May 14, 2005
EVANSTON, Ill. – After taking a four-run lead the top of the third inning, the Buckeyes gave up eight runs in the bottom of the inning as Northwestern cruised to a 9-6 victory Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader at Rocky Miller Park. The loss snapped a string of nine straight victories by the Buckeyes and eight straight in Big Ten play.
The Buckeyes scored four runs in the third inning to take a 5-1 lead. Eric Fryer (Fr., Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg) got things started with a single through the left side and then went to third on a double in the left-field corner by Matt Angle (Fr., Whitehall, Ohio/Whitehall-Yearling). Mike Rabin (Sr., West Chester, Ohio/Lakota East) plated Fryer with a single to right field and then when rightfielder Antonio Mule threw wide of home, Angle, who had moved to third on the hit, scored on the error. Rabin reached second on the throw and then went to third on a ground out. Zoeller delivered Rabin to home with his third triple of the season.
The wheels came off for the Buckeyes in the bottom of the third as Northwestern scored eight runs on five hits to take a 9-6 lead. OSU starter Cory Luebke (Fr., Maria Stein, Ohio/Marion Local) hit his first batter and walked his second before giving up an RBI double by Pat McMahon and an RBI single up the middle by Mark Ori that brought the Wildcats within a 5-3 score. That was enough for coach Bob Todd, who went to the bullpen to bring in Trey Fausnaugh (So., Circleville, Ohio/Westfall), but after an RBI single through the left side, he gave up a three-run bomb by Anthonly Wycklendt as Northwestern moved in front 7-5. Fausnaugh gave up two more hits before yielding to Brett Hatcher (Sr., Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine), who allowed a sacrifice fly and a passed ball to allow the Wildcats to build a four-run lead. The eight runs by Northwestern equaled the most against Ohio State this season. Michigan scored eight runs in the fifth inning in the only game of that series, April 22.
Fryer went deep to lead off the fourth inning to get one of the runs back and cut the deficit to 9-6. His second home run of the season cleared the fence in left-centerfield.
Fausnaugh was pegged with the loss to fall to 3-2 this season. He did not retire any of the four batters he faced in the third after taking over for Luebke, who did not make it past the third inning in his second straight start. Kontos went the distance for his fifth win of the season (5-4). He struck out five without walking a batter and held the Buckeyes to six runs (five earned) on 10 hits. Four Buckeye pitchers limited Northwestern to eight hits. The Wildcats also had three errors in the game.
Hatcher did not allow a run or a hit though he walked two batters. Jeffrey Carroll (So., Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Watterson) pitched the final inning for the Buckeyes, but did not allow a run off one hit and one walk.
Ohio State went in order in the top of the first inning, before Jon Mikrut gave Northwestern a 1-0 lead with a wind-aided home run of the left of the batters eye in center field. The two-out, solo home run was his fifth of the season.
Ohio State, now 29-16 overall and 12-11 in the Big Ten, tied the game courtesy of a hit and an error in the top of the second inning. Jason Zoeller (So., Verona, Pa./Shady Side Academy) singled up the middle and stole second before the second out of the game. Jedidiah Stephen (Jr., Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah) reached first on an error on starting pitcher George Kontos, who came over to the throw of the wide ground ball, but he fumbled the throw from first baseman Mark Ori and that enabled Zoeller to tie the game 1-1.
Ronnie Bourquin (So., Canton, Ohio/Canton South) led the Buckeyes with three hits and one RBI, while Rabin, Zoeller and Fryer each had two hits. Angle was the only other Buckeye with a hit. McMahon and Mikrut each had two hits to pace the Wildcats, who fell to 23-24 and 11-15.
The teams continue the doubleheader immediately following this game before concluding the series Sunday with a single game at 2:05 p.m. Both games will be on the Internet at www.wosu.org, while the series finale will be broadcast on NPR 820 (WOSU-AM).