May 13, 2001
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Behind Josh Newman’s (Fr., Wheelersburg, Ohio) stellar pitching performance, the No. 25 Ohio State baseball team (41-14 overall, 20-7 Big Ten) finished the regular season Sunday with a 9-2 win over Michigan (26-26, 10-14) in front of 2,162 at Bill Davis Stadium. The Buckeyes will await their destination for the Big Ten Tournament, as Purdue must lose one of its final two games for OSU to host the tournament. If Purdue wins its final two games, the Boilermakers will host the tournament, beginning Wednesday.
Newman (8-2) recorded one of the best performances of his young career, striking out a career-high 11 batters in his first career complete game. He allowed seven hits, two runs (one earned) and walked two. His strikeout total is a Buckeye individual high this season.
Ohio State sent 10 batters to the plate in the second inning, scoring four runs to grab the early advantage. Doug Deeds (Fr., Bexley, Ohio) led off and was hit by a pitch. One out later, Christian Snavely (Fr., Defiance, Ohio) drew a walk from Michigan starter Tim Leveque. Deeds aggressively advanced to third on a Leveque pitch in the dirt. He came home on a Joe Wilkins (Jr., Grove City, Ohio) single to left-center. Snavely, running on the 3-2 count, advanced to third base. Trent McIlvain (Sr., Louisville, Ohio) then put down a perfect bunt in front of the plate on a suicide squeeze, scoring Snavely to give OSU a 2-0 lead.
The offense continued to motor when Mike Harris (Sr., Hillsborough, N.C.) ripped a solid single to center field to plate Wilkins. Mike Check (Sr., Bay Village, Ohio) reached on an infield hit to extend the inning, and Doug Dendinger (Jr., Greenwich, Ohio) drew a walk, prompting Michigan to make a pitching change with Rich Hill. Nick Swisher (So., Parkersburg, W. Va.) walked on a 3-2 count, though, to force in Harris with the Buckeyes’ fourth run of the inning.
Michigan cut into the lead in the fourth inning, scoring a run on a Jake Fox sacrifice fly.
The Buckeyes got the run back in the fifth inning. For the second time, Deeds was hit by a pitch to lead off an inning. He advanced to third base on two groundouts. Wilkins came up with a key two-out hit, lining a single to right field. McIlvain then sliced a single into left field to give the Buckeyes a 6-1 lead.
Michigan added another run in the seventh inning on a single by Bill LaRosa.
The Buckeyes responded in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Deeds drew a walk. He advanced to second base on a single by John Mayor (Sr., Chesterfield, Mo.). Deeds came home on a single to center field by Steve Caravati (Fr., Dover, Ohio). On the play, Rutkowski overran the ball, allowing Mayor to score and Caravati to move to third base.
OSU tallied one more run in the eighth inning. Harris led off with a single to right field and moved to second base on an errant pickoff throw by Michigan reliever Bryce Ralston. Check brought Harris home with a single to right field.
Leveque (3-3) took the loss for Michigan. He lasted 1.2 innings, allowing three hits and four earned runs. He walked two and struck out one.
The Big Ten Tournament begins Wednesday either in West Lafayette, Ind., or Columbus, depending upon the results from the Purdue-Iowa series this weekend. The Boilermakers and Hawkeyes finish their series Monday in West Lafayette.