Despite cold weather still being a concern, the Ohio State baseball team came out hot against Marshall.
The Buckeyes (16-7, 2-1) used strong pitching to keep the Thundering Herd (6-16, 3-6) as cold as the temperature was Wednesday, winning 4-0.
After having to reschedule the game because of snow Tuesday, the teams took the field with the day’s high temperature in the mid-30s.
Although the weather wasn’t what OSU had wanted, coach Greg Beals was happy the team could still play.
“It wasn’t ideal baseball conditions, but our guys stayed on task and kept things rolling,” Beals said after the win.
The starting duel featured a pair of lefties from Ohio in the Buckeyes’ freshman Zach Farmer and the Thundering Herd’s sophomore Alex Thackston.
That battle didn’t last long, though.
After a scoreless first, Thackston gave up a leadoff single to redshirt-junior Josh Dezse and followed by walking freshman Ronnie Dawson. After a wild pitch advanced the runners, freshman outfielder Troy Montgomery popped an RBI single to shallow right and abruptly ended Thackston’s day as he was taken out by Marshall coach Jeff Waggoner.
Later in the inning, while Montgomery was caught in a pickle, Dawson stole home to give the Buckeyes a two-run lead.
Meanwhile, Farmer stymied the Thundering Herd bats, giving up only one hit in five innings while striking out six.
The only real danger Farmer faced was in the fifth, when he had a runner in scoring position with no outs. He responded with three strikeouts to end the threat.
After being replaced on the weekend rotation by fellow freshman Tanner Tully, Farmer was happy to get back in the groove of things.
“It felt real good bouncing back and getting my stuff down,” Farmer said. “When guys got on (in the fifth) I got a little worried, but I tried to stay calm and throw what I got.”
Sophomore infielder Jacob Bosiokovic added to the lead with an RBI double in the fifth and a sacrifice fly in the seventh to end the scoring on the day.
Though only four runs were scored, the Buckeye offense kept pressure on the Thundering Herd all game and forced them to use eight pitchers, compared to just three for OSU.
“As a team, we want to try to score, obviously, many runs, but it’s important to compete every at-bat, never let up and push on the gas pedal when we can.” Bosiokovic said.
The Buckeye pitching staff didn’t have nearly the same problem defensively as redshirt-senior Tyler Giannonatti and junior Trace Dempsey both pitched two scoreless innings to preserve the win for Farmer. Overall, the Thundering Herd could only muster three hits.
“Our pitching staff is throwing the ball really well,” Beals said. “The last 27 innings we’ve pitched we’ve given up (two runs). You do that, you’re going to win a lot of baseball games. We’ve got confidence.”
The Buckeyes are going to need the strong pitching to continue into the weekend as reigning Big Ten champion Indiana comes to Columbus for a three-game series.
First pitch at Bill Davis Stadium at Nick Swisher Field is scheduled for Friday at 6:35 p.m.