May 15, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Left-handed pitcher Scott Lewis struck out six and allowed two unearned runs to earn his first win of the season as Ohio State claimed the first game of a twin bill against Northwestern 4-2 Saturday at Bill Davis Stadium.
Lewis, a junior from Washington Court House, Ohio (Washington) and the 2003 Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, made his first appearance and start of the season after working his way back from Tommy John surgery, less than one year ago. He allowed the two runs (none earned) on three hits and struck out six in 4.0 innings on the hill. He now has a 3.86 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 17.1 innings of work.
Jon Mikrut was the only Northwestern base runner in the first three innings until he boarded on the error in the fourth on the only Buckeye error of the game. He singled up the middle with one out in the first inning before Lewis went on to retire the next eight batters. Lewis’ day was over after the fourth inning though as he threw 63 pitches on a pitch count. Trey Fausnaugh (Fr., Circleville, Ohio/Westfall) came on to pitch the final three innings and earn his seventh save of the season, which ties him for the eighth highest season total in school history. Fausnaugh scattered six hits and struck out one without a walk.
Ohio State took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, capitalizing on a pair of singles and a sacrifice fly. With one out, Mike Rabin (Jr., West Chester, Ohio/Lakota East) singled and with a hit-and-run in effect, made it to third on a single through the left side by Steve Caravati (Jr., Dover, Ohio/Dover). Rabin scored the Buckeyes’ first run of the game on a sac fly by Adam Schneider (Fr., Agoura Hills, Calif./Agoura).
Northwestern knotted the score with a pair of unearned runs in the top of the fourth inning. Jason Zoeller (Fr., Verona, Pa./Shady Side Academy) could not come up with the ball on a sharply hit grounder by Jon Mikrut to lead off the inning. Mikrut moved to second on a single through the left side by Dan Pohlman. After the second strikeout of the inning and the sixth of the game by Lewis, Anthony Wycklendt cleared the bases with a double to center field to even the score 2-2.
Back-to-back base hits by Brett Garrard (Sr., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) and Paul Farinacci (Jr., Westlake Village, Calif./Agoura) led to two more runs. Garrard reached third on the hit and run on the Farinacci single through the right side. After an out Jacob Howell (Fr., Ashland, Ohio/Ashland) delivered Garrard home with a sac fly. Farinacci scored from second on a throwing error by Northwestern first baseman Mark Ori, who was throwing to pitcher Dan Brauer to first on a ground ball by Derek Kinnear (Sr., Kenton, Ohio/Kenton). That made the score 4-2.
Caravati finished 3-for-3 with one RBI, while Garrard added a pair of hits in three at bats. Northwestern actually out-hit Ohio State 9-8, but three errors proved costly as the final two runs scored thanks to back-to-back errors with two out in the fourth inning. Mikrut lead Northwestern with two hits, though Wycklendt was responsible for knocking in the two runs with his double in the top of the fourth.
The teams continue the second game of a doubleheader immediately following this game before concluding the series Sunday with a single game at 1:05 p.m.