May 28, 2004
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Paul Farinacci cleared the bases with a double as part of a four-run first inning and then added an insurance run with a solo home run in the eighth to lead Ohio State to its second win of the day in a 6-4 victory over Purdue Friday in the Big Ten Tournament at Siebert Field. With the win, the Buckeyes await the loser of Friday night’s Minnesota vs. Michigan game for the right to advance to the first championship game Saturday night.
The Buckeyes scored four runs, all with two outs, in the top of the first inning to take a commanding lead. After a pair of groundouts, Steve Caravati (Jr., Dover, Ohio/Dover) started the rally with a single to right-center field. Cody Caughenbaugh (So., Newark, Ohio/Licking Valley) followed with a single down the left-field line. A third straight single by Brett Garrard (Sr., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) drove in Caravati and then a walk to Ronnie Bourquin (Fr., Canton, Ohio/Canton South) loaded the bases.
Farinacci, a junior from Westlake Village, Calif. (Agoura), responded in a huge manner doubling to the gap in right-center field to clear the bases and give the Buckeyes a four-run advantage.
Caughenbaugh’s second hit of the game yielded another Buckeye run, putting the Buckeyes up 5-0 as he knocked in Drew Anderson (Jr., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg), who got the first of three hits by Ohio State in the inning. It was just the second multiple-hit game for Caughenbaugh, the Buckeye designated hitter.
OSU starter Dan DeLucia (Fr., Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Watterson) settled down after giving up a hit to Mike Coles to lead off the first inning. He retired seven batters in a row before giving up a two-out triple to Coles in the third inning. DeLucia hit Mitch Hilligoss before Simon Klink put the Boilermakers on the scoreboard. John Hunter followed with a single through the left side to score Hilligoss from second and pull Purdue within three runs, 5-2.
A two-run home run by Ben Fritz in the bottom of the sixth inning pulled the Boilers within one run. Klink interrupted a string of six straight batters retired by DeLucia with a single to right to lead off the inning before Fritz went long off the scoreboard beyond the right-center field fence to make the score 5-4.
Brett Hatcher (Jr., Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine) came in for DeLucia to start the seventh and got out of the inning relatively untouched. He gave up a one-out single to Coles, but the Buckeyes turned the double play to get out of the inning. DeLucia allowed the four runs on seven hits and struck out three batters without a walk to get to 3-3 on the season.
In the top of eighth, Farinacci sent a shot out of the park to straight-away centerfield over the glove of Coles, the Purdue centerfielder, who had climbed the wall trying to rope in Farinacci’s third home run of the year. Instead the Buckeyes got the insurance run to take a 6-4 lead.
Hatcher retired the Boilermakers in order in the bottom of the eighth and the first batter of the ninth before a single by Eric Osborn singled to right to bring the winning run to the plate. Hatcher got Andy Dahl to fly out to right before giving way to Trey Fausnaugh (Fr., Circleville, Ohio/Westfall). Fausnaugh, who was making his 30th appearances of the season, got Mitch Koester to fly out to left to end the game and earn his eighth save of the season, which tied him for fifth most in a season by an Ohio State pitcher.
Farinacci went 2-for-4 and drove in four RBI on the three-run double in the first and his third long ball of the season. Jacob Howell (Fr., Ashland, Ohio/Ashland) was a silent 3-for-5, while Caughenbaugh was 2-for-4 with one RBI. Coles led Purdue in going 3-for-4. Chris Toneguzzi fell to 5-4 with the loss for Purdue.
Since sweeping the Big Ten Tournament in three games in 2002, the Buckeyes are now 5-0 facing elimination in the tournament. Ohio State went 3-0 out of the loser’s bracket to win the tournament title in 2003 and is 2-0 so far in this season’s event, sending home Michigan State 8-3 earlier Saturday to go with the 6-4 win vs. Purdue.
Ohio State (34-24) next plays Saturday when it meets the loser of tonight’s winner’s bracket game between top-seeded Minnesota and third-seeded Michigan, which sent the Buckeyes to the loser’s bracket Thursday with a 10-4 victory. The winner of that game, scheduled for 4:35 p.m. (EDT) moves to the championship game, which immediately follows needing to beat the winner of tonight’s game twice if it hopes to win the Big Ten Tournament.