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Fact & Opinion: How OSU Dropped Finals, Series to Michigan

Vaseline 2 months ago

Our opinion, contrary to the original call and replay review… shows a different outcome than Mitch Okuley being called in the third. (Press Pros with Photos)

For five innings, they had the pitching and enough hitting to win most games. But facts intervened during the final four innings and cost the Buckeyes the final of the Michigan series, as well as the series itself.

Ann Arbor, MI – The fact that they lost the series finale to Michigan and the series itself was self-evident. The Wolverines (20-21, 10-5 in Big Ten) simply outperformed Ohio State over the final four innings and won 7-5 on Sunday at Ray Fisher Stadium.

It’s the number of ‘what if’ questions, and a few that stood in stark contrast to the facts of the match, that will ensure that the outcome becomes something that those who witnessed it remember and remember well into the summer. until the two teams meet again.

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It was a game that was up for grabs, with Ohio State getting a key pinch-base hit from Hunter Rosson in the fifth inning to break a 1-1 tie and give the Buckeyes the offensive lift they needed to to support a superior starting performance of first-year students. pitcher Gavin DeVooght.

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And DeVooght, making just his fourth start of the season, was fantastic. He pitched five innings of 1-run, 4-hit baseball, striking out six and walking only one. He threw 85 pitches so confidently and convincingly that little was left. doubt over the last twenty games of the season whether Bill Mosiello and the coaching staff have finally found their third weekend starter.

But despite leading 3-1 in the fifth, the Buckeyes could have done more, leaving too many men on base — two in each of the first three innings — in the absence of that timely hit that Mosiello so often complains about.

They scored first in the first inning off Michigan starter Mitch Voit after a pair of walks and an infield hit, loading the bases for Mitchell Okuley. With Voit on the ropes, Okuley narrowly missed a one-out double play, beating the throw to first base for a fielder’s choice and driving in Lipsey.

Michigan would tie the score in the bottom of the second inning, after a questionable call initially on a bunt hit by Michigan with a man on it, when Matt Graveline’s throw was ruled by umpire James Muhleck who had pulled Ryan Miller off the bag. The operative word is…questionable.

Bill Mosiello gets the cold shoulder from umpire Greg Harmon after questioning a call at the plate in the third inning.

Even more questions in the third, when Mitchell Okuley doubled with one out, advanced to third base… and then was thrown out at home on a wild pitch that was retrieved in time to eliminate Okuley trying to score …From catcher to pitcher covering home plate. Except Okuley jumped up and immediately signaled to reconsider the call. And in fact, or at least according to opinion, home plate umpire Greg Harmon probably kicked the call from here to Ypsilanti while standing five feet away. The accompanying photo (above) shows that Okuley clearly had his hand on the edge of the board by the time Mitch Voit tagged him. Only… the Big Ten’s crack review system upheld the call, denying the Buckeyes a key run at the time.

They overcame that and scored two in the top of the sixth on a single by Joe Mershon, a double by Josh Stevenson and a clutch-pinch-hit single to right by Hunter Rosson, driving in both runs… 3-1, OSU.

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But DeVooght, who had been so good for five innings, was retired in the bottom of the sixth inning for reliever Colin Purcell and pitched in place of Blaine Wynk, who missed the weekend due to an arm ailment.

“DeVooght was fantastic,” Mosiello said when questioned later. “But he’s a freshman making his fourth start, and we didn’t want him to overdo it and get hurt just for one ball game. You hope to expand it to six or seven innings and a hundred pitches, but that will be next week or in the future. But that was a great outing from him, and you couldn’t have asked for more.”

And who can argue?

Michigan’s Colin Priest celebrates a three-run homer in the third that put the Wolverines ahead for good.

Purcell struck out the leadoff hitter, but gave up a walk and a single… and a three-run home run to Michigan’s Cole Caruso after a questionable 2-2 pitch was called a ball by Greg Harmon, who called it heard from both banks. all day. Caruso hit the next pitch out of the park. Clearly upset, Purcell gave up another home run to catcher Will Rogers. Purcell never recorded the final out and allowed all four runs as Jacob Morin stepped in to take over and the Buckeyes trailed 5-3.

The Buckeyes added a run in the top of the seventh on a Pettorini double, his third hit of the day, and an eventual sacrifice fly by Joseph Mershon…5-4, Michigan.

But Michigan struck twice more off Morin in the bottom of the seventh, who was retired for Justin Eckhardt who recorded the final out… 7-4, Michigan.

And they added another run in the top of the ninth on a Kaczmar double, a ground ball that took him to third base, and an RBI sacrifice fly past Pettorini to deep center. But Mitchell Okuley flied out harmlessly to center to end the game and the weekend.

These are the facts, of course, and it would be hard to argue that the referee cost the Buckeyes the game and the series. But more opinions…it should be better in the Big Ten, and if it was football, it would be!

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“(Blaine) Wynk didn’t get a chance to pitch this weekend, and he’s in if he was available in the sixth inning in place of Purcell,” Bill Mosiello said. “It’s really not Purcell’s role, but we had no other weapons. We were hoping he (Purcell) could get us an inning, but he didn’t, and I thought the 2-2 pitch (against Caruso) was the third strike. We will unfortunately look into that, but it doesn’t matter now whether it was (a strike).

“Morin, I think, is a little out of gas because he’s had to pitch so much, but when you don’t have the best reliever to pitch, that was the ball game.”

Hunter Rosson’s pinch-hit single in the fifth gave OSU a 3-1 lead.

That, plus the fact that if they had gotten another hit or two during those early innings, they could have put more pressure on the Michigan bullpen, which was exposed Saturday when they used eight relievers to hold Ohio State to 16 runs. to hold.

“They got more timely hits than we did,” he added. “But we’re starting to develop some guys and that’s the goal: to keep getting better.

“Today was a breaker, I don’t care who the team is if you lose two out of three. Of course it’s huge against them, but we just outhit today with the big hits.’

The Buckeyes (19-17, 6-6 in Big Ten) lost by 5 runs on 10 hits and made no errors. Colin Purcell (1-4) took the loss

Michigan won it by 7 runs on 13 hits and no errors. Reliever Jacob Denner was credited with the win.

Now things get interesting, with not only a winnable series ahead next week against Michigan State, but a winnable series against the recently struggling Spartans here (17-20 and 5-7 in the Big Ten). Michigan State won two of three against Penn State this weekend after being swept by Purdue last week.

“This didn’t make or break our year, and we’re still in the middle of it,” Mosiello added. “But we would have been much more comfortable. There’s still a lot of baseball to go. This hurts today, but we’ll take the day off tomorrow and get ready for Tuesday (Wright State). I love this club, I love the fight and we just have to finish the games.”

Despite any opinions about Sunday – the “what ifs” – they are all facts.

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