May 10, 1998
COLUMBUS, Ohio – It was a day of fireworks at Bill Davis Stadium, as a no-hitter and an extra-inning home run gave the Ohio State baseball team a pair of wins in a doubleheader against Michigan State. The Buckeyes collected a 3-0 shutout in the first game, and came from behind for a 5-4 extra inning victory in the second game. The first game of the day pitted two of the Big Ten’s top pitchers – OSU’s Eric Thompson and MSU’s Mark Mulder – and lived up to its billing. Mulder, projected to be one of the top three picks in the amateaur draft, was in control for five of the six innings he pitched. It was Thompson, however, that stole the show. Using a variety of pitches and changing speeds, Thompson fired the first no-hitter by an OSU pitcher since April 3, 1989. He struck out eight in the seven-inning gem, and walked just two. Thompson faced 22 batters in the game, just one more than the minimum 21. He controlled the game throughout, forcing groundout after groundout. Just two balls left the infield the entire day – both fly outs to right field. Thompson improved to 6-3 with the win. It was also a record setting day for Mulder. Facing OSU catcher Mike Kremblas in the second inning, Mulder delivered a three ball, two strike, waist high fastball that fooled Kremblas and gave Mulder his 108th strikeout of the season, setting a new Michigan State record. Ohio State finally got to Mulder in its half of the fifth. Jason Driscoll nailed a two-out double to right-center field, and Trent McIllvain followed with an infield single. Mike Lockwood was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Senior shortstop Mark Carek proceeded to drop a single into rightfield, scoring Driscoll and McIllvain. Jason Trott followed with another single, scoring Lockwood and giving the Buckeyes a 3-0 lead.
Ohio State’s win in the first game, coupled with a Penn State loss to Purdue, clinched a spot in the Big Ten Tournament in Champaign, Ill. next weekend.
The Buckeyes struck first in the second game when Trott singled home Lockwood with two outs. Kremblas then knocked a double to right, scoring Carek and giving OSU the early 2-0 lead. Michigan State stormed back immediately to take the lead on three consecutive singles to right field and a groundout forcing in a run. OSU starter Kurt Fullenkamp showed signs of tiring, hitting two batters in the inning. In the middle of the fourth, the Spartans led 3-2. OSU tied things up again in the fifth on an unearned run. Jason Driscoll reached on an error, and eventually came around to score on a Lockwood groundout. The Spartans regained the lead in their half of the sixth, when Mike Pisani scored on a single by Gary Zsigo.
Zsigo was also the starting pitcher for Michigan State, and seemed to get stronger as the game went on. He did not allow an OSU hit after the third inning. The Buckeyes tied it up in their half of the seventh. Tom Durant led off with a walk. After Ehrnsberger struck out, pinch hitter Jason Turner ground out to first. Durant tried to reach third on the play, and the MSU first baseman’s throw sailed over everyone’s head, allowing Durant to score. Durant became the hero in the bottom of the ninth, breaking the 4-4 deadlock with a solo blast to leftfield. The home run was Durant’s fifth of the year.