May 12, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat Akron 4-3 Wednesday night in front of 2,315 fans at Bill Davis Stadium and improve to 6-1 in home midweek games. The win improved the Buckeyes to 28-19 heading into their final home Big Ten series of the year against the Northwestern Wildcat this weekend.
Drew Anderson (Jr., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg), who was hitless in his previous three at bats, led off the inning with a single to left. He reached second on a fielder’s choice sacrifice bunt by Jacob Howell (Fr., Ashland, Ohio/Ashland) that caught Akron shortstop Doug Kruthaupt off the bag on a throw from third baseman Shaun Hinssen. A second bunt, this time by Steve Caravati (Jr., Dover, Ohio/Dover), went into no-man’s land between third base and the pitcher to load the bases for Adam Schneider (Fr., Agoura Hills, Calif./Agoura). Schnieder reached on a fielder’s choice that allowed Anderson to score as the equalizing run, but caught Caravati at second.
With runners at the corners for Brett Garrard (Sr., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg), who sent a shot to deep center field to score Howell on the sacrifice and give the Buckeyes the 4-3 lead.
Caravati and Derek Kinnear (Sr., Kenton, Ohio/Kenton) each had two hits to lead the Buckeyes, who were aided with RBI by Schneider, Garrard and Jedidiah Stephen (So., Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah). Akron out-hit Ohio State 9-8 and each team committed one error.
Ohio State scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the third inning as Stephen scored on a wild pitch by Akron starter Kevin Ricciuti. Stephen led off the inning with a walk and moved to third on a base hit to right-center field by Kinnear.
The Zips took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth. OSU starter Dan DeLucia (Fr., Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Watterson) walked Marcus Geiselman with one out. Jim Bonnette boarded on a fielding error by Anderson, the OSU second baseman, which allowed Geiselman to reach third before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Shaun Hinssen. Brian Kimutis doubled to left to score Bonnette as Akron moved in front by one run.
The lead did not last long as Stephen tied the game with his seventh long ball of the season, as solo shot with one out in the bottom of the inning.
Ohio State replaced DeLucia with reliever Jesse Paciorek (Jr., Lakewood, Ohio/Lakewood) to start the sixth. Akron capitalized on a lead-off triple by former Upper Arlington product Charlie Lenhard, who was hit in by former Buckeye Terry Pettorini with a sacrifice fly to right field to give the Zips a 3-2 lead.
Paciorek pitched the sixth and seventh innings before getting replaced by Brett Hatcher (Jr., Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine) who faced five batters in the eighth inning, keeping the Zips off the scoreboard despite a pair of hits. Hatcher took all the benefit of the two Buckeye runs in the bottom of the inning to get his second win of the season against no losses. Trey Fausnaugh (Fr., Circleville, Ohio/Westfall) came on in the ninth to get his sixth save of the season. Tony Samad was tagged with his first loss of the season (3-1) as Akron fell to 24-21.
Ohio State closes out the home portion of its Big Ten schedule this weekend when it plays host to Northwestern in a four-game series. The teams open the slate Friday with a single game at 6:35 p.m. before meeting Saturday at 4:05 p.m. in a doubleheader. The series concludes Sunday with a single game at 1:05 p.m.