top of page
  • Writer's picturePeak Events

By George Kopf

Mississippi State rallies, Ohio State survives to win Frisco Classic


Game 1: Mississippi State 8, California 4

Bulldogs charge late, shutdown Golden Bears in Sunday morning finale


A back-and-forth affair turned maroon and white late, as Mississippi State scored four in the last three innings to leave Frisco with a 8-4 win over Cal on Sunday.


The Bulldogs salvaged their last game of the weekend, mainly on the arm of right-handed reliever Nate Dohm. He pitched five scoreless innings to shut down the hot bats of California, who had a little bit of a letdown from Saturday’s run-rule over Ohio State.


“We knew it would be a very tough game,” said Golden Bears head coach Mike Neu. “We needed to make some plays in those last three innings, and it just didn’t work out our way.”


On the flipside, Coach Neu may have found a gem in center fielder Rodney Green Jr. He had a beautiful swing on his third-inning homer, connecting for his second longball of the weekend. Green also made a fantastic home-run robbery to keep his team in it at the time. His efforts got him on the all-tournament team.


From the fifth inning onward, it was Dohm’s time to shine on the rubber for the Bulldogs. His outing put the gas on the throttle for Mississippi State to close out the win.


“He’s really good,” said Neu. “He made pitches when he needed to.”


Dohm’s one-hit, six-strikeout performance stole the show on Sunday morning and even in a rocky seventh where he loaded the bases, he got out of it and was rewarded with a win.


“I felt the game was on the line there in the middle innings and he got us another win there today,” Mississippi State head coach Chris Lemonis said.


At the plate, second baseman Amani Larry led the charge in the leadoff spot, fell a triple shy of the cycle, scored two runs, and powered his Bulldogs to a momentum-growing win after tough losses on Friday and Saturday.


“I like being the guy that sets the tone,” Larry said. “If they throw a first pitch that’s a strike, I’m probably going to hit it.”


Both coaches praised the tournament field as having the feel of a regional format, saying a lot about the talent and composition of all four rosters.


“I hope we’re a better team for playing here,” Neu added.


Game 2: Ohio State 12, Oklahoma 9

Buckeyes hold off Sooners late to take home Frisco championship belt


Ohio State center fielder Kade Kern’s 3-run dinger in the seventh inning proved to be the difference, as the Buckeyes survived a late Oklahoma comeback to win 12-9 on Sunday and take home the 2023 Frisco Classic Championship.


Twenty-four hours after getting run-ruled and roughed up pitching-wise, it looked as if Sunday’s game could be headed in the same direction. Luckily for the Buckeyes, three big crooked numbers changed the narrative and gave head coach Bill Mosiello his first signature win at the Ohio State helm.


“Take every win you can possibly get and learn from it,” Mosiello said. “It’s a lot easier to learn from wins than it is from losses.”


The Buckeyes only got to exhale after true freshman Landon Beidelschies pitched out of traffic in the eighth and ninth and certainly didn’t look like a true freshman on the mound.


“We have thrown him in so many tough situations, but he’s the best guy we have for that,” said Mosiello. “He’s going to have to go through that and thank goodness he did an awesome job in that ninth inning.


Meanwhile, for Oklahoma, a strong three-run first inning was only followed by late-inning magic that came up short. In total, the Sooners stranded 13 men on the basepaths when they left 16 combined in their first two games in Frisco.


“We took momentum in the first, but I thought the separator was the third inning,” coach Skip Johnson said. “We could never regain that momentum and did a poor job throwing strikes out of the bullpen.”


Oklahoma shortstop Dakota Harris was named the 2023 Frisco Classic MVP after notching ten hits on the weekend and playing sound defense all three games at Riders Field.


“It’s an honor, I put the work in, everyone put together competitive at-bats, just happened to be me this weekend,” Harris said.


As for Sunday’s MVP, Kern may have been overshadowed by Beidelschies’ pitching, but his long, 426-foot homer was a season-defining moment for the Buckeyes.


“He’s a really special elite player,” Mosiello said. “He has come up in the clutch recently. My dream is for those guys to get some more notoriety so that people realize we’ve got some really talented guys on this ball club.”


Kern drew attention this weekend for his efforts, making the all-tournament team as an outfielder, one of three Buckeyes to be honored.


As for the team’s success, this will be a weekend that sets a standard going forward in Columbus.

“We’re going to put [the belt] somewhere where they can see it and remember what it takes to win on a big Sunday and compete against a great program like Oklahoma,” said Mosiello.


115 views
  • Writer's picturePeak Events

By George Kopf

Sooners win slugfest, Golden Bears dominate in run-rule



Game 1: Oklahoma 15, Mississippi State 9

Sooners’ offense explodes for 18 hits in an offensive slugfest


Perfect weather made for an offensive showing on Saturday. In a line score that would be more appropriate for the gridiron, Oklahoma outlasted Mississippi State 15-9.


The Sooners mainly did their damage in bunches, scoring three in the second, five in the third, and four in the fifth. Catcher Easton Carmichael’s 3-run blast in the second got things started, while pinch hitter Rocco Garza-Gongora’s 3-run dinger highlighted the third inning. Five hits in the fifth added more insurance to a one-run lead at the time.

“I think momentum is contagious,” said Oklahoma head coach Skip Johnson. “Hitting is contagious. The momentum will start carrying and keep carrying. Squaring the ball up is really key when [momentum shifts],” Johnson added.


As for the Bulldogs, the bats came alive after a poor showing on Friday, where they only managed three hits. Saturday afternoon saw Mississippi State leave the yard twice and scratched nine runs across the board.


“We had opportunities all day long and we could’ve made that game a whole lot closer,” Mississippi State head coach Chris Lemonis said.


Left fielder Bryan Chance and catcher Ross Highfill, the two freshmen in the Bulldog lineup, played well in the loss. Highfill launched his first career home run while Chance drove in two runs batting in the three-spot, proving the future is bright in Starkville.


“Our young guys are playing well,” Lemonis remarked. “We are a young team, but it is still SEC baseball. We had opportunities all day long, and could’ve made that game closer.”


Conversely, Oklahoma will have an opportunity to go 3-0 and win the Frisco Classic on Sunday.


“Every time they scored, we scored, which was really big,” Johnson said.



Game 2: California 16, Ohio State 1

Golden Bears prowl on Buckeye pitching, complete 7-inning run-rule

A 10-run fifth inning, punctuated by first baseman Peyton Schulze’s grand slam, propelled California to a 15-1 run-rule victory over Ohio State.


The two teams agreed to having the run-rule be in effect prior to first pitch. A long, nine-batter first inning for California set the tone for a potential run-rule to take place. The Golden Bears plated five runs on five singles in the opening frame.

“To have a ten-run inning, and stay disciplined in that fifth and then tack one on in the sixth, to me that is just as impressive to do that,” California head coach Mike Neu said.


Junior RHP Paulshawn Pasqualotto threw four strong innings to complement the offensive attack and certainly help the Golden Bears cruise.


“It’s always great to start with a lead,” Neu said. “You can get a little more aggressive with pitching. You can play a little more free, and our pitchers did a really good job with that.”


The single run that Ohio State was a sight to behold. Marcus Ernst got a hold of a fastball, depositing it into the lazy river in right field.


“He’s got good power,” said Ohio State head coach Bill Mosiello. “It’s good to see him

get going, I like where we’re at, overall just a tough day.”


The run-rule marked the first time the Buckeyes have lost in that fashion this season and the first one in five years.


“It’s just one of those days that you know will happen but you hope they wouldn’t, “ Mosiello said.


UP NEXT:

Mississippi State vs. California (11:00am/Sunday)

Ohio State vs. Oklahoma (3:00pm/Sunday)


134 views
  • Writer's picturePeak Events

Courtesy of George Kopf


OKLAHOMA SURGES IN MIDDLE INNINGS, WHILE BUCKEYES PULL AWAY LATE


Game 1: Oklahoma 9, California 5

Sooners storm ahead, complete comeback to open Frisco Classic


The Oklahoma Sooners powered ahead of the California Golden Bears 9-5 to open the 2023 Frisco Classic. After falling behind 3-0 in the middle of the fourth, Oklahoma scored six unanswered runs to come back and take the lead.


California put up the first runs of the weekend, courtesy of a sacrifice fly in the first, a Rodney Green Jr. home run to right field in the third, and a fourth inning sacrifice fly by second baseman Cade Campbell to create an early lead.


The lead was short-lived, as the Sooners climbed back in and took control of the game.


Cal’s fortunes seem to go south after starting pitcher Ian May left the game due to a left elbow injury. He threw to one batter in the third inning and was visibly in pain after throwing a strike. The severity of May’s injury is yet to be determined, but head coach Mike Neu remained optimistic.


Hopefully nothing serious,” said Neu. “That’s the hope. Anytime someone has to come out in the middle of the game it’s always a little scary. We’ll just have to wait and see.”


The Sooners leaned on second baseman Jackson Nicklaus and center fielder John Spikerman to bring them back into the game and pull ahead. The two sophomores combined for four extra base hits, seven RBIs, and three runs. Nicklaus connected for two 2-run home runs to right-center field and gave him his first career multi-homer game.


“I was just trying to hunt the inside seam of the fastball early in the count and luckily the dude threw me two,” said Nicklaus. “I was able to get inside and push it out into right-center.”


Cal didn’t go out quietly, as junior outfielder Jag Burden torched a two-run homerun to get the game back within one. However, that would be as close as the Golden Bears would get.


While the offense did the heavy lifting, the Sooner arms were solid too. Starter Kale Davis went four strong innings, while lefty reliever Carter Campbell came out of the bullpen to put a comeback bid to rest. Carson Atwood closed out the ballgame with a perfect ninth.


“I thought it was one of the best team wins of the year,” head coach Skip Johnson said.




Game 2: Ohio State 8, Mississippi State 3

Buckeyes’ bats wake up after early pitchers’ duel


A tight matchup turned upside down late as Ohio State put up two big crooked numbers to beat Mississippi State 8-3 under the lights at Riders Field.


The Buckeyes and Bulldogs were stuck in a pitcher’s duel as ambidextrous pitcher Jurrangelo Cijntje and LHP Isaiah Coupet battled it out. Once both hurlers were pulled, the bats came alive for Ohio State, scoring four in the sixth inning and three in the seventh inning.


“I wasn’t successful early,” said Coupet. “Later in the game, I was getting ahead with the curveball and when you get ahead, you can make pitches when you need to.”


Buckeye designated hitter Tyler Pettorini had the biggest hit of the night, clearing the bases on a double that nearly got over the right field wall.


“Anytime you put three runs on the board with one swing, that’s always pretty good,” said Ohio State head coach Bill Mosiello.


Three consecutive Bulldog errors in the seventh added more insurance for Ohio State, allowing them to pile on the runs. The miscues were just the highlights of troubling defense across the board for Mississippi State.


“We’re eventually going to have to become a good defensive team,” said Mississippi State head coach Chris Lemonis. “Somebody’s gotta make the big play and get us off the field. Unfortunately, we are getting them [errors] in bunches; we played good defense all night long until the seventh, then we make two or three in a row.”


The lone bright spot for Mississippi State was shortstop Lane Forsythe. The junior managed a double, three walks, a run scored, and an RBI against Buckeye pitching.


Ohio State looks to build upon two wins in a row, their first winning streak of the season, and will do it in any way possible.


“It doesn’t have to be pretty all the time, and we’re learning every single day and inning, trying to create a culture on how to win games,” Mosiello said.


UP NEXT:

Oklahoma vs. Mississippi State (1:00 PM CST/Saturday)

California vs. Ohio State (5:00 PM CST/Saturday)


122 views
bottom of page