The Ohio State baseball team rode a four-game winning streak into Tuesday’s matchup against Campbell. However, a strong start from sophomore right-handed pitcher Cade Kuehler and six home runs helped the Fighting Camels defeat the Buckeyes 11-1.
Ohio State’s (17-27, 6-13 Big Ten) offense was limited to five hits as the Camels (31-14, 16-2 Big South) received three home runs from redshirt-senior catcher Ty Babin. Campbell had three players notch at least three RBIs, as it attacked Ohio State pitching early and often.
“We just simply need to execute higher quality pitches,” head coach Greg Beals said. “You saw exactly what they are as an NCAA tournament team. The ball was a little up in the zone and we need to pitch at the bottom of the zone to keep them in the ballpark. But tomorrow is going to be a great opportunity for our ballclub to bounce back.”
The Camels never allowed Buckeyes’ freshman right-hander Jacob Gehring to settle in. While Kuehler surrendered one run over six innings of work, the Camels’ offense tagged Gehring for eight earned runs over 4 2/3 innings pitched.
In the first inning, Campbell jumped out to an early lead that it wouldn’t surrender. After back-to-back singles, redshirt-sophomore outfielder Lawson Harrill hit a three-run home run to give the Camels a 3-0 lead.
They added on to the lead with two solo home runs by Babin – in the second and fourth innings, respectively – to make the game 5-0.
“They play with a lot of confidence,” Beals said. “When you can hit the ball out of the ballpark and have that instant offense like they have, it feeds that confidence.”
Campbell’s offensive onslaught continued in the fifth inning, as redshirt-junior infielder Drake Pierson hit a three-run home run off of Gehring to make it an 8-0 ballgame.
Ohio State got on the board in the fifth. After senior catcher Archer Brookman walked, fellow senior infielder Marcus Ernst drove him in with an RBI double to cut the deficit to 8-1, but that was all the offense could muster.
In the seventh inning, the Camels tacked on two more on Babin’s third home run of the game and an RBI double by redshirt-junior infielder Jarrod Belbin to make the score 10-1.
Redshirt-sophomore infielder Zach Neto added a solo shot in the eighth inning, as the Camels tallied 15 hits.
Ohio State will close out its two-game series against Campbell at Bill Davis Stadium Wednesday at 3:05 p.m.