Facing off against a Northern Kentucky team that entered the game with a 12-22 record and against a pitcher with an ERA over 8.00, the Ohio State baseball team (15-22) found itself beat in all aspects across the board and dropped their third consecutive midweek game, 8-1.
Losing three consecutive midweek games is always a rough stretch to go through for a team, especially when the unit combines for just three runs across those games.
After the game coach Greg Beals, clearly frustrated with his team’s performance, had just one thing to say.
“We got outplayed. We got beat,” Beals said.
In most midweek games, a team will try to get as many players in the game as possible. But Beals said after the game that getting players ready for the weekend was not his intention.
“Nope. Not at all,” Beals said.
The opposing pitcher for the Norse jumpstarted his team’s offense in the bottom of the first. With a runner on first and two out, junior pitcher Trey Ganns crushed the first pitch he saw to the right-center field gap to score the runner and give his team the 1-0 lead. Later in the inning, Ganns himself would come around to score on an RBI single to make it a 2-0 ball game.
The Buckeyes put a run up in the bottom of the second on a RBI groundout, but Ganns answered right back in the top half of the third with a moonshot to deep center field to give his team back its two-run lead.
After the next batter struck out looking, junior second baseman Dominic Mercurio launched a solo shot of his own to left field, giving his team the 4-1 lead. A RBI double later in the inning pushed Northern Kentucky’s lead to 5-1.
With a runner on second in the top half of the sixth inning, freshman left fielder Brendan Alas drove a double over the head of the right fielder, driving in the Norse’s sixth run.
Ganns was not done with his all-around performance. In the top of the eighth inning with runners on first and second, he drilled a grounder just beyond the outstretched glove of the third baseman that rolled all the way to the left field corner, scoring both runners and bringing the score to 8-1.
The Norse’s starting pitcher was a one-man wrecking crew for Northern Kentucky. On the bump, Ganns went five innings in his ninth start of the season, allowing just one run on three hits with a pair of strikeouts and no walks. His one run allowed was tied for the lowest allowed by any Northern Kentucky pitcher in a start this season.
He was just as formidable at the plate, as he finished 3 for 5 with a home run, two doubles, two runs scored and four runs batted in.
“He threw strikes with his fastball,” Beals said. “Pitched his fastball on both sides of the plate. Beat us for five innings with a fastball pretty much. Give him credit for being able to do that. Offensively, he’s aggressive. He ripped off swings at fastballs and hit fastballs when he got them.”
The Buckeyes will host UNC Greensboro on Friday with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m., desperately searching for a win and some confidence boosters before resuming conference play. Beals knows this is a crucial point in the season and these games ahead are going to be must-wins for the Buckeyes.
“If they ain’t got it by this point — we’re 15-22 — if they ain’t got it figured out that they’ve got to play better,” Beals said. “Then I don’t know if I can help them.”