May 10, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State overcame a 3-0 deficit with four runs in the bottom of the third inning and later scored five runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to defeat Penn State 9-4 in the series finale Monday night at Bill Davis Stadium. With the win, the Buckeyes, who won the series opener on Saturday, salvaged a split in the four-game series after losing to the Nittany Lions twice Sunday.
The teams are now tied for second place in the Big Ten standings with 15-9 records and eight games to play. Minnesota stayed atop the standings by taking three of four games at home against Iowa to improve to 16-8 on the year.
Penn State turned a lead-off base hit through the right side by Brett Showalter into its first run of the game in the top of the second. Showalter moved to second when OSU starter Mike Madsen (Jr., Canfield, Ohio/Notre Dame Cathedral Latin) hit Jim Leitgeb. Colin Runt singled to center field to give the Nittany Lions an early 1-0 lead.
The scoring continued in the third inning as Clint Eury hit his third home run of the season, a two-run shot over the fence in straightaway center field. Also scoring on the play was Matt Milliron, who led off the inning with a free pass on a throwing error on Buckeye third baseman Jedidiah Stephen (So., Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah).
Ohio State had little success early against PSU starting pitcher Clayton Hamilton as he retired the first eight batters of the game. But the Buckeyes rallied to score four runs in the bottom of the third inning to claim a 4-3 lead.
With two outs, Derek Kinnear (Sr., Kenton, Ohio/Kenton) got things started with a single to right field. Drew Anderson (Jr., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) followed with a single to center before Jacob Howell (Fr., Ashland, Ohio/Ashland) delivered the first run of the game with an infield single that dribbled past Hamilton and stopped just shy of Leitgeb, the Nittany Lion second baseman.
Hamilton walked Steve Caravati (Jr., Dover, Ohio/Dover) to load the bases and then designated hitter Adam Schneider (Fr., Agoura Hills, Calif./Agoura) cleared the base paths with a double to the right-field corner to put the Buckeyes lifted the Buckeyes to a one-run advantage.
The Buckeyes picked up two more runs in the sixth inning to build a three-run lead. Paul Farinacci (Jr., Westlake Village, Calif./Agoura) led off the inning with a single to right-center field and then moved to second on a walk by Mike Rabin (Jr., West Chester, Ohio/Lakota East) off reliever Alan Stidfole. Stephen bunted the runners over on a sacrifice. Farinacci scored on a ground out by Kinnear before Anderson was intentionally walked to put runners at first and second. The second run of the inning scored on a throwing error on Leitgeb trying to catch Howell on his grounder.
Farinacci extended the lead to 7-3 when his sacrifice fly scored Kris Moorman (Fr., St. Henry, Ohio/St. Henry), who came in to pinch run for Schneider, who led off the inning with a single to right-center field. Penn State got one run back in the top of the eighth inning on Harter’s ninth home run of the year.
The Buckeyes plated two more runs in the eighth inning to the five-run winning margin. Anderson singled through the left side with one out and moved to second when Arin Gelletly walked Howell. Caravati delivered Anderson to home plate and moved Howell to third with a single down the left-field line. When Gelletly walked Brett Garrard (Sr., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg), the ball bounced by the Penn State catcher and Howell was able to score the team’s ninth run of the game.
Schnedier was the leader for the Ohio State offense, going 2-for-4 with the bases clearing double in the third that gave the Buckeyes the lead for good. The Buckeyes had to overcome three errors, while forcing the Penn State defense, which had entered the weekend as the top defensive team in the league, to commit two errors of its own. Anderson also delivered a pair of hits as Ohio State out-hit the Nittany Lions 10-7.
Madsen kept pace with Josh Newman (Sr., Wheelersburg, Ohio/Wheelersburg) for the team lead with his seventh win of the season. He pitched eight innings, allowing all four runs on seven hits and tied his career high with seven strikeouts. Jeffrey Carroll (Fr., Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Watterson) and Trey Fausnaugh (Fr., Circleville, Ohio/Westfall) combined to complete the final inning and throw eight pitches between them. Hamilton got the loss for Penn State (26-20) to fall to 4-4 on the year.
Ohio State (27-19) will play host to Akron Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. NPR 820 (WOSU-AM) will broadcast the game, which will be the final Buck-A-Burger Night of the season. The Buckeyes will play host to their final Big Ten series of the season this weekend when Northwestern visits Bill Davis Stadium.