April 19, 2002
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Joe Wilkins (Sr, Grove City, Ohio/Dublin Scioto) had a two-run homer in the third inning to give Ohio State the lead as the Buckeyes never looked back in a 14-11 victory over Indiana in the first of a four-game Big Ten series at Sembower Field.
Wilkins was just a triple shy of becoming just the first batter to hit for the cycle since Steve Caravati did that against Michigan State in 1999. Wilkins had a double in the first inning a home run and a single in the third and a second single in the seventh. He finished 4-for-6 with four runs batted in after flying out in the fourth and striking out in the ninth.
Doug Deeds (So., Bexley, Ohio/Bexley) was 3-for-5 with three RBI. Drew Anderson (Fr., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) and Christian Snavely (So., Defiance, Ohio/Defiance) were each 3-for-6.
The win kept the Buckeyes (22-9-1 overall, 10-3 Big Ten) in first place in the conference. Though Ohio State extended its lead to two games over Indiana (27-9, 8-5), Purdue remained just one game back after defeating Iowa 4-2 in West Lafayette, Ind.
Ohio State jumped all over Indiana to start the game, scoring four times in the opening inning. Deeds gave the Buckeyes a quick 2-0 lead with his seventh home run of the season, an opposite field shot over the left field fence. Brett Garrard (So., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) also scored on the play.
After a strikeout by Nick Swisher (Jr., Parkersburg, W.Va./Parkersburg), Doug Dendinger (Sr., Greenwich, Ohio/South Central) drew a walk and would later score on a double down the leftfield line by Wilkins. Mike Rabin (Fr., West Chester, Ohio/Lakota East) singled to left to plate Wilkins.
But just as Ohio State sent 10 hitters to the plate in the first, Indiana would also bat around. The Hoosiers scored five times in the bottom of the inning to take the 5-4 lead. A costly throwing error by Snavely on a routine grounder against leadoff batter Kennard Jones made only two of the Hoosiers’ five runs earned. The highlight of the inning for Indiana was a three-run triple by Joe Kemp that caromed awkwardly off the angled fence in right-centerfield.
After going down in order in the second, Ohio State batted through the order again in the third inning to score 10 times on 10 hits. In addition to the eight singles by Buckeye batters, a home run by Wilkins over the leftfield fence also scored Dendinger, who walked for the 125th time of his career to move into second place on the career walks list. Wilkins’ home run was his third of the season. Anderson followed Wilkins home run with his third triple of the season. When the inning was done, Ohio State led 14-5.
Indiana got one run back on a solo home run by Kemp, who sent a shot over the fence in left-centerfield for his third round-tripper of the season. The Hoosiers added another run in the bottom of the seventh after a home run to centerfield by shortstop Eric Blakeley. He added a two-run shot in the eighth and the Hoosiers scored two more times in the ninth before falling 14-11.
E.J. Laratta (Sr., Englewood, Colo./Cherry Creek) pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up seven runs off 10 hits, though only four runs were earned. He improved to 6-1 on the season with just three strikeouts in the game, which moved him into an 11th-place tie on Ohio State’s career strikeouts list with 223 strikeouts. Trent Luyster (Fr., Flushing, Ohio/Harrison Central) and Brandon Steen (Sr., Hendersonville, Tenn./Hendersonville) each pitched 1 1/3 innings and each allowed two runs, though both of the runs allowed by Luyster were unearned after a fielding error by Garrard at short. Hoosier starter Jacob Cary got the loss for Indiana to fall to 4-4.
The Buckeyes and Hoosiers will play a doubleheader at 2 p.m. on Saturday before concluding with a single game at 2 p.m. on Sunday.