May 14, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State tied a season high with four errors that lead to two unearned runs by Northwestern in a 4-1 loss to the Wildcats Friday night at Bill Davis Stadium in the opening game of a four-game Big Ten series. The loss dropped the Buckeyes to 29-20 overall and 15-10 in the conference.
Ohio State remains tied for second in the Big Ten, but now sits 1 1/2 games behind Minnesota, which was rained out Friday at Illinois. Penn State lost 7-3 at home to Michigan State, so the Buckeyes, Spartans and Nittany Lions are now in a three-way tie for second place in the league standings.
Jason Krynski gave Northwestern a 1-0 lead with a solo home run in the top of the second inning. It was his seventh home run of the season.
The Wildcats added two more runs in the third thanks to a pair of miscues by Ohio State. Caleb Fields led of the inning, but was picked off at first by OSU starting pitcher Josh Newman (Sr., Wheelersburg, Ohio/Wheelersburg). Newman then hit Matt Brimmer and got Josh Lieberman to fly out for the second out of the inning. OSU first baseman Paul Farinacci (Jr., Westlake Village, Calif./Agoura) could not hold on to a routine grounder off the bat of Mark Ori which would have been the third out of the inning. Brimmer was able score from second as the ball rolled into shallow right field. Dan Pohlman drove in Mikrut for Northwestern’s third run of the game. A second error by second baseman Drew Anderson (Jr., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) did not factor into the scoring.
Ohio State used a pair of doubles to get its first runoff the game in the bottom of the third. Derek Kinnear (Sr., Kenton, Ohio/Kenton) led off the inning with a double just inside the third-base bag and into left field and then two outs later, Steve Caravati (Jr., Dover, Ohio/Dover) delivered Kinnear home with a double to the gap in right-center field.
Northwestern extended its lead to 4-1 with one run on two hits in the sixth. Anthony Wycklendt doubled with two outs and then scored on a single to center by Doug Beatty.
Ohio State had a mini rally in the bottom of the ninth, getting two runners aboard with no one out. Steve Caravati reached first on a fielding error by Northwestern shortstop Jon Mikrut and then J.A. Happ walked Adam Schneider (Fr., Agoura Hills, Calif./Agoura). Garrard sent a shot to center field where Brimmer dove to make a play, appearing to catch the ball, but the umpire ruled it had been trapped, so Brimmer threw to third where he caught Caravati for the first out of the inning. Happ got Farinacci to fly out before getting Garrard at second on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jason Zoeller (Fr., Verona, Pa./Shady Side Academy) to end the game.
Newman did not pitch poorly, but had almost no help defensively or at the plate. He allowing four runs (two earned) on six hits and struck out six without a walk until the ninth inning. He fell to 7-5 on the season in pitching his second complete game of the year. Northwestern starter Happ retired Buckeye batters in order in five innings and limited the Buckeyes to one run on six hits. He struck out five and did not walk a batter to move to 5-3 overall.
Caravati was 2-for-4 with one RBI to lead the Buckeyes’ six-hit offense, while six different players had all the Northwestern hits.
Northwestern, now 23-23-1 overall and 12-13 in the Big Ten, remained in seventh place in the standings after two games were postponed because of rain. The Minnesota at Illinois series and the Michigan at Indiana series will now play a pair of doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday.
Ohio State and Northwestern continue their series Saturday with a doubleheader at 4:05 p.m. and conclude the series Sunday with a single game at 1:05 p.m. Between games of the Saturday doubleheader, Ohio State will recognized the 1994 Buckeyes, which finished with a 49-9 record and as high as No. 11 in the national rankings after climbing as high as No. 3 at the end of the regular season.