May 9, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Penn State sprinted out to a 6-0 lead through four innings and held on to deal Ohio State a 6-3 loss in the second game of a doubleheader Sunday at Bill Davis Stadium. The Nittany Lions blanked the Buckeyes 1-0 in the first game to take a 2-1 lead in the four-game series, which will conclude Monday night.
Penn State scored quickly putting two runs on the board in the top of the first inning. OSU starter Trent Luyster (Jr., Flushing, Ohio/Harrison Central) walked his first batter of the game and then gave up a hit to left field for Clint Eury, who grounded out to advance both runners into scoring position. Matt Harter singled to right-center field to score Barr, the lead-off runner. Harter stole second and when a throw from catcher Kelly Houser (So., New Holland, Ohio/Adena) sailed into center field, Mike Milliron was able to score for the 2-0 lead.
Barr gave the Nittany Lions a 3-0 lead with an RBI single up the middle in the second inning. Travis Laird got on base with a one-out double and slide under the tag at the plate. Harter delivered two more runs in the third with his eighth home run of the season to extend the lead to 5-0. The shot to left field also scored Eury, who led off the inning with a single up the middle. Eury singled to right to drive in one run in the fourth to build a six-run lead.
Ohio State got a lead-off triple off the bat of Steve Caravati (Jr., Dover, Ohio/Dover) to start the fourth inning, but he was stranded there after a strikeout, ground out and fly out. The Buckeyes did take benefit from a lead-off double by Paul Farinacci (Jr., Westlake Village, Calif./Agoura) turning it into their first run of the game to prevent getting swept in back-to-back Big Ten games for the first time under head coach Bob Todd. Farinacci went to third on a single by Houser and the scored on a sacrifice fly by Drew Anderson (Jr., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) to pull within a 6-1 score.
Ohio State scored twice more in the sixth to pull within three runs. Caravati led off with a double before back-to-back strikeouts by PSU starter Aaron Tressler. Brett Garrard (Sr., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) singled to left to plate Caravati and then Farinacci hit his second double of the game to score Garrard all the way from first to pull the Buckeyes within a 6-3 score. Farinacci was a perfect 3-for-3 with one RBI to lead Ohio State offensively. Jacob Howell (Fr., Ashland, Ohio/Ashland), Caravati and Houser also delivered two hits.
Tressler picked up the win to improve to 4-1 on the season. Paired with Sean Stidfole, who got the win in the first game of the double dip, the duo improved to 11-1 in games two and three against Big Ten opponents. In the nightcap Sunday, Tressler allowed three runs on nine hits and struck out four in his 5.2 innings. Josh Palm came on to earn his third save of the year giving up only one hit in 1.1 innings of duty.
Luyster got his first loss since March 31 to snap a string of four victories and drop to 4-4 on the season. He gave up all six runs, though only five were earned on 11 hits. He walked four and had just one strikeout.
The doubleheader loss marked the first time since 2002 at Michigan that Ohio State lost both ends of a doubleheader
The teams conclude the four-game Big Ten series Monday at 6:35 p.m. NPR 820 (WOSU-AM) will broadcast the game. With a win Monday, Ohio State (26-19 overall, 14-9 Big Ten) would tie Penn State (26-19, 15-8) and sit one game behind first-place Minnesota in the Big Ten standings after the Golden Gophers lost 8-4 to Iowa in the final of their weekend series. A win by the Nittany Lions would pull them even with Minnesota atop the conference.