One of the most important things a team has to do to succeed is win the games they are supposed to win.
The Ohio State baseball team has done that all season long, and Tuesday was no exception in its game against Eastern Michigan.
OSU (19-13, 2-7) won its ninth straight non-conference game against EMU (10-19, 1-8) defeating the Eagles, 8-1. While the win was good for the team, coach Greg Beals said after two straight weekend sweeps losing against Indiana and Nebraska, he would still like to see his team play at a higher level.
“I told the guys afterwards that I don’t think we played a whole lot better than we played over the weekend, we got more hits but you’re playing a Tuesday mid-week game, you’re going to get more hits than against a weekend rotation pitcher,” Beals said.
The Buckeyes’ starting pitcher freshman Zach Farmer threw 7.0 innings, only allowing two hits and one run and tallying three strikeouts. The win gives Farmer a team-best fifth win of the season.
“I just settled down and threw what I knew I had, I went through my mechanics slowly and I just threw fastballs in there for strikes,” Farmer said. “Everything was really on point today.”
Although Farmer’s game isn’t perfect, Beals said he is pleased with the progression of his young pitcher.
“He’s one of the best left-handed pitchers in the state of Ohio and that’s why we brought him here and we were fortunate to get him here,” Beals said. “He continues to develop, he still needs to work on controlling the running game, he still needs to work on just being a little more efficient, but other than that his stuff is dominating.”
A leadoff triple by redshirt-sophomore utility infielder Nick Sergakis initiated a massive third inning to get the Buckeyes’ offense going. OSU produced five runs in the inning, including an RBI single by junior outfielder Pat Porter to score Sergakis.
The offense did not let up in the next inning, scoring two more in the fourth after a two-run RBI single to right-field by redshirt-sophomore infielder Ryan Leffel, bringing the score to 7-1 in OSU’s favor.
Porter, who had an impressive diving catch in right field in the ninth inning to accompany his three hits and one RBI at the plate, said he felt good about his performance against EMU.
“I’m starting to finally get comfortable, I felt real comfortable tonight I just have to keep grinding it out,” Porter said. “My swings felt good all year, really it’s just seeing the ball up, taking advantage of mistakes and I did that really well tonight.”
Beals said Porter’s effort showed – diving for the ball is exactly what he wants to see from each of his players.
“I don’t care how many hits he got, I’ll take that catch in the ninth innings of a seven-run game because that tells me how he’s playing, that tells me where he’s at— he’s locked in and he’s playing the game,” Beals said.
After Leffel’s single, both teams’ bats got quiet – neither team would post a run until sophomore first baseman Zach Ratcliff hit an RBI single to give the Buckeyes their final run of the night.
Freshman pitcher Curtiss Irving entered the game in relief of Farmer in the eighth, throwing two scoreless innings with one hit and three strikeouts.
The Buckeyes are scheduled to return to action Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. against Dayton at Bill Davis Stadium.