The Ohio State baseball team (18-7, 4-2) faced its third Ohio school of the season, Ohio University (14-11, 2-4 MAC), Tuesday night at Bill Davis Stadium and it took a full nine innings and then some for the Buckeyes to come out on top. OSU sophomore infielder L Grant Davis hit a walk-off, three-run home run in the 10th inning to give his team a 7-4 victory.
Davis had never hit home run in high school, junior college or at OSU, according to a university release.
Before the late-game heroics, Bobcats came out strong, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the second and eventually going ahead, 4-3, in the eighth.
“It’s always a big game when another state school comes here,” coach Greg Beals said. “It’s something our guys talk about, making sure we are ready to defend the Ohio State University. We know we are always going to get the other team’s best.”
OSU rallied back in the bottom of the eighth when sophomore left fielder Ronnie Dawson scored to tie the game at four.
OSU shut down the Bobcats in the top of 10th, before Dawson started the momentum change for the Buckeyes with a single to right field. After Dawson stole a base and redshirt-junior infielder Ryan Leffel drew a walk, Davis stepped to the plate and put the ball over the wall when it mattered most.
“Davis got three strikeouts and a pop up to the catcher, I mean you can’t have a worse game for four at bats,” Beals said. “And then he gets to be the hero of the night, staying in that next opportunity mode.”
Davis said he went to the plate with confidence despite his slow start, knowing his father, Lenny Davis, made the trip to Columbus to watch him play.
“Honestly I didn’t know what to do, I was just like wow that’s pretty unbelievable,” Davis said. “If there was one person that deserved to see my first home run, it’s my dad. I don’t hit home runs, but tonight I was lucky enough to get a good swing on it.”
Freshman Jacob Niggemeyer pitched 5 innings before junior Jake Post entered the game. Post tossed three innings and allowed two runs, before senior closer Trace Dempsey would finished things up with two shutout innings.
“Pitching is the key. We are getting strong. I think overall we played good defense behind good pitching tonight,” Beals said.
The Buckeyes are set to begin game one against Penn State Friday at 6:35 p.m. at Bill Davis Stadium.