Fighting through strong winds and two late errors, the Ohio State baseball team picked up its first home win of the season.
The Buckeyes (9-6) defeated Siena (0-15), 8-5, Friday in Columbus despite giving up four runs over the final two innings.
Junior pitcher Ryan Riga was tabbed as the Buckeyes’ ace after a complete game, five-hit shutout outing against Oregon last weekend and he did not disappoint.
Riga tossed seven innings and allowed only one run on nine hits, eight of which were singles. The only extra-base hit he allowed was a sixth-inning homerun to senior infielder Mike Allen.
“I’m just trying not to do too much,” Riga said after the game. “My defense really helped me out tonight by making some plays. It was a day to keep the ball down and it was good to start the series with a win.”
He had plenty of run support though, with the Buckeyes offense scoring early and often.
Sophomore infielder Jacob Bosiokovic got things started in the first, hitting a triple and scoring on a passed ball thrown by Siena’s junior left-handed starter Matt Gage. Redshirt-junior first baseman Josh Dezse followed that with a double and scored on an infield single by freshman outfielder Ronnie Dawson.
The Buckeyes were close to scoring in the next two frames, but finally came through again in the fourth.
With the bases loaded, sophomore infielder Troy Kuhn smacked a sac fly to deep center that scored two runs and Bosiokovic followed with a double down the left-field line to score one more.
While Riga continued to mow down hitters, Kuhn continued his offensive onslaught in the sixth with a three-run homer to left giving the Buckeyes a comfortable seven-run advantage and him a career-high five RBIs.
“I think it was a 1-0 count and he laid a fastball right down the middle,” Kuhn said after the win. “I turned on it and it would’ve been gone no matter what (due to the wind).”
Freshman pitcher Adam Niemeyer came on in the eighth to get the final six outs, but it was a bit trickier than planned.
The two errors made thing interesting, but Niemeyer kept his composure to complete the game and seal the win for Riga and the Buckeyes.
“I liked how we produced early but I didn’t like how we finished the game,” OSU coach Greg Beals said after the victory. “We have to be able to finish and soundly beat a team and that’s all about attitude.”
Luckily, the Buckeyes have two more opportunities to soundly beat the Saints as they are scheduled to play doubleheader Saturday at Bill Davis Stadium. Game one is set to begin at 1:05 p.m., with the other set for 4:05 p.m.