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May 8, 2005

Box Score

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Ohio State fought back from a four-run deficit and took the lead in the fifth on a three-run double by Steve Caravati and then added three more runs to beat Penn State 13-10 in the first game of a doubleheader Sunday at Beaver Field.

Trailing by two runs in the fifth inning, Caravati, a senior from Dover, Ohio (Dover), put the Buckeyes on top 10-9 with the second of his three extra-base hits, a double. Stephen led off the inning with a single through the left side and went to second on a shot up the middle by Paul Farinacci (Sr., Westlake Village, Calif./Agoura) before a walk to Mike Rabin (Sr., West Chester, Ohio/Lakota East) loaded the bases for Caravati.

With one out in the sixth, Jason Zoeller (So., Verona, Pa./Shady Side Academy) cleared the fence in left-center field with his fifth home run of the season a solo shot that extended Buckeye lead to two runs. Matt Angle (Fr., Whitehall, Ohio/Whitehall-Yearling) added a second run in the inning when he knocked in Jedidiah Stephen (Jr., Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah), who had singled to right-center after Zoeller’s long ball. Penn State added a run in the bottom of the inning to pull within a 12-10 score, but Ronnie Bourquin (So., Canton, Ohio/Canton South) drove in Schritzinger for the 13th OSU run of the game.

Caravati went on to finish 4-for-5 with four RBI thanks to a single, two doubles and a triple. The Buckeyes belted out 17 hits, compared to 14 by the Nittany Lions. Ohio State scored in every inning, except the fourth inning, when neither team crossed the plate. Ohio State scored a pair of runs to lead off the top of the first thanks to back-to-back doubles by Angle and Rabin. Rabin drove in Angle with a shot to the gap in right-center field and then went to third on a error on shortstop Michael Milliron off a grounder by Steve Caravati (Sr., Dover, Ohio/Dover). Rabin scored when Adam Schneider (So., Agoura Hills, Calif./Agoura) grounded into a double play.

Penn State came back in the bottom of the first to score five runs, the final three of which came from a double to right by Jim Leitgeb. The Buckeyes tied the game in the top of the second thanks to two doubles and two triples. Farinacci got things started with a one-out double to right-center field and then Eric Fryer (Fr., Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg) drove him in with his first career triple before the second strikeout of the inning by PSU starter Craig Clark. Rabin followed with a double to bring in Fryer and then he scored on a triple by Caravati to even the score 5-5. For Caravati, it was his third triple of the season and the 12th of his career.

The Nittany Lions scored four times in the bottom of the second to take a four-run lead, 9-5. Matt Lewis drove in the first run with a double to left and then Jim Leitgeb delivered his fourth RBI of the day, to go with his three-run double in the first, with his second double. Brian Ernst singled to center to score two more. OSU starter Cory Luebke (Fr., Maria Stein, Ohio/Marion Local) lasted only 1.2 innings and gave up nine runs (five earned) on nine hits.

The Buckeyes closed the gap to 9-7 with a pair of runs in the top of the third. Bourquin led off with a single to center and then when it was misplayed by Ernst, the PSU centerfielder, he took second. Zoeller was hit before Farinacci delivered Bourquin with a shot to right and then Fryer sacrificed himself with a fly out to score Zoeller.

Luebke did not factor into the decision, but was backed up by an outstanding effort by reliever Brett Hatcher (Sr., Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine). Hatcher allowed only one run on four hits in 4.1 innings. He struck out three of the 18 batters he faced. Rory Meister (Fr., Mansfield, Ohio/Mansfield Madison) came on to pick up his third save in his third straight Big Ten appearance. Clark took the loss for Penn State to fall to 3-3 on the year. He allowed 10 runs on 11 hits in 4.2 innings.

Ohio State won its fourth straight Big Ten game to move within one game of .500 in league play at 9-10 and climbed into the conference tournament playoff picture with the Michigan loss to Purdue in the first game of their doubleheader. Pending the remainder of the Sunday slate, the Buckeyes are in fifth place, but still need one more victory this weekend to remain in the Top 6 of the standings.

Ohio State and Penn State will finish the doubleheader today before concluding the series Monday with a single game at 1:05 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the Internet at www.wosu.org.