April 8, 2000
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – A three-run home run in the seventh inning by All-American Chad Ehrnsberger (Jr., Kalida, Ohio) lifts the Ohio State baseball team (20-9 overall, 3-2 in the Big Ten) over the Minnesota Golden Gophers (17-12 overall, 4-1 in the Big Ten), 6-3. Ehrnsberger finished the day with five runs batted in.
“Winning game one is a huge win for our team,” Ehrnsberger said. “Minnesota is a good team and Siebert Field is a tough place to play. We’ll take this win and hopefully build on it the next three games.”
The Buckeyes took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. With two outs and Ehrnsberger on first base after a walk, Jason Turner (Sr., Versailles, Ohio) spanked a run scoring double to the leftfield alley to give OSU the first lead of the ballgame.
In the bottom half of the third inning, Minnesota tied the game at one on a two out, RBI double by Josh Holthaus to score Rick Brosseau.
In the top of the fifth inning, Ohio State retook the lead. Jason Driscoll (Sr., Middlefield, Ohio) led off with a single to centerfield and Mike Check (Sr., Bay Village, Ohio) followed and reached base when he was hit by a pitch from Minnesota starting pitcher Mike Kobow.
In the bottom half of the sixth inning, the Golden Gophers tied the game at three. Holthaus led off with a single and moved to second on a walk by Jack Hannahan. A sacrifice bunt by Scott Howard then moved both runners into scoring position. Mike Arlt followed with a groundout to score Holthaus. Mark Devore worked a walk off OSU starting pitcher E.J. Laratta (So., Englewood, Colo.) to put runners on first and third base. With Jeremy Negan now at the plate, OSU reliever Cory Cox (Sr., Chillicothe, Ohio) threw a wild pitch to allow Hannahan to score and give Minnesota their second run of the inning.
In the top of the seventh inning, Ehrnsberger put the game away with his ninth home run of the year. Check reached base on a throwing error by UM third baseman Hannahan. Mayor followed with a walk to set the table for Ehrnsberger. On a 1-1 offering from reliever Vince Gangel, Ehrnsberger belted a ball over the leftfield wall to give OSU the lead for good.
Laratta did not factor into the decision. He went 5.2 innings, threw 100 pitches, gave up five hits and three runs. Cox was the winning pitcher going 1.1 innings in relief, striking out one to improve to 3-1 on the year. Mike Kobow took the loss. His record dropped to 3-2 on the year.
Game two of today’s doubleheader will begin at approximately 3:45 p.m. Tomorrow, the two teams will conclude the four-game series with a another doubleheader beginning at 12:30 p.m.