Ninth-Inning Comeback Falls Short for Bucknell Baseball Against Ohio State
March 19, 2010
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Ohio State needed a diving catch of a Doug Shribman liner in the bottom of the ninth to halt a Bucknell comeback and preserve a 9-7 victory over the Bison Friday afternoon at Chain of Lakes Park. Bucknell, which trailed 9-3 entering the bottom of the ninth, scored four runs in its final at bat and left the bases loaded as it lost for just the second time in its six games in Florida.
After scoring just three runs over the first eight innings, the Bison batted around in the ninth and registered seven of their 16 hits in the frame off a pair of Buckeye pitchers. Shribman, whose soft liner to shallow center was caught by a diving Chris Griffin to end the game, started things off in the ninth with a single between short and third. A walk by Gerald Runyan and a single by David Duffett loaded the bases. A double-play grounder back to the pitcher by pinch hitter Scott Glass slowed the rally, but did not stop it.
Ben Allen's long double to the right center field gap scored two, while Bob Donato followed with an RBI single up the middle, making it 9-6. Kevin Drozin, hitting for the first time in the game after entering as a defensive replacement in the top half of the inning had a hard single to left, bringing the tying run to the plate in the form of Andrew Brouse. Brouse ripped a single down the left field line, scoring Donato. That hit knocked Brian Bobinski from the game as he yielded six hits and four runs in his 1.2 innings.
Dean Wolosiansky entered the game and Scott Reed hit one to the right of the second baseman, which was knocked down, but all runners were safe, leaving the bases loaded for Shribman, who is third on the team with 16 RBIs this season. Wolosiansky got the liner from Shribman, earning his first career save.
Trey Frahler (2-2) started the game for the Bison and pitched effectively through 6.0 innings. He yielded six hits and four runs and left with Bucknell (9-8) trailing just 4-2 against the No. 27 team in the nation. The big blow against him was a three-run home run by cleanup man Michael Stephens in the third inning. It appeared as though right fielder Brouse had the ball in his sights, but it carried over the wall. Frahler got stronger as he got deeper in the game, facing just 12 hitters over his final three innings of work.
Ohio State (10-4) extended its lead off the usually reliable Bison bullpen with three runs in the seventh off Ryan Ebner and two more in the eighth off Matt Foley. Seven of the Buckeyes' 14 hits came in those two innings off the left-handed relievers.
Bucknell initially got on the board in the third inning when B.J. LaRosa led off with a single and Brouse followed with an RBI triple, his 98th career run batted in. Two straight strikeouts by Ohio State starter Drew Rucinski followed and it appeared as though Brouse would be stranded at third, but Runyan drove him home with a looping two-out single to right.
The Bison scored their other run when Ben Yoder, who had been held out of the starting lineup the last couple games with a leg injury, pinch hit with two outs and no one on in the seventh. He proceeded to lift his team-high fifth home run of the season over the right field wall. He now owns a 14-game hitting streak and has hit a home run in three consecutive games played.
Rucinski picked up the win for the Buckeyes, improving to 2-0. He last 5.0 innings, allowed seven hits and two runs and struck out five. It was his first start of the year as he is usually the team's closer.
Five different Bison recorded multi-hit games, including Brouse, who was 2-for-5 with one run scored and two driven in. He is one shy of becoming the seventh player in program history to reach 100 career RBIs.
Bucknell, which was going for its second consecutive win over a Big Ten team, failed to score within the game's first three innings, marking the first time that has occurred this year. The Bison have registered 67 of their 152 runs in the first three innings of contests.
The Bison will wrap up their Florida trip Saturday at 2:30 p.m. against Northwestern at Chain of Lakes Park.