STATE COLLEGE, Pa. A five-run fifth inning erased a 2-0 deficit and carried No. 16 Ohio State to an 8-3 win over Penn State Friday in the Big Ten Conference opener for both schools. The win improved Ohio State’s record to 19-3 and Penn State, which had won six consecutive games, drops to 13-9 on the year.

Sophomore Dean Wolosiansky allowed just five hits and two runs through 7.0 innings to improve to 4-1 on the season. Wolosiansky walked two and struck out six before giving way to Drew Rucinski in the eighth inning. 

Offensively, Zach Hurley had two hits, two runs scored and two RBI and Michael Stephens and Justin Miller had two RBI apiece. The Buckeyes totaled eight hits while Penn State was held to six, half of which came in the first inning.

Penn State scored twice in that first inning to take a 2-0 lead. The Blue and Whites loaded the bases with nobody out on two singles and a walk, but Wolosiansky got hot-hitting Cory Wine – .442 avg. coming into the game to ground into a home-to-first double play. Matt Sterenka then singled to center to drive home both runs.

The Buckeyes, meanwhile, were not presenting any difficulties for Penn State starter T.J. Macy, who came in with a 2-1 record and a 1.41 ERA and with impressive outings this season against Texas and Rutgers. Macy threw double play balls in each of the first two innings, he had a three-up-three-down inning in the third and the Buckeyes’ leadoff runner in the fourth was caught stealing in another 1-2-3 inning.

The Buckeyes finally got to Macy and took the lead with a five-run fifth inning with all the runs scored with two out. Cory Rupert and Ryan Dew singled and Michael Arp and Matt Streng walked to make the score 2-1. Hurley ripped a single up the middle to score two more and, after Cory Kovanda walked, Stephens singled sharply to left to score two more and give the Buckeyes a 5-2 lead.

Three more runs in the eighth extended the lead. Hurley led off with a double and after Kovanda walked for the third time, both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Hurley scored on Stephens’ sacrifice fly and Kovanda came home on Miller’s towering home run to left field, his fourth of the season and the 29th on the year for the Buckeyes. 

Wolosiansky kept the Buckeyes in the game by not allowing another through the next six innings. He helped himself by striking out the side in the fourth after giving up a leadoff single to Wine. Then he got three consecutive outs after hitting the first two batters in the fifth. He enjoyed another 1-2-3 inning in the sixth and with a runner on in the seventh, he got another strikeout and a groundout to end the inning and his fine Friday in Happy Valley.

Penn State scored a run in the ninth off Rucinski, but that would be it.

Game Notes and Good Stuff:

  • The Buckeyes are 15-7 in Big Ten Conference-opening games under Bob Todd and have won four consecutive.
  • Wolosiansky is 6-2 in Big Ten Conference games.
  • The game was Penn State’s fourth at home this season and its first home loss.  
  • The two teams are scheduled for a 2:05 p.m. game Saturday. There is some rain in the forecast for the morning hours, supposedly tailing off in the afternoon only to resume into the evening.
  • LHP Eric Best (3-0; 5.64 ERA) is slated to start for the Buckeyes against RHP Scott Kelley (3-2; 3.60 ERA).
  • Medlar Field at Lubrano Park is a three-year-old stadium that has all the amenities, features and nooks kids zone, outfield decks, picnic tables etc. of a typical minor league ballpark. And it is. It’s also home to the State College Spikes, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Single A affiliate in the NY-Penn League.
  • The spikes are symbolic of the antlers of a deer and there are “fear the deer” signs throughout the stadium.
  • Speaking of fear: don’t fear missing any more exciting Ohio State baseball action due to faulty live stats. That’s because the rest of the games can be heard live, either on WTDA 103.9 Talk FM or streaming on 
  • Jamelle Cornley, Penn State hoops standout from Brookhaven High School, threw out the first pitch. Cornley and the Nittany Lions are in the semifinals of the NIT and will play Notre Dame Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. San Diego State and Baylor are the other two teams.