COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio State scored 15 runs off 18 hits 16 of them singles and defeated Penn State, 15-0, in the Big Ten Conference opener for both schools. Ohio State improves to 11-6 overall and 1-0 in the Big Ten with its third consecutive win. Penn State drops to 5-13 and 0-1.

The 15-run margin was the largest margin of victory since Ohio State defeated Penn State by 27 runs, 29-2, in 2005 at State College.

Ohio State was led offensively by J.B. Shuck and Tyler Engle with three hits apiece. Cory Kovanda, Dan Burkhart, Cory Rupert and Ryan Dew each had two hits. Engle also had a career-high three RBI and Ryan Meade, Rupert and Dew had two apiece.

The offensive explosion nothing new of late for Ohio State, which is averaging 9.5 runs and 16.3 hits in its last nine games supported the two-hit pitching of starter Jake Hale, who improved to 2-0 with the win. Hale pitched 6.0 scoreless innings for his best outing of the season. 

Ohio State jumped on Penn State starter Seth Whitehill (2-2) right from the start, scoring eight runs off 10 hits nine of them singles in the first inning alone to take immediate control of the game. Ohio State sent 13 batters to the plate in the inning with Rupert’s RBI double the only extra base hit. Red hot Kovanda and Shuck each had two hits, an RBI and run scored in the inning. Meade also knocked in two runs with his single in the inning.

“It’s good to see at the end of the game 18 hits and 15 runs scored,” Kovanda said. “That’s a pretty good ratio of runs scored to hits without getting many extra base hits.”

By the end of the third inning Ohio State already had scored 14 runs and banged out 17 hits with 15 of them singles.

“This [hitting singles] has been the m.o. of this team,” Ohio State coach Bob Todd said. “You never expect to win a game like this. After the third inning you question how to manage in a game like this. We’ve let leads like this slip away before. From the third inning on this was a one-run [scored] ball game.”

The two teams resume their four-game series with a double header Saturday at Bill Davis Stadium starting at 1:05 p.m.


Game Notes and Good Stuff:

 Tony Kennedy extended his hitting streak to a season-long and career-best 17 games with his single in the first inning.
 Six additional Buckeyes extended their current hitting streaks: Ryan Meade to 13 games, Cory Rupert and Cory Kovanda to nine, Justin Miller to eight, Dan Burkhart to seven, and Tyler Engle to five.
 Cory Kovanda is now 20-for-35 in his last nine games with 12 runs scored.
 Kovanda has multiple hits in eight consecutive games.
 Jake Hale lowered his ERA to 4.50 from 6.43 with 6.0 scoreless innings of two-hit work.
 Tyler Engle’s three-hit game was the first of his career.
 Ten different Buckeyes scored a run and nine had at least one hit and eight drove in at least one run.
 Josh Edgin pitched the three final innings for the save, the first of his career. 
 Ohio State is 7-2 in its last nine games.
 The Bill Davis Stadium record for both hits and runs is 23, each coming against Cleveland State on April 27, 1997.