The Ohio State baseball team fell to the University of North Carolina Wilmington, 4-3, on a walk-off single in the 13th inning Saturday afternoon at Clark-LeClair Stadium in Greenville, N.C.
The Buckeyes, who are now eliminated from the NCAA Tournament after losing to South Carolina on Friday, totaled five hits and nine walks compared to UNC-Wilmington’s 19 hits and six walks. Noah McGowan led Ohio State with two hits. Dominic Canzone, Jacob Barnwell and Noah West drove in the runs for Ohio State.
Kep Brown led the way for the Seahawks, hitting 4 for 7 with the game-winning run batted in. Ryan Jeffers and Mason Berne had three-hit games. Jeffers, Berne, Brown and David Sheaffer drove in UNCW’s runs.
The Buckeyes got on the board first in the top of the second without recording a hit. UNCW starter Gage Herring walked Dillon Dingler and Barnwell to open the inning, and Bo Coolen laid down a sacrifice bunt to move them over.
Herring walked West to load the bases, and right hander Austin Warren relieved the freshman starter with one out. Canzone hit an RBI groundout to second, scoring Dingler and giving Ohio State a 1-0 lead. Herring allowed one run on one hit and four walks with two strikeouts in 1⅓ innings.
The Seahawks answered in the bottom half, starting when Brown singled, reached second on a sacrifice bunt and took third on a wild pitch. Sheaffer singled to right field, driving in Brown and tying the game at 1-1. Ohio State starter Ryan Feltner allowed another single and a walk to load the bases, but escaped the inning with a strikeout and groundout.
Ohio State scored again in the fourth inning on a Jacob Barnwell solo home run down the left-field line, his second of the season.
UNCW tied the game at 2-2 with a two-out rally in the bottom of the fourth. Feltner walked Zachary Bridges and committed a throwing error trying to pick him off, allowing Bridges to advance to third. Feltner walked Greg Jones and then Jeffers came through with a two-out RBI single through the right side, scoring Bridges.
Warren was relieved by UNCW right hander Henry Ryan to open the seventh inning. Warren allowed one run on two hits with four strikeouts in 4⅔ innings after relieving Herring in the second.
Ohio State right hander Austin Woodby relieved Feltner to start the bottom of the seventh. Feltner, who is from Hudson, Ohio, allowed two runs on seven hits and three walks with four strikeouts in six innings.
The Seahawks threatened to score off Woodby with three consecutive one-out singles, but Ohio State left fielder Tyler Cowles gunned out Berne attempting to score from second for his team-high eighth outfield assist. Then with runners on second and third, Woodby forced Sheaffer to ground out and end the seventh.
UNCW right hander Clark Cota relieved Ryan to start the ninth. Ryan allowed one hit and one walk in two scoreless innings of relief.
In the bottom of the 10th, Sheaffer slapped a one-out single, and Ohio State right hander Seth Kinker relieved Woodby. The fifth-year senior from Cincinnati allowed six hits and one walk with two strikeouts in 3⅓ scoreless innings.
Jackson Meadows singled up the middle, advancing pinch-runner Austin Easter to second. Doug Angeli grounded out and the runners advanced to second and third. Kinker forced Bridges to ground out to end the inning.
Dingler and Barnwell drew back-to-back walks with one out in the top of the 11th. After Coolen struck out, West came through with a two-out RBI single to left field, scoring Dingler and taking a 3-2 lead. UNCW right hander Logan Beehler relieved Cota and escaped the inning. Cota allowed one run on one hit and four walks with two strikeouts in 2⅔ innings.
The Seahawks struck back in the bottom of the 11th. Jeffers ripped a one-out double to right center, and Berne drove him in with an RBI single up the middle, tying the game at 3-3.
Still with one out, Brown singled to center field, and pinch-runner Luke Gesell attempted to score the game-winning run from second. Dingler fired a strike to home plate and retired Gesell for the game-saving second out. Kinker forced Cole Weiss to ground into a fielder’s choice, ending the inning.
After the first out of the bottom of the 12th, a lightning delay halted action for more than an hour. Ohio State right hander Yianni Pavlopoulos relieved Kinker after the delay. The senior closer allowed one run on four hits with one strikeout in two innings.
UNCW left hander Blake Morgan relieved Beehler after the delay. Beehler pitched 1⅓ scoreless innings with two strikeouts.
Bridges drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the 13th and advanced to second on a groundout. After intentionally walking Jeffers, Pavlopoulos was pulled for right hander Kyle Michalik. Noah Liles hit a pinch-hit single to load the bases. Brown then hit a walk-off single, winning the game, 4-3, and ending the Buckeyes’ season.