April 26, 2000
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team (27-16 overall, 8-8 in the Big Ten) exploded for 14 runs on 15 hits to defeat the Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops, 14-5 in front of 2,237, the largest crowd of the season at Bill Davis Stadium. OSU starting pitcher Kyle Brown (Fr., Washington Court House, Ohio) improved to 3-0 on the season and Trent McIlvain (Jr., Louisville, Ohio) paced the offense with three hits.
“We have a big weekend ahead of us so we needed to come out and play well tonight,” head coach Bob Todd said. “Getting 15 hits against any team is good, but we still stranded a lot of guys on base.”
The Buckeyes manufactured a run in the first inning. Mike Check (Jr., Bay Village, Ohio) led off with a solid single to centerfield. After Check stole second base, John Mayor (Jr., Chesterfield, Mo.) coaxed a walk from starter Scott Spriggs. Chad Ehrnsberger (Jr., Kalida, Ohio) moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt and Jason Turner (Sr., Versailles, Ohio) brought Check home with a grounder to second base.
The Battling Bishops quickly responded with an unearned run in the second inning. Drew Caravella reached base leading off the inning on a two-base throwing error by Mayor. After Corey Lake advanced Caravella with a groundout, Paul Lashuk tapped a slow grounder to Mayor, scoring Caravella as Mayor was forced to throw to first for the out.
Ohio State promptly struck back in the bottom of the second inning, scoring four runs while recording just one out. Doug Dendinger (So., Greenwich, Ohio) drew a walk to lead off the inning and then stole second. Marcello Garofalo (Sr., Columbus, Ohio) followed with a single to leftfield, moving Dendinger to third. McIlvain then blooped a single into rightfield, scoring Dendinger while moving Garofalo to third. Spriggs then committed back-to-back mistakes on consecutive pitches, balking home Garofalo and then allowing a two-run triple to Check, leading OWU head coach Roger Ingles to pull Spriggs in favor of Peter Balyeat, who immediately surrendered a run-scoring groundout by Mayor.
Things didn’t get any better for Spriggs, who allowed a single to Ehrnsberger and double to Turner before allowing a sacrifice fly by Nick Swisher (Fr., Parkersburg, W. Va.), capping OSU’s five-run inning and bringing the Buckeyes’ lead to five, 6-1, after two innings.
The Buckeyes added another run in the third inning. Dendinger led off with a walk and after a flyout by Garofalo, he moved to second on a single by McIlvain. Check followed with a pop out to second base, but Mayor slapped a single to center, scoring Dendinger to give the Buckeyes a 7-1 advantage.
OWU tacked on two runs in the fourth inning. With one out and Caravella on second base, Lashuk slapped a grounder which went through the legs of Ehrnsberger for an error, allowing Caravella to cross the plate. After a popout by Clint Gibboney, Michael Hershberger cracked a single to centerfield, scoring Lashuk to cut the lead to four, 7-3.
OSU added to its lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, Check scored on a wild pitch by OWU reliever Kyle Stanton to increase the OSU lead to 9-3.
In the bottom half of the sixth inning, OSU added four runs on three hits. Check drove in Dendinger on a grounder to shortstop Dan Marchetti.. Turner worked a bases loaded walk off reliever Shawn Conn to add the second run of the inning. Swisher increased the OSU lead to 12-3 with a two-run single to centerfield.
In the eighth inning the Buckeyes pushed two more runs across on an RBI single by Joe Palazzo (So., Tucson, Ariz.) and a sacrifice fly from Chris Alvord (Jr., Mentor, Ohio).
Brown improved to 3-0 on the season by going five innings and throwing 58 pitches. He gave up five hits and three runs (all unearned). OWU’s Spriggs (3-1) took the loss. He went just one inning and gave up five runs.
This weekend, the Buckeyes will travel to Champaign, Ill., for a four game series against the Illinois Fighting Illini. Friday’s game begins at 7:35 p.m.