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Ohio State baseball wins home opener on walk-off hit by pitch

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Junior pitcher Jake Post (10) delivers a pitch during a game against Northern Kentucky on March 11 at Bill Davis Stadium. OSU won, 4-3.  Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editor

Junior pitcher Jake Post (10) delivers a pitch during a game against Northern Kentucky on March 11 at Bill Davis Stadium. OSU won, 4-3.
Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editor

The Ohio State baseball team took to Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium for the first time this season a day late and came away victorious.

Senior catcher Connor Sabanosh was hit by a pitch from Northern Kentucky junior and Delaware, Ohio, native Tyler Miller with the bases loaded as OSU walked off with a 4-3 victory Wednesday night.

OSU’s home opener was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but the game was called off because of rain in Columbus.

The Buckeyes (8-4), were powered by sophomore outfielder Ronnie Dawson, whose two-run home run in the bottom of the first careened off the scoreboard in right field to give OSU an early 2-0 lead.

OSU held the lead until the top of the fifth inning, when Northern Kentucky senior outfielder Cole Bauml doubled off the Buckeye’s starting pitcher, freshman Jacob Niggemeyer, to knot the game at two apiece.

Niggemeyer left after the sixth inning after giving up eight hits, two earned runs and two strikeouts.

Coach Greg Beals said he was very impressed with how the freshman threw in his first game at Bill Davis Stadium.

“We played great defense and got a quality start out of Jacob Niggemeyer,” Beals said in a press release. “The rookie gets the ball for the first time in his career in a home opener and gave us six innings with two earned runs. The bullpen held their own tonight as well.”

Redshirt-junior Michael Horejsei pitched a scoreless seventh and junior Jake Post tossed a scoreless eighth. Dawson came to the plate with one out in the bottom half of the eighth inning and reached first on a successful bunt attempt.

With redshirt-junior infielder Nick Sergakis at bat, Dawson drew a pickoff throw from Northern Kentucky sophomore pitcher Evan Korson, which went wide of the first baseman.

Dawson scored on the error all the way from first to give the Buckeyes a 3-2 lead heading into the top of the ninth.

The sophomore outfielder was responsible for three of OSU’s four runs.

Senior pitcher Trace Dempsey came out and breezed through the first two hitters before surrendering a walk and two hits as the Norse were able to tie the game at three, sending the game into the bottom of the ninth before Sabanosh drew the walk-off hit by pitch.

The Buckeyes are set to return to action Friday as they are scheduled to begin a three-game series with Evansville. First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m.

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