May 5, 2001
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The No. 24 Ohio State baseball team (36-12 overall, 16-5 Big Ten) used a stellar pitching performance from E.J. Laratta (Jr., Englewood, Colo.) and a late offensive outburst to post a 10-1 victory over Indiana (22-26-1, 5-15) Saturday at Sembower Field. Laratta went the distance, allowing just five hits and a run. He walked two, struck out seven and picked off two runners.
Ohio State grabbed an early lead with a run in the first inning. Mike Harris (Sr., Hillsborough, N.C.) drew a walk to lead off and stole second on the next pitch. Mike Check (Sr., Bay Village, Ohio) followed with a run-scoring double to left-center field.
Indiana threatened to tie the score in the bottom of the first, as Laratta walked Dan Haegele to lead off and Eric Blakeley with two outs, but Laratta erased both runners on pickoffs at first base to escape with no damage. Laratta has a league-leading eight pickoffs this season – twice as many as anyone in the Big Ten.
The Hoosiers did tie the score in the second inning. With one out, Vasilli Spanos doubled to right-center field. He came home on a double from Gibran Hamdan.
The Buckeyes took the lead right back in the third inning. With two outs, Check drew a walk. He promptly came home on a double to left-center field by Doug Dendinger (Jr., Greenwich, Ohio).
Ohio State broke the game open in the sixth inning, knocking IU starter Brad Edwards from the contest in the process. Steve Caravati (Fr., Dover, Ohio) drew a walk to lead off. Doug Deeds (Fr., Bexley, Ohio) then took Edwards’ 3-2 offering and launched a towering home run over the right-center field fence to give OSU a 5-1 advantage. The home run was his 10th of the season. John Mayor (Sr., Chesterfield, Mo.) then drew a walk on four pitches, prompting the Hoosiers to make a pitching change. One out later, Mayor stole second base. He motored home on a hit-and-run single by Trent McIlvain (Sr., Louisville, Ohio) off reliever Quinn Moore.
The Buckeyes added a run in the seventh inning on a solo home run to right field by Caravati. The blast was his third home run of the season. The Buckeyes were robbed of two more runs in the inning, as leftfielder Mark Calkins went over the fence to take a home run away from Mayor.
Ohio State plated four more runs in the eighth inning. The Buckeyes did all of their damage after two outs were recorded. Harris started the rally by drawing a walk. He then stole second base – his third stolen base of the contest and league-leading 31st of the season. Check was then hit by a pitch and Dendinger drew a walk – his fourth of the game. Nick Swisher (So., Parkersburg, W. Va.) cleared the bases with a double down the left field line. He came home on a triple to the left-field corner by Caravati.
Laratta (8-2) picked up the win after recording his second complete game of the season. He was dominating over the final five innings, surrendering just one hit while failing to walk a batter. Edwards fell to 1-6 with the loss. He struggled with his control, walking seven and uncorking two wild pitches in five innings of work. He allowed four hits and five earned runs while striking out four. As a staff, the Hoosiers walked 10 batters.
Tomorrow, the teams play a doubleheader begins at 2 p.m. The final game of the series starts at 4 p.m. Monday.