The Ohio State baseball team fell, 7-5, to Murray State to even the series Saturday afternoon at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. With the loss, the Buckeyes drop to 22-18 on the season while the Thoroughbreds improve to 17-19.
“We got beat by a team today that executed an offensive philosophy,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. “We only gave up runs in two innings but we weren’t able to stop the bleeding in those innings. The ball wasn’t traveling anywhere today because of the wind and they hit the ball on the ground all day. We hit some balls really hard in the air that were all outs and they executed their gameplan.”
The Buckeyes threatened in the bottom of the first for the second game in a row. Nick Sergakis and Ronnie Dawson opened the games with singles off Murray State starter Cody Maerz before a sacrifice bunt by Troy Kuhn moved both runners up a base. However, Maerz got Pat Porter to pop out to second for the second out of the inning before Zach Ratcliff flew out to center to end the first scoreless.
Ohio State took the lead in the bottom of the third. Dawson walked with one down, moved to second on an error on a failed pickoff throw and scored on a single to right by Kuhn for the 1-0 Buckeye advantage.
Murray State answered back with a run in the top of the fourth. Kollin Dowdy reached on a leadoff single, stole second, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a two-out single up the middle by Luke Daugherty to tie the game at 1-1. After two more singles by Matt McGowan and Rick Linton loaded the bases, Taylor Mathews lined a two-run single to right to score McGowan and Linton for the 3-1 Murray State lead.
Ohio State got a run back in the bottom of the fifth. Dawson singled up the middle and Kuhn doubled down the left-field line to put Buckeyes on second and third with one down for Porter. Murray State then went to left-hander Brock Downey, who allowed an RBI groundout by Porter to cut the Murray State lead to 3-2.
Murray State threatened again in the sixth when a walk to Daugherty and a single through the left side chased Greve in favor of Tyler Giannonatti. The Ohio State senior right-hander was able to get a fielder’s choice on a sacrifice bunt attempt, a strikeout and a fly out to keep it a one-run game.
A single and a pair of walks loaded the bases with two down for the Thoroughbreds in the top of the seventh before the Buckeyes went to Travis Lakins out of the bullpen. McGowan then lined a single to left to plate Anthony Bayus and Linton followed with a walk to score Tyler Lawrence before Mathews capped the inning with a two-run single to center to extend the Murray State lead to 7-2.
Downey kept the Buckeyes off the board until a pair of errors and a walk loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the ninth. Kuhn then grounded into a fielder’s choice before to plate Connor Sabanosh before an error allowed Sergakis to score. After a single by Porter put runners on the corners, Ratcliff scored Kuhn with a sacrifice fly to make it a 7-5 game but Downey was able to get pinch0hitter Ryan Leffel to fly out to left to end the game.
Downey picked up the win to improve to 7-1 on the year while Greve suffered the loss to fall to 4-3. Kuhn went 3-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored while Sergakis and Dawson each tallied two-hit games.