COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio State lost a Big Ten series opener for the first time this season, losing 7-4 to Purdue before 3,093 fans. The loss drops the Buckeyes records to 18-13 overall and 7-5 in the Big Ten. Purdue is now 18-16 and 10-3, respectively.

Ryne White, the reigning Big Ten batting champion but who came in hitting only .288, homered in the first inning to give the Boilermakers a 1-0 lead. He would spark Purdue offensively the entire game, going 4-for-4 with two home runs, three runs scored and three RBI. Dan Black hit a two-run double in the seventh to give Purdue a 6-2 lead that OSU would not be able to come back on.

Dan Burkhart was the only Buckeye with two hits. Jake Hale dropped his first decision of the year (4-1) while Purdue’s Dan Bischoff improved to 2-3 with the win. 

“I’ll give Purdue credit,” Ohio State coach Bob Todd said. “Their approach was the did not want to strike out. They put the ball in play and we did not control Ryne White. And we just didn’t do enough offensively.”

Purdue, leading 1-0, threatened in the fourth, loading the bases with one out. White stroked a one-out double and Jordan Comadena followed with a single, advancing White to third. Black drew a walk to load the bases, but Hale followed with a strikeout and third baseman Cory Rupert gobbled up a grounder to end the inning.

It was a crucial stop for the Buckeyes defensively because the team was not able to do anything at the plate against Purdue sophomore ace Matt Bischoff, the 2007 Big Ten freshman of the year. Bischoff was perfect through the first four innings.

A two-out rally in the fourth extended the Boilermakers’ lead to 3-0. Brandon Haveman singled and scored on a triple by Ben Wolgamot. White ripped his third hit of the game, a single to left to score Wolgamot.

Moments after someone in the press box mentioned that Bischoff had a no hitter, Zach Hurley ended it and the shutout by sending a solo home run over the center field wall, making the score 3-1 through five innings.

The Buckeyes inched closer in the sixth. Burkhart singled and scored on Tyler Engle’s double. Tony Kennedy lined out to center as Jon Moore saved a run with a terrific diving catch. Bischoff was replaced after getting a strikeout and reliever Andy Loomis followed with another strikeout to end the inning.
Purdue added three more runs in the seventh. Black’s two-run double was the big hit of the inning and it made the score 6-2.

Michael Arp’s pinch-hit single in the Buckeyes’ half of the seventh closed the gap to 6-3. Burkhart then slugged an 0-2 pitch from the lefty Loomis into left to score Hurley, making it a 6-4 game. Right-hander Chris Ivanic then relieved Loomis, and he induced a strikeout and flyout to end the inning, stranding two Buckeyes.

White completed his perfect night with a solo home run in the ninth that extended the lead to 7-4. Josh Lindblom pitched the final two innings for the Boilermakers, earning his eighth save.

The two teams play a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bill Davis Stadium.  

Game Notes and Good Stuff:

  • The 3,093 in attendance was a season high, but did not come close to setting a new Bill Davis Stadium record as part of Scarlet and Gray Days at Ohio State. The record crowd is 5,360 set in 2002 vs. Minnesota.
  • The loss was the first this season in a Big Ten series-opening game. Ohio State had defeated Penn State, Minnesota and Michigan State previously, with Jake Hale getting the win in each.
  • Zach Hurley, who earned a start in left field based on his solid defensive play of late, went crashing into the wall on a hard hit ball in the second inning. He made the catch and then crumbled after slamming into the wall. He shook off the injury, scoffed at the pain and remained in the game.
  • Hurley hit his first career home run three innings after his wall banger.
  • This is the first game this season in which each of the top four hitters in the Buckeye batting order went hitless. Purdue’s top four had 10 hits, seven runs scored and  five RBI.