The only good that came with today's embarrassing loss to Army is that it allowed myself the chance to work on alliteration as you can see in the title. Outside of that, the Buckeyes took a giant step backwards in falling 14-9 to an Army team that came in with just one win in 11 contests.
This is a bad loss.
This is a bad loss that stings more as I see St. John's is only 5-8 taking away any thought that Ohio State has a quality win to their record, not sure how I was oblivious to the Johnnies struggles but back to today.
The saying strong up the middle is apparently falling on deaf ears for the Buckeye players as a combined five errors were made between the catcher, shortstop, and center fielder. In total the Buckeyes committed six errors which led to six unearned runs. After 11 games Ohio State now has 19 errors which has led to 19 unearned runs.
I will not rehash the disgust with the defense. Six errors speaks for itself.
As you can see by the box score, several Buckeyes had good games at the plate en route to nine runs. But again this comes against Army, a team that surrendered 18 runs against Radford. It is nice to see both Tyler Engle and Brian DeLucia collect a few hits though.
Ryan Cypret led Ohio State with a 5-for-6 game at the plate, while DeLucia added four hits in six at-bats, and Engle reached base five times drawing two walks with three hits in four at-bats.
Unfortunately for the latter two, their strong offensive games come as Engle made his sixth error of the season while DeLuica had two errors in center field.
On the mound freshman Greg Greve struggled for the second time in three starts. While the defense behind him did not help, and he did strikeout seven batters, some of the excitement over what he showed in fall practice needs tailored back a bit. Seldom do rookies enter the rotation running, Ohio State hasn't had that going back now 5-6 years since J.B. Shuck and Cory Luebke, two outstanding pitchers.
Army struck Greve for four runs in the first, two unearned, and three in the second with two runs again being unearned. Greve combined with Theron Minium got the Buckeyes through the sixth with just two more runs being added after the second inning.
With two Buckeye runs in the first, four in the second, and a lone run in the sixth, Ohio State trailed just 9-7 going into the seventh.
However from there Army would build upon their lead as Brett McKinney allowed a solo home run in the seventh, Andrew Armstrong was unable to find the strikezone in the eighth as he hit a batter, allowed a hit, an issued a four-pitch walk with recording just one out. David Fathalikhani recorded the final two outs in the eighth but not before two runs scored on Armstrong's accord. Army finished their scoring in the ninth as a runner reached first after a strikeout but throwing error by backstop Greg Solomon.
Ohio State initially countered Army with two runs of their own in the seventh, but a 1-2-3 eighth, and three consecutive strikeouts by DeLucia, Matt Streng, and Brad Hallberg with the bases loaded in the ninth sealed the loss.
Ohio State falls to 6-5 while Army improves to 2-10.
Buckeyes will take Winter Quarter final exams this week before kicking off their California spring break with a three game set at California in Berkeley. The Bears are currently ranked 29th by the National College Baseball Writers Association.
More will come midweek on where the Buckeyes are at the season's quarter-point, as well as some lingering thoughts from a disappointing weekend.