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May 19, 2001%^$

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%^$%^$%^$Box Score|%^$Quotes%^$%^$%^$%^$

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COLUMBUS, Ohio- The Ohio State Buckeyes staved off elimination from the Big%^$Ten Tournament on a clear, dry Saturday night when they dropped the Fighting%^$Illini of Illinois, 10-0. OSU used a balanced attack to down the Illini as%^$seven Buckeyes tallied hits and six scored runs in front of 1,099 fans at%^$Bill Davis Stadium. Greg Prenger improves to 5-1 with the complete game%^$shutout. He struck out six, walked one and scattered seven hits%^$

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Ohio State advances to play Minnesota, who is undefeated in the tournament,%^$tomorrow at 12:35 p.m. while Illinois is eliminated from competition.%^$

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The Buckeyes jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the second when%^$John Mayor laced a two-out single to left field off pitcher Tim Gorski.%^$Freshman Steve Caravati, who has belted Illinois’ pitching all year, then%^$drilled a double off the left field wall to plate Mayor, giving OSU an early%^$1-0 advantage.%^$

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Mike Harris began the third for OSU with a sharp single to left-center%^$field. He stole second and advanced to third on Gorski’s sixth wild pitch of%^$the year. Mike Check then stepped to the plate and delivered a run-scoring%^$sacrifice fly to right field, giving OSU a 2-0 lead.%^$

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OSU added another run in the fourth as Doug Deeds scored on a fielder’s%^$choice after crushing a one-out double to left-center field. Deeds, who had%^$advanced to third on an error by center fielder Rob Fischer, slid around%^$catcher Patrick Arlis as he struggled to corral the throw.%^$

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The Buckeyes continued to pile it on in the fifth, scoring two more runs to%^$take a staunch 5-0 lead. With one out, Harris drew a walk and then stole%^$second base for the second time in the game. It was his 35th stolen base of%^$the year, making him OSU’s single season record holder. He broke Roy Marsh’s%^$record of 34, set in 1994. Dendinger then stepped to the plate after Check%^$was retired and launched his 10th home run of the year over the left-field%^$wall of a 1-2 pitch from Gorski.%^$

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The Fighting Illini had the first two runners on base to begin the sixth,%^$but could not get any runs across the plate as the OSU defense picked up its%^$play. Prenger struck out a swinging Fischer for the first out and the%^$Buckeyes turned a breathtaking 3-6-1 double play. Trevor Frederickson sliced%^$a line drive to Nick Swisher. The first baseman handled it on a hop, turned%^$and delivered a laser to Trent McIlvain for a force at second. McIlvain then%^$relayed the ball back to a covering Prenger to complete the twin killing.%^$

%^$In the bottom of the seventh, McIlvain lined a one-out single into center%^$field for his only hit of the game, but it set the table for another big%^$inning for OSU. Harris followed with a double, advancing McIlvain to third.%^$Both were driven in by Check’s double that bounced over third baseman Luke%^$Simmons head to give OSU a 7-0 advantage.%^$

%^$The Buckeyes led off the bottom of the eighth with back-to-back singles by%^$Mayor and Caravati. Both advanced up a base on a fielder’s choice. McIlvain%^$then laced a single to score Mayor. Harris reached first when he was hit by%^$a Justin Olson pitch. Check then plated Caravati on an RBI groundout.%^$Dendinger drilled a single to right field to score McIlvain, putting OSU%^$ahead 10-0.%^$

%^$Gorski took the loss as he allowed seven runs (six earned) on seven hits.%^$The right hander struck out five and walked one while falling to 1-2.%^$