May 27, 2004
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Michigan scored six runs in the top of the first and then added four runs in the second to cruise to a 10-4 victory over Ohio State Thursday in the Buckeyes’ opening game of the Big Ten Tournament at Minnesota’s Siebert Field. The loss sends the Scarlet and Gray to the loser’s bracket and forced it to win five straight if it hopes to win its third straight Big Ten Tournament.
Michigan gave the Buckeyes little chance at an opening game victory, scoring six runs on six hits, including three doubles. Erik Rose led off the game with a double to the gap in left-center field and was hit over to third with a one-out single to right-center field by Chris Getz. Kyle Bohm hit Rose in with a single through the right side for the early 1-0 lead. OSU starter Mike Madsen (Jr., Canfield, Ohio/Notre Dame Cathedral Latin) walked the next batter, Brandon Roberts, to load the bases for A.J. Scheidt, whose sacrifice to the warning track in center field scored Getz and moved Bohm to third.
Jeff Kunkel doubled to left-center to drive in Bohm and Leif Mahler doubled to right-center field to plate both Roberts and Scheidt and extend the lead to 5-0. Jeremy Goldschmeding singled to right field and scored Mahler for the six-run lead.
The scoring continued for the Wolverines in the second inning added four runs to take the double-digit lead. Getz doubled with one out and moved to third on a wild pitch on ball four to Bohm. Roberts delivered Michigan’s fifth double of the game to score Getz and send Bohm to third. That chased Madsen out of the game. Facing Jeffrey Carroll (Fr., Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Watterson), Kunkel homered to left field to plate three more runs, giving the Wolverines a 10-0 lead. It was the shortest start of Madsen’s career as Michigan touched him up for nine runs on eight hits in 1.1 innings. Madsen fell to 8-4 on the season with the defeat.
In the bottom of the second, Ohio State turned its first hit of the game, a leadoff single to center field by Ronnie Bourquin (Fr., Canton, Ohio/Canton South), into its first run of the game thanks to a Derek Kinnear (Sr., Kenton, Ohio/Kenton) double to right-center field.
Two more Buckeye runs crossed the plate in the third as they capitalized on a pair of hits and Michigan’s first error of the game. Steve Caravati (Jr., Dover, Ohio/Dover) singled to left field with one out and then Brett Garrard (Sr., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) singled through the left side with two outs. Michigan starter Jim Brauer walked Bourquin to load the bases. On a ground ball to short off the bat of Paul Farinacci (Jr., Westlake Village, Calif./Agoura Hills), Mahler, the Michigan shortstop threw to second to catch Bourquin, but his errant throw allowed both Caravati and Garrard to score and make it a 10-3 score.
After a leadoff double by Kinnear to start the fourth inning Brauer sat down the next 11 batters in order until Caravati singled off the glove of Scheidt, the Michigan third baseman, with two out in the seventh. Brauer got Schneider to fly out to end the inning. Bourquin pulled the Buckeyes within the six-run final with a solo home run that cleared the fence in right field. It was his fourth of the year.
Caravati, Bourquin and Kinnear each had two hits for the Buckeyes though it was Bourquin and Kinnear who drove in runs with extra base hits. Both of Kinnear’s hits were doubles, while Bourquin singled in the second and added a home run in the eighth. The other two runs scored as the result the first of two Michigan errors.
Getz was 3-for-4 for Michigan as was Roberts, who belted in one run. Kunkel was 2-for-4 with a game-high four RBI and two runs scored. Brauer went the distance for the Wolverines to improve to 7-3 on the year. He allowed four runs (two earned) on a total of eighth Buckeye hits. He walked two and struck out five.
The loss was the worst for the Buckeyes in Big Ten Tournament action since Minnesota handed them a 10-1 loss in a second-round game in 1999 in Columbus. The 16 hits given up by Ohio State pitcher were the most in the tournament since the same game as the Gophers collected 18 hits. Ohio State had given up six or more runs in an inning four other times this season, including a nine spot in the series finale against Michigan.
Ohio State will meet Michigan State Friday at 1:05 p.m. (EDT) in an elimination game. Should the Buckeyes win that game they would play at 4:35 p.m. against the loser of the Thursday night game between No. 1 seed Minnesota and No. 5 seed Purdue. The Buckeyes must now win five straight games to win a third straight Big Ten Tournament. NPR 820 (WOSU-AM) will broadcast all Ohio State games in the Big Ten Tournament.