May 5, 1999
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team hit four solo home runs and cruised to a 7-1 victory over Pittsburgh in Bill Davis Stadium Wednesday night. It marked the second win of the day for Ohio State, which topped Oakland 11-9 earlier this afternoon.
It was an evening to remember for Ohio State head coach Bob Todd. With the victory, his 479th since coming to Ohio State, Todd became the winningest coach ever in the 116-year history of Ohio State baseball. Todd passed former Buckeye skipper Marty Karow on the all-time win list. Karow captured 478 victories in 25 seasons at OSU. Todd now stands 479-230-1 in 12 seasons at Ohio State.
“There have been so many great players over the years here, and breaking this record is more of a credit to them than it is to me,” head coach Bob Todd said. “All this really means is that Ive been fortunate enough to coach at Ohio State for a very long time and Ive had some of the best assistant coaches in the nation along with me. There have been a lot of wins here, and I hope there will be many more. I am glad, though, that we are able to break the record at home in front of our fans, but honestly, all Im thinking about right now is playing Michigan State this weekend with the chance to clinch a Big Ten Championship.”
OSU improves to 40-7 with the win and remains 19-1 (first place) in the Big Ten. Pittsburgh falls to 23-25 overall. The Buckeyes have now won 19 consecutive games, one short of the school record 20 in-a-row won by the 1994 team. Ohio State has also won 33 of its last 34 games. OSU improves to 20-0 at home this year.
Nate Smith got the win for Ohio State, working six innings and striking out five. Smith improved to 5-3. Pittsburgh starter Scott Schultz falls to 2-1 with the loss.
OSU took a 1-0 lead in its half of the second when Chad Ehrnsberger knocked a towering home run over the left field wall, his 11th of the season. Jason Turner followed with a line single up the middle, and proceeded to promptly steal second easily. With one out, freshman third baseman Joe Palazzo delivered an opposite field single, scoring Turner from second. After two, OSU led 2-0.
OSU played longball again in the third. Mike Lockwood, Ohio States leadoff hitter, hit his eleventh dinger of the season, a no-doubter to right. Tom Durant followed with a walk and stole second two pitches later. Durant advanced to third when the Pittsburgh catcher threw the ball into centerfield on the steal attempt. Jason Trott followed with a single to left-center, scoring Durant.
Pittsburgh got one run back in the fifth. Doug Caraway started things with a walk. Chris Happ, Lou Melucci, and Joe Lydic then followed with back-to-back-to-back singles, eventually scoring Caraway. Ohio State starter Nate Smith bore down, however, getting Brad Rea to ground out to second base. After four and a half innings, OSU led 4-1.
Smith was effective for OSU on the mound, retiring four straight to start the game, eight straight in the middle innings, and pitching out of two bases loaded jams. Smith faced just three batters in the first, third, fourth, and sixth innings. He was pulled in favor of reliever Ted Kalnins in the seventh.
Mike Lockwood showed more power in the fifth, slamming his second home run of the game and 12th of the season. Lockwoods shot hit the top of the center field wall and bounced over, traveling nearly 400 feet. One out later, Jason Trott topped Lockwoods shot with a blast to centerfield that easily cleared the wall for his fourth home run of the year. The two solo home run gave OSU a 6-1 lead after five innings of play.
OSU scored again in its half of the eighth. Jason Driscoll led things off with a bunt single. One out later, Doug Dendinger poked an opposite field single to left, advancing Driscoll to third. Mike Check then lifted a fly ball to center, scoring Driscoll on the sacrifice fly.
Ohio State will now depart for East Lansing, facing Michigan State in a four-game Big Ten series this weekend.
– OSU –