For the second straight game, the Ohio State Buckeyes were able to find some late inning heroics as they came away with the 7-6 victory over the Wright State Raiders in the NCAA tournament.
The Buckeyes’ late rally was once again centered around junior left fielder Ronnie Dawson, who tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with a single to right field.
With two outs, junior co-captain Jalen Washington launched the ball to deep center over the head of the center fielder, scoring Dawson and sending the Scarlet and Gray to the next round of the Louisville regional.
The game had the early makings of a typical Friday-night pitcher’s duel. Scoreless until the bottom of the third inning, the Buckeyes put together a two-out rally. After back-to-back hits put runners on first and second, Dawson lined a single to left to give the Buckeyes the 2-0 lead.
A hit batter put runners back at first and second for junior center fielder Troy Montgomery. On a 2-1 count, Montgomery lifted a bloop double into left field that scored both runners and expanded the lead to 4-0. Another RBI single brought the game to 5-0.
But the Raiders did not take long to respond. After a two-run top of the fourth inning, Wright State was able to get to junior ace Tanner Tully. With three straight runners reaching to lead off the inning, Tully hit right fielder Peyton Burdick with a pitch to bring the game to within two. With the score now 5-3, center fielder Ryan Fucci doubled down the left field line, scoring three runs and giving Wright State the 6-5 lead.
Ohio State junior starting pitcher Tanner Tully was roughed up in a very uncharacteristic start. The southpaw entered the day with an 8-3 record and a 2.34 ERA. Tully failed to register an out in the fifth inning and finished with a final line of four innings, six runs (four earned) on six hits, two walks, one hit batsman and only two strikeouts.
The starter for Wright State, on the other hand, was sharp for all but one inning of the game. Senior right-hander Jesse Scholtens gave up five runs (all earned) in the third inning, but managed to give the Raiders seven solid innings. He only walked one and gave up seven hits (five of which came in the third) while striking out three.
Ohio State will play the winner of the Louisville vs. Western Michigan game tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET. That game will be started by senior left-hander John Havird.