April 13, 2002
IOWA CITY, Iowa – No. 25 Ohio State had 15 hits in a 7-1 victory over Iowa in the opening game of a four-game Big Ten series Friday night at Duane Banks Field. Pitcher E.J. Laratta (Sr., Englewood, Colo./Cherry Creek) went the distance getting his fifth win of the year.
The Buckeye victory combined with a 13-6 win by Michigan State over Indiana put Ohio State, which improved to 19-7-1 overall and 7-2 in the Big Ten on top of the league standings. The two teams entered the weekend tied in the conference race.
Laratta threw just 95 pitches getting 10 Hawkeyes to fly out and another 11 to ground out in his third complete game of the season and the 17th of his career. The win was his 31st as a Buckeye, putting him into second place on the school’s all-time win list by himself. He now trails Justin Fry by just five wins for the most all time.
In Friday’s win he had a solid defense behind him. The Buckeyes did not have an error for the first time since the 9-2 victory over Northwestern on March 31. He also had support of 15 hits by the Buckeyes including three by Doug Deeds (So., Bexley, Ohio/Bexley) in a 3-for-5 night. Drew Anderson (Fr., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) knocked in two runs in going 2-for-5.
The Buckeyes got on the board in the top of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. Brett Garrard (So., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) scored on a grounder by Doug Dendinger (Sr., Greenwich, Ohio/South Central) through the legs of Hawkeye second baseman Andy Cox. Garrard scored from second after a one-out double. After holding an Iowa baserunner at third in the bottom half of the inning, Ohio State extended its lead to 2-0 in the second. Lance Rolston (Jr., Athens, Ohio/Alexander) snapped a four game hitless streak with a single through the left side. Mike Rabin (Fr., West Chester, Ohio/Lakota East) bunted him over to second and then a double to the gap in right-centerfield allowed Rolston to score.
The scoring continued for Ohio State in the third inning. Deeds led off the inning with a shot up the middle and then advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches by Hawkeye starter Reed Pawelk. Nick Swisher (Jr., Parkersburg, W.Va./Parkersburg) flew out to centerfield sacrificing himself to score Deeds to make the score 3-0.
The Buckeyes did not score any runs in the fourth, fifth or sixth inning, but scored three times in the seventh. Anderson knocked in Swisher and Dendinger with a shot down the right-field line to give the Buckeyes a 6-0 lead. Earlier in the inning, Dendinger doubled to score Deeds from third. Deeds led off the inning with a single to left-centerfield and then moved to third on a single to left by Swisher.
A single by Paul Farinacci scored Dendinger in the ninth inning to put Ohio State on top 7-0 before the Hawkeyes prevented the shutout bid by the Buckeyes in the bottom of the inning.
A sacrifice by Nate Yoho scored Nick Jensen, who led off the inning with a double to left-centerfield.
Pawelk go the loss for Iowa and fell to 2-3 on the year as the Hawkeyes fell to 11-15 overall and 2-7 in the Big Ten.
Ohio State and Iowa will continue the series Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 5:05 p.m. before concluding action Sunday at 2:05 p.m.