May 21, 2005
COLUMBUS, Ohio – With the score tied 1-1 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, Paul Farinacci singled to left field to score Wes Schritzinger and give Ohio State a 2-1 victory over Minnesota in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday at Bill Davis Stadium. The victory was the second last-inning win for the Buckeyes this week after they beat Miami (Ohio) 3-2 on Tuesday.
Ohio State entered the game needing a win against the Golden Gophers or a Penn State loss to qualify for next week’s Big Ten tournament. It got both. Michigan swept the doubleheader against the Nittany Lions earlier in the day, so even had the Buckeyes lost, they would have advanced to their 19th Big Ten tournament and the 17th under head coach Bob Todd, who is in his 18th season in Columbus. The Buckeyes are 33-17 overall and 15-12 in the Big Ten.
Neither team had much success against the opposing pitcher in the first three innings. Both teams went in order in the first two innings. Tony Leseman got the first hit in the game, firing a shot through the left side with one out in the third. He was stranded at second base when the inning ended. In the bottom of the inning, Eric Fryer (Fr., Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg) reached on an infield single and moved to second when Gopher starting pitcher Cole DeVries hit Matt Angle (Fr., Whitehall, Ohio/Whitehall-Yearling). Both Buckeyes were stranded.
Minnesota finally put up a run in the fourth. Matt Fornasiere led off the inning with a single up the middle and then went to third on a single to shallow center by Mike Mee. Andy Hunter doubled to deep right-center to score Fornasiere for the 1-0 lead. Mee was held up at third with no one out. OSU starter Mike Madsen (Sr., Canfield, Ohio/Notre Dame Cathedral Latin) walked Jake Elder to load the bases before striking out John Arlt. He got David Hrncirik to ground into a 6-3 double play to end any further threat. The Buckeyes tried to rally in the bottom of the inning, but left a runner at third base. Ronnie Bourquin (So., Canton, Ohio/Canton South) singled through the left side with one out and then went to third on a single by Jason Zoeller (So., Verona, Pa./Shady Side Academy). Zoeller tried to stretch his laser down the left-field line, but was thrown out at second. A fly out ended the threat.
Paul Farinacci (Sr., Westlake Village, Calif./Agoura) drew a one-out walk and then made it all the way to third on a single to left field by Fryer. Farinacci scored on a fielder’s choice by Angle that caught Fryer at second and then the inning ended when Angle was caught trying to steal second.
Hunter led off the sixth inning with a single to right before Elder walked to put runners at first and second. After Arlt popped up a bunt to Madsen, Hrncirik laid down the perfect bunt down the third base line to load the bases with only one out. Leseman lined out to short before MacLean grounded out to the pitcher to end the inning with three Gophers on base.
Madsen got two fly outs to start the seventh before giving up a single to left by Mee. He followed by walking Hunter and that brought an end to his day. Todd brought in closer Rory Mesiter (Fr., Mansfield, Ohio/Mansfield Madison), who hit his first batter to load the bases, before striking out Arlt to again leave the bases loaded for Minnesota. Meister got his second win this week to improve to 5-0 on the year. He pitched 1/3 of an inning before the Buckeye won it in the bottom of the inning.
Bourquin and Fryer each had two hits to lead Ohio State, which was out-hit 9-8 in error-free baseball. Fornasiere, Mee and Hunter each had two hits to pace Minnesota, which fell to 29-25 and 17-13.
Ohio State and Minnesota will complete the doubleheader later Saturday before concluding the series Sunday with a single game at 1:05 p.m. Both games will be broadcast on NPR 820 (WOSU-AM) and on the Internet at www.wosu.org.