April 26, 2006

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team came up short Wednesday against Cleveland State, 7-5, at Bill Davis Stadium. The Buckeyes (24-13) committed two errors in a costly five-run second inning by the Vikings (8-27). Ronnie Bourquin (Canton, Ohio/Canton South) homered for the Buckeyes in the fifth inning, but Ohio State’s comeback bid fell shy when CSU added single runs in the seventh and eighth innings.

Ohio State starting pitcher Dan Barker (Dayton, Ohio/Northmont) began the second inning with a pair of walks. Following a fly out, the Buckeyes committed the first of two errors as Jedidiah Stephen (Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah) misplayed a grounder at short, allowing Cleveland State’s John Westra to reach first base safely and load the bases with one out. The Vikings’ Theo Hudson then singled to left field to put CSU up 1-0. The Vikings upped their lead to 2-0 on a wild pitch by Barker. The inning continued with another Stephen error as Westra moved CSU ahead, 3-0. The Vikings’ Steve Chinn closed the inning with a two-out, two-run single, putting the Buckeyes down 5-0.

Ohio State got on the scoreboard in the fifth on Bourquin’s two-run shot to right. The Buckeyes scored twice again in the sixth as well. Jonathan Zizzo (Youngstown, Ohio/Sarasota) led off with a single to left and catcher Josh Hula (Castalia, Ohio/Margaretta) reached on an error, putting Buckeyes on first and second with no outs. J.B. Shuck (Galion, Ohio/Galion) loaded the bases with a bunt single down the third-base line. Zizzo scored on a double-play grounder by Matt Angle (Whitehall, Ohio/Whitehall-Yearling) before Eric Fryer (Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg) knocked in Hula with a RBI double down the right-field line.

The Vikings scored a single run in both the seventh and eight. A Buckeye error at shortstop allowed another CSU run in the seventh and the Vikings strung together a double and consecutive singles off OSU’s Josh Berrera (Somerset, Ohio/Sheridan) in the eighth.

The Buckeyes crossed the plate in the eight, benefiting from a leadoff walk from Justin Miller (Dayton, Va./Turner Ashby), a hit-by-pitch from Shuck and an RBI groundout by Fryer.

Barker, who suffered his first loss of the season, lasted four innings. He allowed five runs with two earned. He gave up four hits, walked three and struck out two. OSU relievers Trey Fausnaugh (Circleville, Ohio/Westfall) and Rory Meister (Mansfield, Ohio/Mansfield Madison) each threw a scoreless inning. CSU’s Brian Long recorded the win, going five innings and allowing two earned runs on six hits and five walks. Viking reliever Jeremy Hartman earned the save, throwing 1 2/3 innings of shutout baseball.

Ohio State remains at home with a four-game Big Ten series with Purdue. The Buckeyes and Boilermakers start the series at 6:35 Friday at Bill Davis Stadium.