Daniel Eddy / Lantern photographer
The Ohio State baseball pitching staff, using five arms, combined for a two-hit shutout victory against Youngstown State Tuesday night, 3-0, at Bill Davis Stadium.
The Buckeye hurlers combined for 10 strikeouts and did not walk a batter.
The Penguins only looked more and more helpless at the plate as the game grew old – their final 13 hitters were retired in order.
The lack of offense was welcomed by the sparse crowd of 495 on a night of low-40 degree temperatures, as the contest wrapped up in under two hours.
The Buckeyes collected a hit and stolen base in each of the first two innings, but were unable to push any runs across the plate.
Despite not allowing a hit, OSU senior starting pitcher Brett McKinney went just two frames before being pulled in favor of redshirt junior Tyler Giannonatti.
After the Penguins followed suit, bringing freshman Lance Horner in to pitch the third, the first two Buckeyes reached base before the rally was brought to an abrupt end on an unassisted triple play by sophomore shortstop Phil Lipari.
The unassisted triple play, with just 15 occurrences in MLB history according to MLB’s website, is more rare a feat than a perfect game.
Youngstown State did not collect its first hit until the top of the fifth, when designated hitter David Saluga lined a single to right. Giannonatti would eventually pitch out of the jam, stranding a pair of base runners in his final inning of work.
OSU freshman second baseman Troy Kuhn led off the sixth with a single, and was then put into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by redshirt senior lead-off man Joe Ciamacco. The game found its first run one batter later on a base hit to center off of Horner by redshirt senior designated hitter Ryan Cypret. The rally came to an end three batters later, but not before the Buckeyes pushed an insurance run across to take a 2-0 lead.
OSU would add another score the following inning on an RBI single by Kuhn, his third hit of the evening in as many at bats.
OSU sophomore right-handed pitcher Trace Dempsey came in for the ninth and converted his team-leading eighth save.
With three strikeouts in two innings of work, junior Greg Greve recorded the win, improving his record to 2-0. Horner took the loss in the first decision of his young career.
OSU (17-8, 4-2 Big Ten) is scheduled to make a quick turnaround and welcome Miami (Ohio) to Bill Davis Stadium on Wednesday. First pitch is slated for 6:35 p.m.