April 9, 2006
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State came back from a six-run deficit to tie the game at six with four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, but Illinois scored twice in the top of the ninth to beat the Buckeyes 8-6 Sunday in the first game of a doubleheader Sunday at Bill Davis Stadium. Ohio State leads the series 2-1 with the series finale to played following this game.
Illinois got a lead-off double from Ryan Snowden and Mike Rohde drew a walk. The runners were batted over on a sacrifice by Dave Schultz and then a sacrifice fly by Chase Kliment scored one run. Ryan Hastings drove in Rohde with an infield single.
Facing reliever Ben Reeser, Jason Zoeller (Jr., Verona, Pa./Shady Side Academy) doubled to right-center field with one out in the Buckeye sixth and then went to third on an infield single by Wes Schirtzinger (Jr., Westerville, Ohio/Westerville North). Justin Miller (Fr., Dayton, Va./Turner Ashby) loaded the bases with a single to right.
J.B. Shuck (Fr., Galion, Ohio/Galion) scored Zoeller with a sacrifice fly and then Matt Angle (So., Whitehall, Ohio/Whitehall-Yearling) again loaded the bases with another infield single to short. That prompted a pitching change and the Illini brought in Matt Whitemore, last week’s Big Ten Pitcher of the Week. He threw a wild pitch to score Schirtzinger and then when catcher Lars Davis threw into the Buckeye dugout, Miller scored to pull within one run, 6-5. Eric Fryer (So., Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg) single to right-center to plate Angle and tie the score. The Buckeyes had a chance to win in the eighth, but left Shuck at third base after he reached on a one-out single through the left side. He stole second and went to third on a throwing error by the Illini catcher. Whitmore struck out Angle and coaxed a ground out from Fryer. In the bottom of the ninth, Stephen reached on a throwing error on the Illini short stop with one out, but Adam Schneider (Jr., Agoura Hills, Calif./Agoura) grounded into a double play to end the game.
Whitmore picked up his first win of the season (1-0) while Josh Barrera (Fr., Somerset, Ohio/Sheridan) took the loss for Ohio State to fall to 1-1. Barrera allowed one run on four hits in five innings and struck out a career-high six batters. White more did not allow a run on three hits in 3.1 innings with a pair of strikeouts.
Illinois scored twice in the top of the first inning to put the Buckeyes in an early 2-0 hole. OSU starter Jake Hale (Fr., Albany, Ohio/Alexander) hit Ryan Snowden and then walked Mike Rohde. He then struck out Dave Schultz before giving up a double to the gap in left-center field by Chase Kliment. Both runners scored.
Three more Illinois runs scored in the top of the second thanks to three hits and three Buckeye errors in the inning. Trevor Huisinga reached on a fielding error by Zoeller, the second baseman. He got to second on an error on shortstop Jedidiah Stephen (Sr., Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah) receiving the throw from Fryer, the Buckeye catcher. that would have caught Huisinga stealing second. Hale hit Joe Bonadonna and before the first run of the inning scored when third baseman Ronnie Bourquin (Jr., Canton, Ohio/Canton South) booted a grounder off the bat of Snowden. Mike Rohde followed with a two-run single to right. All three runs were unearned and gave the Illini at 5-0 lead.
Illinois scored another run off Hale in the fourth inning to go up 6-0. Hale hit Bonadonna and was promptly lifted for Barrera. Barrera got Snowden to pop up but he gave up a single through the right side to put runners at first and second and then struck out Schultz. Kliment
The Buckeyes avoided the shutout with its first run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Stephen singled to center with one out and then scored on a double down the left-field line by Schneider to make the score 6-1.
Ohio State scored another run in the fifth inning on back-to-back two-out doubles by Angle and Fryer to pull within four runs, 6-2.
Angle was 3-for-5 with two runs scored, while Fryer was 2-for-4 with two RBI. For Illinois (15-11, 3-4), Snowden, Rohde, Kliment and Hastings each had two hits. Ohio State (18-7, 5-2) out-hit the Illini 12-9 and had three errors to Illinois’ four.
The teams will conclude the series with game four 25 minutes after the end of this game. Ohio State will play host to Central Michigan at Bill Davis Stadium Wednesday at 6:35 p.m.