For the Ohio State Buckeyes baseball team, it was a tale of two weekends. Last weekend, they won the Big Ten Tournament in incredible fashion after winning four games in 24 hours to secure their spot in the NCAA Tournament. This weekend, they lost two games in three days to see their season come to an end in the Louisville Regional on Sunday.
On Friday, the No. 2 seed baseball Buckeyes started off their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2009 in dramatic fashion, with a 7-6 walk-off victory over No. 3 seed Wright State. After taking a 5-0 lead in the third inning, the scarlet and gray found themselves in a 6-5 deficit heading into the bottom of the ninth. But that's when the magic happened—again—when outfielder Ronnie Dawson drove in a run on an RBI single to tie the game and then catcher Jalen Washington hit a ball over the outfielder's heads with bases loaded to lead the Buckeyes to a 7-6 victory.
After beating the Raiders, Ohio State advanced to take on No. 2 overall seed and host Louisville, who was all but unbeatable at home during the regular season. That domination by the Cardinals continued Saturday afternoon, when they beat the Buckeyes 15-2 to advance onto the Regional final, while Ohio State headed to the Loser's bracket. In the loss, the Buckeyes' pitching struggled, especially in a third inning that saw eight Louisville players cross home plate. But, against such a talented team, Ohio State was a big-time underdog.
The scarlet and gray then had to take on Wright State—again—for the second time in the regional. But, unlike the first go 'round, the Buckeyes just didn't have enough to beat the Raiders and lost their final game of the season, 7-3. After taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, Wright State scored five in the bottom half of the inning and never looked back, ending the Buckeyes season on Sunday.
Even though their season came to an end over the weekend. the Buckeyes still had an impressive run. Whether it's winning the conference tournament, advancing onto the NCAA tournament, or making a name for themselves in Columbus, Ohio State has plenty to be proud of:
- Their 44 wins in 2016 led the Big Ten and tied for fifth in school history for a single season.
- The Buckeyes 101 stolen bases and 495 strikeouts are both school records.
- Ronnie Dawson tied the single-season school record with 25 doubles. He also extended his career-high hit streak of 14 games and career-high on-base streak to 21. Also, Dawson's 51 RBIs are the most RBIs a Buckeye has had since 2009.