Sometimes all a group needs is some home cooking.
Coming off a 2-2 series split with UNLV, the Ohio State baseball team fed its appetite for offense in the season’s home opener, devouring the Hofstra Pride 12-1.
The Buckeyes (9-6-1) were powered by a big performance from junior left fielder Ronnie Dawson, who crushed a two-run home run at the end of a 12-pitch at-bat that capped OSU’s four-run first inning.
Dawson said he couldn’t sleep Thursday night because of how excited he was to be able to play in front of the home crowd, including his family. Unaffected by his restlessness, Dawson’s confidence never wavered in his first at-bat of the day.
“The pitcher didn’t have anything that I thought could beat me, so I was just really fighting until I got a good pitch to hit, and I got lucky,” Dawson said.
Luck, perhaps, is a bit of a stretch of the imagination, as Dawson also legged out two triples en route to his 3-for-3, five-RBI day at the plate. Dawson also set a career high for total bases in the win with 11, an improvement over the previous mark of 10 he set last week against UNLV.
“Ronnie’s just getting going,” said OSU coach Greg Beals. “Ronnie is extremely talented, as talented as there is in college baseball from a hitting standpoint.”
OSU’s run support proved to be more than enough for junior lefty Tanner Tully, who dominated the Hofstra hitters, allowing no runs on two hits over six scoreless innings. Tully moved his record to 3-1 and lowered his ERA to 2.73.
Hofstra’s Alec Eisenberg (1-4) was tagged with the loss after being pummeled by OSU’s hitters throughout his five innings of work. The loss dropped Hofstra’s record to 5-12.
Beals said he was pleased with how his team played mostly mistake-free baseball, committing no errors and walking zero batters on the day.
“It’s always nice to be back home,” Beals said. “When you’ve spent the first 14 or 15 games on the road, it’s not always easy playing on the road, but when you get back to home, there is some comfort in the confines here of Bill Davis Stadium. (It’s) something that we love. Protecting your home turf is something that’s important to us, and our guys really showed up today.”
OSU senior co-captain Nick Sergakis also had another big day at the plate, as the third baseman went 4-for-5 with a single, two doubles, a triple and three RBIs. Sergakis also set a new career high with eight total bases. The local product said it was great to be back home, not living out of a suitcase.
“Feels good to just go out there and just click as a team,” Sergakis said. “We’re a team that once all cylinders are goin’ together, it’s gonna be hard to stop us.”
OSU is set to be back in action tomorrow with another game against the Pride, with a 3:05 p.m. start time. Even with the lopsided win Friday, Beals said his squad won’t be taking Hofstra lightly.
“I expect (Hofstra) to come out and be tough,” Beals said. “I don’t expect them to lay down at all, and we’ve just gotta make sure we come out and bring the same game.”
Correction: An earlier version of the story said Ronnie Dawson hit a three-run home run, when in fact it was a two-run homer.