May 29, 2004
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Ohio State belted out 20 hits and scored in every inning except the eighth to cruise to a 14-2 elimination victory over Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament Saturday at Siebert Field. The win, the Buckeyes’ sixth straight facing elimination since last season, sent the Buckeyes to the championship game against Minnesota. The first game will be at 8:05 p.m. Saturday.
Steve Caravati (Jr., Dover, Ohio/Dover) drove in his first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning with a single down the left field line. The base hit scored Jacob Howell (Fr., Ashland, Ohio/Ashland), who delivered a one-out double to right-center field.
Derek Kinnear (Sr., Kenton, Ohio/Kenton) drove in the second Buckeye run in the second inning with a single to right-center field, which scored Ronnie Bourquin (Fr., Canton, Ohio/Canton South), who led off the inning with a single up the middle.
Ohio State took a 5-0 lead scoring three more times in the third inning. Cody Caughenbaugh (So., Newark, Ohio/Newark) got things started with a one-out single to right-center field and then went to second on a fielding error by Michigan third baseman A.J. Scheidt on a ground ball off the bat of Brett Garrard (Sr., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg). Bourquin singled through the left side to score Caughenbaugh and then a single by Paul Farinacci (Jr., Westlake Village, Calif./Agoura) scored Garrard. Bourquin crossed the plate on a fielder’s choice that caught Farinacci at second but failed to catch the speedy Mike Rabin (Jr., West Chester, Ohio/Lakota East) on the double-play attempt.
Another five Buckeye runs scored in the fifth inning to build the Buckeye lead to 10-0. Drew Anderson (Jr., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) led off with an infield single to third and moved to second on a throwing error by Scheidt. Howell followed with a bunt single between the pitcher and the third-base line before a fielding error on Michigan first baseman Kyle Bohm allowed Caravati to reach and Anderson to score. Caughenbaugh laid down a bunt to load the bases and then a single through the left side by Garrard scored Howell and Caravati. Bourquin sacrificed himself to move Caughenbaugh and Garrad into scoring position. Farinacci drove in Caughenbaugh and then Garrard was able to score on a fielder’s choice by Mike Rabin that caught Farinacci at second for the third out.
OSU starting pitcher Jeffrey Carroll (Fr., Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Watterson), who pitched 4.2 innings in the loss to Michigan on Thursday, made sure he did his part in the game Saturday. He retired the first 12 batters of the game before Kyle Bohm broke up the no-hit bid to lead off the fifth inning with a single up the middle. Carroll tried to pickoff Bohm at first but his throw was wide of the bag and Bohm moved out to third. After a fly out and strikeout, he walked Scheidt before striking out Leif Mahler to get out of the inning with the shutout intact.
A leadoff triple by Anderson led to yet another run in the fifth inning when Howell’s infield sacrifice fly allowed him to score and give the Buckeyes an 11-0 advantage. Anderson’s fifth triple of the season gave him 13 for his career and made him the all-time triples leader at Ohio State, breaking a tie with Jason Driscoll.
Michigan finally got on the board in the top of the sixth inning on a two-run home run by Chris Getz. His second home run of the season left the park just on the fair side of the right-field foul pole and also scored Matt Butler, who singled through the left side.
Caravati drove in two more runs in the sixth and Kinnear drove in a run in the seventh to put up 14 runs, the most since a 19-2 win over Michigan State on April 17. The 20 hits against Michigan were also the most since the Buckeyes hit 22 times in that game against the Spartans.
Carroll pitched 8.0 innings and allowed only the two runs on six hits with a pair of walks and a season-high five strikeouts. He improved to 5-2 before getting replaced in the ninth by Justin Myers (So., Scottown, Ohio/Symmes Valley). Phil Tognetti got the loss for Michigan to fall to 4-2 on the year. The Buckeyes chased him out of the game in the second inning after scoring twice on five hits.
Anderson, Howell, Bourquin and Kinnear each had three hits to lead the Buckeyes. Caravati was 2-for-5 with four RBI. Garrard, Farinacci, Rabin and Kinnear each added two RBI.
Ohio State (35-24) now moves to the championship game against Minnesota Saturday night at 8:05 p.m. (EDT). The Buckeyes will need to win that game and a second championship game Sunday at 1:05 p.m. if it hopes to win a third straight Big Ten Tournament Championship and earn the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, which begins June 4 at regional sites which will be announced Sunday.