May 28, 2004
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The bottom four batters in the Ohio State batting order provided 10 of the team’s 17 hits to lift the Buckeyes to an 8-3 victory to send Michigan State back to East Lansing in an elimination game battle at Siebert Field. The win set up a second elimination game against Purdue today at 4:35 p.m. (EDT).
No. 8-hole hitter Mike Rabin (Jr., West Chester, Ohio/Lakota East) went 4-for-4 at the plate at scored twice, while No. 9-hole hitter Derek Kinnear (Sr., Kenton, Ohio/Kenton) was 3-for-4 and batted in two runs and scored twice. Ronnie Bourquin (Fr., Canton, Ohio/Canton South), batting in the sixth hole, was 2-for-4 with a home run, while Paul Farinacci (Jr., Westlake Village, Calif./Agoura), the seventh-hole batter, was 1-for-5 to make the bottom four batters of the order 10-for-17. Every Buckeye starter had a hit to keep Ohio State alive.
Josh Newman (Jr., Wheelersburg, Ohio/Wheelersburg) pitched his third complete game of the season in his 15th start of the season, which tied the school season record. He struck out five batters and walked three while scattering the eight Michigan State hits, giving up only one in his final four innings of work. The victory was the 32nd of his career.
After two hits in the first inning, the Buckeyes scored twice on four hits in the top of the second to take a 2-0 lead. Farinacci singled up the middle with one out and then moved to third with the hit and run in effect on a base hit through the right side by Rabin. After Rabin was caught trying to steal second base for the second out of the inning, Kinnear doubled to right-center field to bring home Farinacci and then Drew Anderson (Jr., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) scored Kinnear on a single to center field. Michigan State answered with one run in the bottom of the inning on a solo home run by Scott Koerber, his seventh of the season, to make the score 2-1.
The Spartans scored two more times in the third to take a 3-2 lead. Newman walked Troy Krider with one out and then a double by Erik Morris put runners at second and third. Oliver Wolcott grounded out, but scored Krider before a Travis Gulick lined a shot to left field allowing Morris to score and give Michigan State its first lead of the game.
Two big defensive plays by the Buckeyes to end the fifth inning, led to a big inning offensively in the top of the sixth. Bourquin, who ended the inning with a great grab and throw to end the fifth, led off the inning with a home run to right field. His fifth long ball of the year tied the game 3-3. With one out, Rabin got his third hit of the game, a single to right and then moved to third on a single by Kinnear. Rabin scored on a wild pitch on ball four to Jacob Howell (Fr., Ashland, Ohio/Ashland) to give the Buckeyes a 4-3 lead.
Two more runs cross the plate in the Buckeye sixth as designated hitter Cody Caughenbaugh (So., Newark, Ohio/Licking Valley) plated both Kinnear and Howell to build the Ohio State to three, 6-3.
The Buckeyes scored another run in the top of the seventh to take a 7-3 lead as Kinnear hit his fourth double of the tournament to score Rabin all the way from first after Rabin tied his career high with his fourth hit of the day. The four doubles by Kinnear tied the tournament record.
Brett Garrard (Sr., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) doubled in Caravati to give the Buckeyes an 8-3 lead. Caravati had led off the inning with a double down the right-field line and then scored on the team’s fifth double of the game.
Ohio State must win four more games without a loss to win a third straight Big Ten Tournament championship and automatically qualify for a fourth straight appearance in the NCAA tournament.