The Ohio State baseball team fell to South Carolina, 8-3, after allowing a five-run seventh inning to open the Greenville Regional in the NCAA Tournament on Friday afternoon at Clark-LeClair Stadium in Greenville, N.C.
Danny Blair and Justin Row led the way for the Gamecocks with three runs batted in and two RBI, respectively.
Dillon Dingler stood out for the Scarlet and Gray, driving in two of the team’s three runs on a home run and a double.
Ohio State tallied nine hits and drew five walks compared to 14 hits and three walks for South Carolina.
The Buckeyes got on the board first when Dingler blasted a solo home run beyond the fence in left field, giving Ohio State a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning.
Hunter Taylor was the first Gamecock to reach base, drawing a leadoff walk in the third. He stole second when no one covered the base and reached third on a groundout, but was stranded at third.
The Scarlet and Gray threatened in the top of the fourth with two outs. Jacob Barnwell and Bo Coolen laced back-to-back singles. Coolen stole second and Noah West drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases. However, Dominic Canzone lined out to left field to end the inning.
The Gamecocks picked up their first hit in the bottom of the fourth on a leadoff single by Carlos Cortes. Madison Stokes ripped the ball into the hole at shortstop and West made a diving stop and throw to force Cortes out at second. Jonah Bride smacked a single to left. Stokes and Bride advanced to third and second on a groundout, but LT Tolbert grounded out to end the inning.
Kobie Foppe drew his third walk of the game, leading off the fifth inning and ending South Carolina starter Adam Hill’s outing. Right hander Eddy Demurias relieved Hill, who allowed one run on four hits and four walks with six strikeouts in four innings.
Tyler Cowles doubled to left field off Demurias, giving Ohio State runners on second and third with no outs. Demurias was able to escape the inning without further damage.
The Gamecocks threatened again in the bottom half when Jacob Olson ripped a one-out double and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Curlis forced Matt Williams to ground out and struck out Noah Campbell to end the inning.
Conner Pohl hit a two-out single in the top of the seventh and advanced to second on a passed ball. Dingler roped an RBI double down the left field line, scoring Pohl and extending Ohio State’s lead to 2-0.
Ohio State right hander Seth Kinker relieved Curlis to pitch the bottom of the seventh. Curlis pitched six scoreless innings, allowing four hits and two walks with four strikeouts.
Kinker gave up back-to-back singles to Taylor and Olson to open the inning. After a sacrifice bunt, Danny Blair crushed a three-run home run to right field, giving the Gamecocks a 3-2 lead.
Cortes and Stokes hit another pair of singles and advanced to third and second on a groundout. Justin Row came through with a two-out, two-run single and extended South Carolina’s lead to 5-2.
South Carolina right hander Graham Lawson relieved Demurias to open the eighth inning. Demurias allowed one unearned run on four hits and one walk with one strikeout in three innings.
Ohio State left hander Griffan Smith relieved Kinker in the eighth. The freshman southpaw walked Olson and gave up a single to Williams. After a sacrifice bunt, Cortes hit an RBI single.
Right hander Kyle Michalik came in for Smith and struck out Stokes, but Williams scored on a throwing error by Jacob Barnwell. Bride singled to left, scoring Cortes and extending the Gamecocks’ lead to 8-2.
Foppe led off the ninth by reaching on a Tolbert error and Cowles singled through the right side. Noah McGowan struck out and Pohl hit a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Foppe to make it 8-3. Lawson forced Dingler to end the game, allowing one unearned run on one hit in two innings.
Ohio State will play UNC-Wilmington in an elimination game Saturday at noon ET.