohio State

Ohio State was feeling good coming off three-straight wins heading into Game 2 on Sunday, and they carried their strong play into the nightcap.

Tyler Pettorini opened up the scoring with an RBI triple in the top of the 2nd inning, by CSUB answered with a run in bottom of the 2nd. The Buckeye offense got things rolling again in the 3rd, scoring three runs on a two-run double by Mitchell Okuley and an RBI single by Henry Kaczmar. Ohio State’s 4-1 lead would hold until the 7th inning, where OSU used small ball to put up five more runs — doing so on four RBI singles and a sac fly.

The Roadrunners threatened to make things interesting in the bottom of the 8th, scoring four runs in the frame to cut the deficit to 9-5, but that would be all she wrote as Ohio State completed the three-game sweep, winning their fourth consecutive game overall.

On the mound, Justin Eckhardt put forth a strong effort, allowing just one earned run over six innings while striking out three and walking none. Jonah Jenkins allowed only one hit in his inning of work in relief, and Landon Beidelschies closed out the game with two hitless innings, fanning four.

Ohio State now sits at 8-6 on the year, having won four-straight games and six of their last seven overall. The Buckeyes have just one more road game, a quick pitstop in Charleston, WV to take on Marshall, before coming back to Columbus to play their first home game of the year this Friday, March 17 against Dayton.

Cole Andrews’ stellar weekend propelled him to the top of a handful of offensive statistical categories for Ohio State, as the catcher now leads the team in batting average (.467), on-base percentage (.568), slugging percentage (.800) and RBIs (15) in eight games played. Three players tie for second in RBIs behind Andrews with 12, including Marcus Ernst, who leads the Buckeyes with four home runs on the year. Andrews and Kade Kern are the only other OSU players with multiple home runs (2), and Kern continues to lead the pack with 13 walks.

Ace Isaiah Coupet didn’t make a start this weekend, so he remains far and away the leader in the pitching department with his 0.50 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 18 innings of work. Of the other three guys to pitch 10-plus innings for the Buckeyes thus far, Jonah Jenkins has shined, posting a 2.19 ERA in six appearances with two wins and a save. George Eisenhardt, while only having pitched five innings to this point, has been really strong as well, sporting a 1.80 ERA over two outings (one start).

As previously mentioned, Ohio State will next play one game against Marshall on Wednesday, March 15. The two squads were originally scheduled to play a game on Tuesday as well, but it was canceled due to expected inclement weather. The Buckeyes will then play a three-game series at home against Dayton from Friday-Sunday.