Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Lantern: Arm-not-so-strong: OSU pitcher lit up by E. Michigan

Alex Kopilow
Issue date: 5/13/09

Andrew Armstrong lost his second game in a row in a miserable performance for the Ohio State baseball team. Eastern Michigan defeated the Buckeyes 9-5 Tuesday at Bill Davis Stadium.

Armstrong (2-3) lasted only three innings, giving up seven runs on four hits and walking five batters.

Armstrong let the game get out of hand in the second inning. With two outs and no runners on base, Armstrong walked four consecutive batters. One batter later, Gulliver hit a grand slam to left center field to give the Eagles a 6-0 lead.

OSU coach Bob Todd said Armstrong did not have good velocity or consistency.

Gulliver had five of the first six RBIs for the Eagles. The Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week is 10-for-17 (.588) in his last six games. He had five home runs, 11 runs scored, 12 RBIs and he stole two bases. He was 3-for-4 in game one, with two home runs, two runs scored and five RBIs.

Kendall Lewis (4-4) pitched five innings for Eastern Michigan. He gave up one run on seven hits and struck out one batter.

Lewis gave up his only run to the Buckeyes in the second inning. With one out, Ryan Dew doubled to right field and Justin Miller singled to left field. With runners on first and third bases, Michael Arp hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Dew.

EMU third baseman Zack Leonard singled with two outs in the third inning. Aaron Powell doubled to left-center field to score Leonard. It was the sixth run Armstrong gave up with two outs.

In his last three starts since returning from a tendonitis injury, Armstrong has a 20.77 ERA. In those starts he has given up 21 earned runs on 18 hits and he has walked 10 batters.

Jared Strayer relieved Armstrong in the fourth inning and allowed two runs in three innings pitched. Seven of the nine runs by Eastern Michigan were scored with runners on base because of a walk or being hit by a pitch.

"You are putting your hitters behind the eight ball and that's been our downfall all year in mid-week games," Todd said. "It's 60-feet-6-inches, [OSU pitchers] can throw strikes whether it's in the bullpen or on a mound in a game."

Tim Combs relieved Lewis in the seventh inning. Combs allowed four runs to narrow the EMU lead to 9-5.

The Buckeyes loaded the bases to start the seventh inning. Matt Streng singled to center field to score Miller. As a pinch hitter, Corey Kovanda singled to score Arp and Cory Rupert. Shawyne Forsythe pinch hit for Dan Burkhart and hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Streng.
Justin Miller was named Big Ten Player of the Week Tuesday for his performance in last weekend's series at Illinois. It was the eighth time a Buckeye has won the award, which marks a school record.

Eastern Michigan improved its record to 21-32 as OSU fell to 36-15.

The Buckeyes will finish the regular season with a 3-6 record in mid-week games.

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