April 5, 2000
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A pair of home runs by co-captain Marcello Garofalo (Sr., Worthington, Ohio) helped power the Ohio State baseball team (19-9 overall, 2-2 Big Ten) over the Oakland Golden Grizzlies (11-11 overall, 2-0 in the Mid-Continent), 12-2, in front of 535 fans at Bill Davis Stadium.
Our offense is starting to find a rhythm,” head coach Bob Todd said. “We still have a lot of room to improve, but at least we are starting to swing the bats better. This will definitely give us some momentum going into this weekend against Minnesota.”
The Golden Grizzlies took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Jeremy Isherwood scored on a two-out single by Chuck Van Robays to give OU the first lead of the evening.
The Buckeyes jumped to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, John Mayor (Jr., Chesterfield, Mo.) singled to right-centerfield. Then on a 1-1 offering from Oakland starting pitcher Jeff Gatch, Ehrnsberger belted his eighth home run of the season to give OSU its first lead of the game. Jason Turner (Sr., Versailles, Ohio) and Doug Dendinger (So., Greenwich, Ohio) then followed with back-to-back singles to rightfield. The duo moved into scoring position on a wild pitch by Gatch. Trent McIlvain (Jr., Louisville, Ohio) immediately followed by grounding a ball to OU third baseman Rob Brockman, who then mishandled the ball, allowing Turner to score. The error gave OSU a 3-1 lead.
OSU added another run in the bottom of the second inning. Mike Check (Jr., Bay Village, Ohio) scored on a double by Mayor to increase the OSU lead to 4-1. In the bottom of the third inning, with Dendinger on first, Garofalo belted the first offering from Gatch over the leftfield wall to increase the OSU lead to 6-1.
In the top of the fourth inning, Nick DiPonio drove in Chris Kimball with a single to cut the OSU lead to 6-2. In the bottom half of the inning, Mayor scored on a sacrifice fly by Dendinger to increase the OSU lead to 7-2.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Todd Calcamuggio (Jr., Toledo, Ohio) scored on a single by Mayor to give OSU an 8-2 lead.
The hit parade continued in the bottom of the seventh inning for Ohio State. Garofalo led off with a solo blast on a 3-1 offering from reliever Justin Roberton for his second home run of the evening.
“Tonight was a good example of what this team is capable of doing offensively,” Garofalo said. “We have a tough series coming up against Minnesota and this will definitely give us some confidence.”
The Buckeyes added their final runs of the game in the bottom of the eighth inning. Joe Palazzo (So., Tucson, Ariz.) drove in Ehrnsberger with a RBI double and Nick Swisher (Fr., Parkersburg, W.Va.) scored two more runs on another double to increase the OSU lead to 12-2.
Ohio State starting pitcher Jason Bullens (Fr., Dayton, Ohio) did not factor into the decision. He tossed one inning, gave up one hit and a run before leaving the game with a strained tricep muscle. Reliever Kyle Brown (Fr., Washington Court House, Ohio) improved his record to 2-0. He went three innings, gave up three hits, one run and struck out two. Gatch (1-2) took the loss by going 2.2 innings and giving up six runs.
This weekend, the Buckeyes travel to Minneapolis, Minn., for a four-game series against Minnesota at Siebert Field. Friday’s game begins at 4 p.m. (Eastern).