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May 4, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State jumped out to an 8-0 lead and cruised to a 12-4 non-conference, mid-week victory over Cleveland State Wednesday in front of a season-high 3,930 fans as part of CPS Day at Ohio State. The win improved the team to 24-15 overall.

More than 3,000 sixth-graders from Columbus Public Schools attended the game after an educational pep rally this morning at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Ohio State did not disappoint the young crowd as it jumped out to the early lead getting a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. Matt Angle (Fr., Whitehall, Ohio/Whitehall-Yearling) drew a walk to lead off the inning and then stole second before reaching third on a fly out to right by Mike Rabin (Sr., West Chester, Ohio/Lakota East). Angle scored on a fielding error on Viking shortstop Ben Smith on a grounder off the bat of Steve Caravati (Sr., Dover, Ohio/Dover). The second run crossed the plate thanks to the second error of the inning when right fielder Marc Sikora misplayed a single by Jason Zoeller (So., Verona, Pa./Shady Side Academy). Caravati was able to score from first as the ball went between Sikora’s legs and rolled to the warning track.

The Buckeyes plated two more runs in the second inning, getting an RBI-single from Rabin to score Eric Fryer (Fr., Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg), who reached on a fielder’s choice. Angle, who was hit by a pitch the batter before Rabin, was able to get to third base on Rabin’s single and then when Rabin stole second, Angle was able to score on a throwing error on CSU catcher Josh Geric to make the score 4-0.

Ohio State scored four more runs in the third inning and another in the fourth to build its lead to 9-0. Jacob Howell (So., Ashland, Ohio/Ashland) delivered a two-out hit to get things started in the fourth. After Howell stole second, Jedidiah Stephen (Jr., Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah) hit him in with single through the left side. Paul Farinacci (Sr., Westlake Village, Calif./Agoura) followed with an infield single to put runners at first and second. A communication mixup between the Vikings’ shortstop, third baseman and left-fielder allowed a ball off the bat of to drop just inside the left-field line. The error on Cash, the CSU third baseman, allowed Stephen to score before a base hit to left plated both Farinacci and Fryer to give the Buckeyes an 8-0 lead.

The ninth Ohio State run of the game came in the fourth and was set up by a throwing error on CSU second baseman Carlos Laboy that sailed past first base and allowed the batter Ronnie Bourquin (So., Canton, Ohio/Canton South) to reach second. He went to third on a passed ball and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Zoeller.

While the offense was getting it done at the plate and on the base paths, the job of OSU starting pitcher Dan Barker (Fr., Dayton, Ohio/Northmont) was going unnoticed. He retired all 12 batters he faced to start the game, including a season-high six strikeouts. It was his first win as a Buckeye (1-0) in the four-inning designated short start.

When he was replaced by Jeffrey Carroll (So., Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Watterson) to start the fifth inning, but he immediately gave up a base hit up the middle by Dominic Erney to end the perfect game. Kolin Kelly followed with a base hit to right and then after a ground out, Erney scored on a sacrifice fly by Sikora to break up the shutout. Geric doubled to bring in Kelly to make the score 9-2. Carroll pitched two innings, settling down to retire the side in the sixth before giving way to Brett Hatcher (Sr., Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine) in the seventh.

Ohio State scored three more runs in the seventh to extend its lead to 12-2. Tony Kennedy (Fr., Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington South) got things started with an infield single, went to second on a passed ball and then went to third on a ground out by Kris Moorman (So., St. Henry, Ohio/St. Henry). After a pop up, Kennedy scored on a base hit to center by pinch hitter Jonathan Zizzo (Fr., Youngstown, Ohio/Sarasota [Fla.]). The hit by Zizzo was his first as a Buckeye. He went to second on a hit to right by Wes Schirtzinger (So., Westerville, Ohio/Westerville North) and was able to reach third when the right fielder misplayed the ball. Both runners scored on a double by designated hitter Adam Schneider down the left-field line to cap the Buckeye scoring.

Trey Fausnaugh (So., Circleville, Ohio/Westfall) gave up a double to Sikora to start the eighth and then a one-out single to Cash before a ground out by Mike Ochwat, who designated hitter to start the game before he added pitcher to his duties when he replaced Nathan Schaefer in the third, scored Sikora to make the score 12-3. In the ninth, Cleveland State got its final run off Rory Meister (Fr., Mansfield, Ohio/Mansfield Madison), who gave up a hit to left to his first batter of the game and then hit a batter before he could get an out. Sikora doubled to bring in the Vikings’ fourth run of the afternoon.

Ten different Buckeyes had hits, but it was Zoeller and Kennedy who each had two hits to lead Ohio State, which out-hit Cleveland State 12-7. The Buckeyes benefited from nine errors in the game and stranded nine runners on base. Schaeffer got the loss for Cleveland State to fall to 1-2. The Vikings dropped to 9-27 overall.

Ohio State returns to the diamond this weekend at Penn State for a four-game Big Ten series in State College. The teams will play a single game Saturday at 1:05 p.m. before playing a doubleheader Sunday at 1:05 p.m. The series concludes Monday with a single game at 1:05 p.m. All four games will be broadcast on the Internet at www.wosu.org while the doubleheader being broadcast on NPR 820 (WOSU-AM).