April 23, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Ohio State built an 8-0 lead thanks to three triples and survived a six-run eighth inning by Indiana to claim an 8-6 victory Sunday at Sembower Field to win the series three games to one. The Buckeyes have won three conference series 3-1 this season, also having won series against Iowa and Illinois.
Ohio State scored four runs in the top of the first inning, using a pair of triples, two passed balls and an error. Matt Angle (So., Whitehall, Ohio/Whitehall-Yearling) singled through the right side with one out and went to second on a passed ball by Indiana catcher Ben Greenspan. He scored when a ball hit by Eric Fryer (So., Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg) went off the glove of rightfielder Andrew Means. Fryer reached third on the three-base error.
Ronnie Bourquin (Jr., Canton, Ohio/Canton) followed with a triple to right-center field to score Fryer and then after Jedidiah Stephen (Sr., Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah) drew a walk, Adam Schneider (Jr., Agoura Hills, Calif./Agoura) sent a ball to the wall in centerfield and legged out another triple to score both Bourquin and Stephen and give the Buckeyes a 4-0 lead before Indiana came to the plate.
The Buckeyes added a pair of runs in the top of the second to take a six-run lead. Jacob Howell (Jr., Ashland, Ohio/Ashland) singled through the right side with one out and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Angle. Fryer followed with a triple to right center field to score Jonathan Zizzo (So., Youngstown, Ohio/Sarasota [Fla.]), who had come in to run for Howell, who, with a 5-0 lead left the game for precautionary measures in regard to the hamstring he pulled April 5 against Miami (Ohio). Fryer scored on a wild pitch.
Ohio State had hit two triples in four games this season, but this was the first game it had hit three in a game. The Buckeyes now have 20 triples this season, which is tied for the third most in a season. They also had 20 triples in 1997. The record of 25 was set in 1991. The 1966 national championship team had 23 triples.
Fryer hit a home run with one on and two out in the fourth inning to build an 8-0 lead. Josh Hula (Fr., Castalia, Ohio/Margaretta) drew a walk to lead off the inning, but then after Hoosier starter Joe Vicini got a strikeout and a ground out, he was pulled from the game in favor of Doug Fleenor. Fryer took an 0-1 pitch from Fleenor and deposited over the fence in right-center field.
Indiana had put the lead-off runner on base in each the first three innings, but each time he was either erased or stranded by the Buckeye defense. The Hoosiers had runners reach second and third with one out in the fifth, but J.B. Shuck (Fr., Galion, Ohio/Galion) got a pop up and a ground out to get out of trouble.
Indiana got its first extra-base hit in the bottom of the eighth when Reggie Watson doubled with one out. Shuck, who had struck out Jay Brant to start the inning, followed Watson’s double with a strikeout of Josh Richardson, but walked Cameron Satterwhite. A throwing error by Bourquin, the Buckeye third baseman, that would have been the final out of the inning, let the inning continue and then Keith Haas singled to right center field to score two runs and break up the shutout bid. After Shuck walked his next batter, coach Bob Todd went to his bullpen for Rory Meister (So., Mansfield, Ohio/Mansfield Madison).
Facing his batter, Meister walked in a run and then gave up a pinch-hit, bases-clearing, double down the left-field line by Jon Fixler that pulled Indiana with two runs, 8-6.
Shuck pitched 7.2 innings and allowed five unearned runs on eight hits to pick up his sixth win of the season against just one defeat. Vicini fell to 3-2 after giving up seven runs (six earned) on five hits in 3.2 innings. Meister was not eligible for the save.
Indiana out-hit the Buckeyes 11-8, getting five hits in the final two innings of the game. Fryer finished 3-for-5 with three RBI and scored three runs. Watson and Greenspan each had two hits for Indiana (14-23 overall, 5-11 Big Ten).
The Buckeyes (24-12, 9-7) return to Bill Davis Stadium Wednesday at noon for a contest against Cleveland State. The game marks the beginning of a stretch when Ohio State will play 15 of its final 19 regular season games at home. The Ohio State vs. Cleveland State game will not have a radio broadcast, but will feature GameTracker and streaming video at ohiostatebuckeyes.com.