May 9, 2005
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Ohio State scored six run in the first three innings and added two runs each in the seventh and eighth and ninth innings to cruise to an 11-6 victory over Penn State to complete the four-game series sweep of the Nittany Lions at Beaver Field. The win was the eighth in a row and improved the Buckeyes to 28-15 overall and 11-10 in the Big Ten.
Ohio State scored its first run in the top of the first inning on the second home run of the season by Steve Caravati (Sr., Dover, Ohio/Dover) that left the park over the left-field fence. Caravati’s first home run was eight days ago. OSU starter Trent Luyster (Sr., Flushing, Ohio/Harrison Central) walked his first runner of the game, Jim Leitgeb, who went to third on a bloop single to right center. Matt Lewis sent a shot over the glove of OSU second baseman Jason Zoeller (So., Verona, Pa./Shady Side Academy) and into center field to score Leitgeb and equal the score.
The Buckeyes got the run back in the second inning to retake the lead, 2-1. Jedidiah Stephen (Jr., Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah) reached on a one-out double off the base of the wall in left field. He went to third on a passed ball and then scored on a ground out by Paul Farinacci (Sr., Westlake Village, Calif./Agoura). Penn State tied the game again in the bottom of the inning, turning a lead-off single by Colin Runt into its second run after a string of three straight sacrifice bunts, the final by Leitgeb that scored Runt to even the score, 2-2.
Caravati drove in Matt Angle (Fr., Whitehall, Ohio/Whitehall-Yearling) with a single through the left side in the third. Angle led off with a shot through the right side before Mike Rabin (Sr., West Chester, Ohio/Lakota East) drew a walk to put two on for Caravati with no one out.
Penn State did not answer in the bottom of the third and the Buckeyes capitalized in their next at bats by scoring three runs to build a 6-2 lead. Stephen led off with a single to right before scoring on double to right by Farinacci. Farinacci moved to third on a sacrifice by Eric Fryer (Fr., Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg) and then scored when PSU third baseman Scott Gaffney could not come up with a grounder off the bat of Rabin. Caravati’s third hit of the game a double down the left-field line score Rabin, who set it up with his team-leading 12 stolen base of the season.
Luyster turned it up a notch with the four-run lead. He gave up a lead-off hit to start the fourth and then coaxed a double play before a double to Leitgeb went stranded on a ground out. He retired the batters in order in the fifth and sixth innings
Two more Buckeye runs crossed the plate after a throwing error on PSU shortstop Michael Milliron that would have been the third out of the game. Zoeller walked with one out and then went to second on a base hit up the middle by Jacob Howell (So., Ashland, Ohio/Ashland). PSU starter Sean Stidfole then caught Stephen looking at strike three before the grounder by Farinacci that was errantly thrown to first. Zoeller scored on the play and then a base hit through the left side by Fryer yielded another run to give Ohio State an 8-2 lead.
Luyster got a fly out to start the seventh, his eighth batter sat down in a row, but walked Leitgeb and gave up a hit to center by Milliron before Lance Thompson dropped a three-run bomb to pull within an 8-5 score. The home run landed just inside the right-field foul pole and brought an end to Luyster’s day. Skipper Bob Todd brought in Dan Barker (Fr., Dayton, Ohio/Northmont), who gave up a head before getting a ground out and a fly out to end the inning.
Luyster got his first victory since March 24 against Cornell. He picked up his fifth win of the season in his sixth start since his last win. He pitched 6.1 innings and allowed five runs on seven hits and walked four without a strikeout. Stidfole got the loss to fall to 6-3 on the year.
The Buckeyes got two run back thanks to a pair of hits and two Penn State errors, the third and fourth errors by the Nittany Lions in the game. Caravati scored on a single by Zoeller and Bourquin scored on a fielder’s choice by Howell to take a 10-5 lead. Penn State scored another run in the eighth after Runt led off with a walk. That brought in Rory Mesiter (Fr., Mansfield, Ohio/Mansfield Madison) to loaded the bases and got out of it with only a sac fly by Milliron that plated Runt.
Caravati was led a group of three players that went 3-for-5 in the game. He delivered three RBI. Angle and Stephen also were 3-for-5, while Fryer finished 2-for-4 and Farinacci was 3-for-5 with two RBI. Ohio State out-hit Penn State 15-10 and benefited from four Nittany Lion errors, while finishing perfect in its fielding.
Like they had every time Penn State had scored in the bottom of the inning, Ohio State responded in the top of the ninth with a sacrifice fly by Ronnie Bourquin (So., Canton, Ohio/Canton South) that scored Fryer, who doubled to lead off the inning. The score put Ohio State up 11-6.
Ohio State will play host to Miami (Ohio) Wednesday on the second Buck-A-Burger night at Bill Davis Stadium. The teams will toss the first pitch at 6:35 p.m. in a game to be broadcast on NPR 820 (WOSU-AM).
### Go Bucks! ###