Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Oltorik's Solid Start Wasted, Ball State Embarasses Buckeye Bullpen

Ball State scores 20 runs in final 4 innings.

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The title might be a bit harsh, but for anyone who follows the team, win or lose, and cares about the program, tonight's loss is as bad as it gets. Freshman Ross Oltorik who has been struggling this year to provide Coach Todd with solid innings, pitches 5 scoreless innings, allowing just 2 hits, as the Bucks led 5-0 and seemingly on their way to a win.

Then the wheels fell off. Theron Minium who was scheduled to start yesterday's game against Bowling Green before inclement weather prompted the game to be cancelled, came in during the top of the 6th to relieve Oltorik. Minium allowed a lead-off double, walked the next batter, a wild pitch, back-to-back errors didn't help Minium, but he didn't help himself allowing 2 stolen bases without paying too much attention to the runners. A home run to centerfield ended Minium's day. His line: .1 IP, 2 hits, 4 runs, 3 earned, 1 BB, 2 SB's.

Starter Eric Best who started game 2 versus Purdue this past Saturday closed out the 6th with 1 hit, 1 strike out and no more damage done.

Going into the top of the 7th, Coach Todd passed the ball over to Jared Strayer in hopes of getting a few outs before turning the game over to close Jake Hale. It didn't happen. A lead off walk, a reach by error put the first to Cardinal batters on. A RBI single, and hit batter ended Strayer's outing. His line: 0 IP, 1 hit 4 runs, 3 earned, 1 BB, 1 HBP.

With the bases load, Drew Rucinski tried to stop the bleeding, again it didn't happen. A 2-RBI double to the first batter he faced, a ground out, thn another 2-RBI double allowed Ball State in total to score 5 runs in the 7th. Rucinski did strike out the last two batters leaving the score 9-6 with the Bucks not out of it, yet.

Rucinski returned to the mound to start the 8th and his 8th didn't go better than his 7th. A hit batter put the leadoff batter on base for the third inning in a row. A failed bunt attempt for an out was followed by the 3rd BSU triple off Rucinski. A walk loaded the bases which were rudely emptied as Kolbrin Vitek hit a Grand Slam of Rucinski to centerfield. Josh Barrera relieved Rucinski getting the last two outs of the 8th. Rucinski's line: 1.1 IP, 4 hits, 5 runs all earned, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 2 K's.

Barrera returned to the mound in the 9th he too struggled. A leadoff double, a wild pitch, a triple, and a walk ended Barrera's time on the bump. Eric Shinn would be Todd's 7th and final pitcher used. Shin got the first batter he faced to flyout, putting Ball State to their final out. Unfortunately it took long for that final out to come. A walk was followed by a 3-run home run. A wild pitch was sandwiched by two singles, a double drove in the Cardinals 19th and 20th runs, before the last batter grounded out back to Shinn. Barrera's line: 1 IP, 2 hits, 3 runs all earned 1 BB, 1 K. Shinn's line: .2 IP, 4 hits, 4 runs all earned, 1 BB.

In total Ball State destoryed Buckeye pitching with 8 doubles, 3 home runs, an a triple. 12 extra base hits in a game, will win you 99% of them.

The Buckeye bats did their part to win. A few players should not go without credit in such an ugly game. Michael Stephens led the way going 3-for-5 with a home run and 3 RBI's. Hitting behind Stephens, Dan Burkhart went 3-for-3 with an RBI. Michael Arp hit a 2-run home run in the 8th for his only hit. Pinch hitter TJ McManus with 2-for-2 in his duty. Matt Streng also had a multi-hit game going 2-for-3 with a run scored.

Stephens and Burkharts performanced were overshadowed as BSU's 3 and 4 hole hitters went 6-for-11 with 12 RBI, 3 home runs, and 3 doubles.

The Buckeyes look to put this game behind them, and in a hurry as they welcome Northwestern into Bill Davis Stadium for a three game set this weekend. The battle will be against the Big Ten's first place team, and last place team. Though after tonight you hope our bullpen shows up or Northwestern's record will be meaningless. Or three complete games.

The loss is Ohio State's third at home, and their third midweek loss. The Bucks are now 5-3 at Bill Davis this season. The weather is supposed to be great this weekend, so come out and support the team and help them defend their home field in conference play.

OSU Athletics Recap & Notes

Box Score

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