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Ohio State baseball sweeps Hofstra in first home series of 2016

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Junior left fielder Ronnie Dawson (4) rounds the bases after hitting a home run during OSU's 12-1 win over Hofstra on March 18 at Bill Davis Stadium. Credit: Giustino Bovenzi | Lantern reporter

Junior left fielder Ronnie Dawson (4) rounds the bases after hitting a home run during OSU’s 12-1 win over Hofstra on March 18 at Bill Davis Stadium.
Credit: Giustino Bovenzi | Lantern reporter

The Ohio State baseball team followed its 12-1 victory over Hofstra on Friday with two more wins against the Pride on Saturday and Sunday by scores of 4-2 and 2-1, respectively.

The Buckeyes’ three-game sweep improved their record to 11-6-1 and sets the stage for a televised showdown Tuesday with Xavier. Over the weekend, OSU’s offense pumped out 24 hits while its pitching staff allowed just four runs.

Game 2

With redshirt sophomore Adam Niemeyer, one of the Buckeyes’ strongest pitchers, on the hill, OSU seemed to be in line for another easy victory. However, the cold weather and Hofstra starting pitcher Chris Weiss kept OSU’s offense in check until the Buckeyes broke through with a three-run eighth inning.

With OSU trailing 2-1, junior left fielder Ronnie Dawson provided the spark for the Scarlet and Gray, punching an RBI single through the right side of the infield to score junior catcher Jalen Washington.

After an intentional walk to senior third baseman Nick Sergakis, senior first baseman Troy Kuhn singled through the left side to score Washington and Dawson, tallying the game’s final runs.

Niemeyer (1-1) received a no-decision in his fourth outing of the year, scattering five hits during a career-high seven innings of work. Sophomore reliever Seth Kinker (2-1) picked up the win for OSU, while redshirt sophomore Yianni Pavlopoulos earned his fourth save of the year. Freshman John Rooney (1-2) received the loss for Hofstra.

Game 3

The final game of the homestand turned out to be a pitchers’ duel between two seniors: OSU’s John Havird and Hofstra’s Bowie Matteson.

Hofstra drew first blood on sophomore center fielder Steven Foster’s RBI single to left center in the top of the sixth inning.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Buckeyes finally solved Matteson, breaking through behind an RBI triple from freshman designated hitter Brady Cherry, which scored junior center fielder Troy Montgomery.

With the game tied at 1-1, Dawson once again provided the heroics for OSU. On the first pitch he saw, the 6-foot-2 junior drove a hard-hit single to right field to plate Cherry.

Havird (1-1) picked up the win for OSU, hurling a career-high seven innings and striking out three with no walks. Pavlopoulos picked up another save, his fifth..

Over the weekend, Dawson batted .600 (6-for-10) with seven RBIs, one homer, two triples, one double and two walks. The Grove City, Ohio, native now leads the team with 21 RBIs.

OSU’s next challenge is set to come Tuesday against the Xavier Musketeers (7-12) at 5:05 p.m. The game is OSU’s fourth of a seven-game homestand at Bill Davis Stadium.

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