April 20, 2002
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana shortstop Eric Blakeley’s RBI single in the bottom of the seventh gave the Hoosiers a 5-4 victory in the first game of a doubleheader against Ohio State at Sembower Field to even the Big Ten series 1-1.
Ohio State, 22-10-1 overall, 10-4 Big Ten, scored twice in the top of the seventh to tie the score 4-4 thanks to an RBI single through the right side by Doug Dendinger (Sr, Greenwich, Ohio/South Central) that scored Doug Deeds (So., Bexley, Ohio/Bexley). A double down the leftfield line Drew Anderson (Fr., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) scored Joe Wilkins (Sr., Grove City, Ohio/Dublin Scioto), but the Buckeyes stranded runners at second and third.
Those were just two of 11 runners stranded by Ohio State in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. The Buckeyes had stranded a dozen runners in the 14-11 victory over Indiana on Friday.
Indiana’s first four runs were the responsibility of designated hitter Joe Kemp, who knocked in two runs in the first and the second two runs in the sixth inning. He finished the day 2-for-3 with four of five RBI for the Hoosiers. Blakeley was also 2-for-3 with his game winning RBI.
Indiana (28-9, 9-5) jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on Kemp’s first of two doubles. He scored both Eric Blakeley and Mark Calkins and then tried to move to third on the ball that went past diving OSU leftfielder Mike Rabin (Fr., West Chester, Ohio/Lakota East). The ball was fielded by Nick Swisher (Jr., Parkersburg, W.Va./Parkersburg) who threw to shortstop Brett Garrard (So., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) who fired the ball to Anderson which caught Kemp at third for the third out of the inning. Ohio State got a run on the scoreboard in the fourth inning after stranding a total of five runners in the first three innings. Dendinger led off the inning with a double and then scored on a base hit by Rabin to left field.
The Buckeyes tied it up in the top of the sixth on a wild pitch by Adam Pegg, who was facing his first batter in relief of Indiana starter Zach Otte. With a 0-1 count to Garrard, Pegg threw a strike that somehow got by catcher Cody Wargo. An alert Rabin, who singled threw the left side with two outs, scored from third to tie up the game. He reached third courtesy of a stolen base and a throwing error by Otte in a failed pickoff at first base.
Kemp’s double in the bottom of the sixth broke a 2-2 tie scoring Eric Blakely and Vasili Spanos on the shot to right-centerfield. The runs were his third and fourth of the day batted in as he was personally responsible for all four Indiana runs.
Ryan Smith was in line for the save when he started the top of the seventh, but ended up with his third win of the year against no losses. He pitched one inning giving up one run on three hits with a strikeout. Zach Otte started the game for the Hoosiers but went only 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and three walks.
Josh Newman got the loss for the Buckeyes, falling to 6-3. He pitched all 6 1/3 innings against Indiana, giving up five runs, four earned, on nine hits. He had eight strikeouts against just one walk.
The Buckeyes out-hit Indiana 11-9 as five different batters went 2-for-4. Dedninger, Anderson and Rabin, who also scored on a wild pitch, batted in runs for Ohio State.
Despite the loss, Ohio State remained in first place by one game in the Big Ten race. The Hoosiers moved within a game of the Buckeye into a second-place tie with Purdue, which lost 9-3 to Iowa.
The second game of the doubleheader began 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one. The two teams conclude the four-game series Sunday at 2 p.m.