May 7, 2005
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Ohio State had not won the opening game of a Big Ten series this season, but that changed Saturday at Beaver Field as the Buckeyes jumped out to a 10-0 lead and went on to claim a 11-2 victory. Ohio State has now won five games in a row and seven of its last eight to improve to 25-15 overall and 8-10 in the Big Ten.
All nine starters had at least one hit as the Buckeyes scored three in the first, sixth in the fourth before adding one in the sixth and one in the ninth to allow starting pitcher Dan DeLucia (So., Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Watterson) to pitch his first career complete game at Ohio State.
Mike Rabin (Sr., West Chester, Ohio/Lakota East) was 3-for-3 and walked three times to reach base in all six of his plate appearances. The school record for consecutive times reaching base is 13 by John Prosenjak in 1934. Designated hitter Adam Scheider (So., Agoura Hills, Calif./Agoura) was the only other Buckeyes with multiple hits against the Nittany Lions. He went 2-for-4 with two RBI and scored twice.
Ohio State took its first lead in the opening game of a Big Ten series this season by scoring three times in the top of the first inning. Rabin got things started when he singled through the left side with one out. Steve Caravati followed with a walk before Schneider singled to right to score Rabin and when the ball was misplayed by right fielder Matt Lewis, Caravati was able to score and Schneider went to second. Schneider scored on a single up the middle by Ronnie Bourquin (So., Canton, Ohio/Canton South). The Buckeyes broke the game open in the fourth inning, scoring six runs on only two hits to take a 9-0 lead. PSU starter Alan Stidfole walked five batters in the game before giving way to reliever Gary Amato. Stidfole opened the inning with his seventh strikeout of the game, but walked Eric Fryer (Fr., Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg) before he took second on a sacrifice bunt by Matt Angle (Fr., Whitehall, Ohio/Whitehall-Yearling). Two more walks loaded the bases for Schneider, who delivered an infield single to score Fryer.
Two more walks turned the scoring carousel twice more before Jedidiah Stephen (Jr., Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah) delivered a bases-clearing double over the centerfielder’s head. All six runs scored with two out.
Ohio State was able to add a run in the sixth inning to take a 10-0 lead. Amato began the inning with a strikeout of Bourquin before Jason Zoeller (So., Verona, Pa./Shady Side Academy) singled through the left side. He was erased at second on a fielder’s choice by Stephen before Paul Farinacci (Sr., Westlake Village, Calif./Agoura) doubled to left to score Stephen from first.
Penn State avoided its first shutout of the season with one run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Michael Milliron led off the inning with a single up the middle and then went to second on a single through the left side by Scott Gummo. Zoeller could not come up with a Matt Lewis double-play grounder to second and allowed the Nittany Lions to load the bases. Aaron Greenfield scored Milliron with a sacrifice fly to center to make the score 10-1.
The Buckeyes got the run back in the top of the ninth when Fryer scored on a single to left by Rabin. Fryer delivered a two-out single to center to get on base before singles by Angle and Rabin. Penn State led off the bottom of the inning with a double by catcher Mark Wojtowicz and then he scored on a single up the middle by Jim Leitgeb for Penn State’s final run of the game.
DeLucia went the distance in the nine-inning contest, allowing the two runs (one earned) on eight hits while walking one and striking out two to improve to 3-4 on the season. Stidfole got the loss to fall to 5-4 on the year. He pitched 3.2 innings and allowed nine runs on just five hits and seven walks. He struck out seven as Penn State fell to 24-18 overall and 10-11 in the Big Ten.
Ohio State and Penn State will play a doubleheader Sunday at 1:05 p.m. before concluding the series Monday with a single game at 1:05 p.m. All three games will be broadcast on the Internet at www.wosu.org, while both games of the doubleheader will be broadcast on NPR 820 (WOSU-AM).