May 30, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Ohio State had just seven hits on the afternoon but the six runs as a result of those hits were enough to lift the Buckeyes to a 6-4 victory over Marist Saturday in Game Three of the 2009 NCAA Division I Tallahassee Baseball Regional at Dick Howser Stadium. The Buckeyes improved to 41-18 and advanced to Game Five on Sunday at Noon. Marist, which had a 10-hit effort, ended its season with a 31-28 record.
The game was knotted at 4-4 after five and a half innings but Ohio State took the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth inning. Buckeye senior Michael Arp led off with a double down the left field line, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Tyler Engle and scored on a sacrifice fly to deep right center by Kyle Meyer. It was the second RBI of the game for the senior. The Buckeyes went on to score an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. Junior Matt Streng drove in his second run of the game with a single to right which scored senior Justin Miller who led off the inning with a walk.
The Red Foxes had tied the game 4-4 in the top of the fourth inning when freshman George Agostini hit his second home run of the season with a solo blast to right field.
The Buckeyes had to come from behind for the win. Down two runs in the bottom of the second inning, Ohio State took advantage of a couple of walks and scored four runs to take the lead. With one out, junior Cory Kovanda singled up the middle and then stole second. Junior Michael Stephens and sophomore Dan Burkhart drew walks to load the bases. Junior Ryan Dew, who had three RBI in Friday's loss to Georgia, matched that total when he tripled down the right field line to clear the bases and then scored himself on a sacrifice fly by Streng.
Marist struck early with two runs in the top of the second inning. With one out, the Red Foxes put together a string of three hits. Agostini singled to left and advanced to third when senior Andrew Stanton doubled to right center. Both Agostini and Stanton scored on a single up the middle by Meyer.
OSU sophomore Drew Rucinski improved to 11-2 on the season with the victory. He pitched one and two-thirds innings of relief, walked one and struck out two. Junior pitcher B.J. Martin, who pitched five and two-thirds innings, gave up five earned runs, walked six and struck out two, was credited with the loss and ended the season with a 5-6 record.
Ohio State Head Coach Bob Todd
Opening Statement: "Well, we live for another day. I wouldn't exactly say it was pretty but we did what we needed to do. Obviously the big base hit by Ryan Dew opened up the ball game for us. All and all, I thought the key was playing good defense. We didn't give them second opportunities and now we have a chance to play again tomorrow."
On how the team won: "Whether it was fate or what, this team came through with a lot of two-out hits. We were driving the ball better and as of late, we've resorted to the short game more to get people into scoring position and hope that somebody comes through with the base hit. The opportunity for us to play for a three or four-run inning has kind of escaped us and I'd like to find it again.
Early in the year, (Dean) Wolosiansky's arm was alive and he did an awful lot of positive things for us early. He'd get us to the sixth or seventh inning and we've relied on our relief pitching. As of late, to be honest with you, either his arm has gotten dead on him or what, but he just doesn't have the same life that he had early in the year. So we've had to go to the bullpen earlier and we would have done that an inning earlier if we had to."
On the close Jake Hale: "Jake is, in my opinion, one of the best relief pitchers we've had at Ohio State and maybe in the country this year with what we've asked him to do. We're something like 33 or 34 and one when we throw him in a ball game with a lead. The unsung hero in this is Drew Rucinski who, through the course of the year, has thrown a lot of innings. And to be honest with you, it may be our fault, we burned him a little bit. We sometimes threw him three times in one weekend and his arm started getting tired so we really tried to back off on him to get his life back. With that, the layoff may have hurt his control."
Marist Head Coach Dennis Healy
Opening Statement: "Well, obviously, we're disappointed that we didn't get a `W' down here at the regional, but we had a great year. We won the MAACs, we played hard and I like the state of our program right now. We're heading in the right direction, that's for sure. Our seniors had a great season so we're very proud of our players, that's for sure. As for the game, B.J. (Martin) threw well enough to keep us in the game, probably too many freebies. I think it was five or six walks in the one big inning and the ball down the line, could have been fair, could have been foul but he called it fair so it is what it is. We need to score more then four runs in the regionals to win in the first place."
On how playing well against Florida State and Ohio State means to the program: "Obviously the state of our program, the guys we have coming in, we're excited about that. Our guys feel like we can play with anybody, especially if we've got guys on the mound that are throwing it pretty good. We've got some velocity guys, we're in good shape. Our guys are fearless. We didn't get in until a quarter `til three last night and they teed it up this morning and played well. They've done a good job all year with that."
- 2009 Tallahassee Regional -