May 5, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State stormed out to a 9-0 lead before giving up four runs in the top of the ninth inning to get by Detroit 9-4 Wednesday night at Bill Davis Stadium and improve to 25-17 heading into this weekend’s crucial Big Ten home series against Penn State.
The Buckeyes struck first, crossing two batters in the bottom of the third inning on a single by designated hitter Cody Caughenbaugh (So., Newark, Ohio/Licking Valley). Jacob Howell (Fr., Ashland, Ohio/Ashland) delivered a one-out single through the right side before Detroit starter Tim Polley walked Steve Caravati (Jr., Dover, Ohio/Dover) to put runners at the corners for Caughenbaugh, who delivered his fifth double of the season and 12th and 13th RBI.
Mike Rabin (Jr., West Chester, Ohio/Lakota East) led off the fourth with a double to left-center field, moved to third on a fly out and then scored on a double by Drew Anderson (Jr., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg). It was Anderson’s team-leading 15th double of the season.
Ohio State plated three more runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-0 lead. Jedidiah Stephen (So., Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah) led off the inning with a single through the left side and moved to second on Polley’s first wild pitch of the season. Stephen got to third when a fly ball off the bat of Caughenbaugh went off the glove of Titan leftfielder Todd Kalmbach. The fast-moving Buckeye DH was able to reach second. Polley walked Brett Garrard (Sr., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) to end his day.
The Titans went with reliever Bob Lothian, who gave up a sacrifice fly by Paul Farinacci (Jr., Westlake Village, Calif./Agoura) that scored Stephen before getting a ground out for the second out of the inning. Kelly Houser (So., New Holland, Ohio/Adena) followed with a single to score both Caughenbaugh and Garrard.
The Buckeyes got the lead-off man aboard again in the eighth inning and went on to add three more runs in the inning to take a 9-0 lead. Rabin drew a walk to get things started, before Jason Zoeller (Fr., Verona, Pa./Shady Side Academy) delivered a double to score Rabin, who had advanced to second on a wild pitch. Howell was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second for Caravati, who was hitless in his first four plate appearances of the night. Caravati singled up the middle to extend his hit streak to eight straight and score Zoeller. Howell made it all the way to third where an errant throw from centerfielder Mark Moehlig allowed him to score the third run of the inning.
A bid at a second straight shutout by Buckeye pitching was denied with a four-spot by Detroit in the top of the ninth. Jesse Paciorek (Jr., Lakewood, Ohio/Lakewood), the fourth Ohio State pitcher in the game, gave up two straight singles, hit the third and then walked the next two batters for the first two runs of the inning. Trent Luyster (Jr., Flushing, Ohio/Harrison Central) came in to get the Buckeyes out of the game with any further damage. He struck out his first two batters before a double by Moehlig score two more runs. Luyster ended the game with a strikeout.
Dan DeLucia (Fr., Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Watterson) picked up his second win as a Buckeye after going four innings in the abbreviated start. He did not allow a run and gave up only two hits. Brett Hatcher (Jr., Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine) pitched three innings and Trey Fausnaugh (Fr., Circleville, Ohio/Westfall) added an inning before the Titans got to the Buckeye bullpen.
The Buckeye starting nine each had hits and was aided with a pinch hit by Zoeller to account for the 10-hit attack. Caughenbaugh and Houser each delivered two RBI.
The Buckeyes (25-17 overall, 13-7 Big Ten) will play host to Penn State (24-18, 13-7) in a battle of first-place teams this weekend in a four-game series at Bill Davis Stadium. The teams open the series Saturday with a single game at 1:05 p.m. before playing the doubleheader Sunday at 1:05 p.m. The series concludes Monday with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch. Games one, two and four will be broadcast on NPR 820 (WOSU-AM) while all games will be broadcast on the Internet at www.wosu.org.