May 22, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Brett Garrard’s two-run home run and a pinch-hit grand slam by Adam Schneider broke a tie and propelled Ohio State to a 10-6 victory in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday at Siebert Field. The win kept the Buckeyes’ hopes of winning the Big Ten regular season championship alive, needing two sweep the final two games of the series.
With the score tied 4-4 entering the fifth inning, Garrard, a senior from Brownsburg, Ind. (Brownsburg) lined his fourth home run of the season over the fence in left field to put Ohio State on top 6-4. Caravati, who drew a leadoff walk to start the inning, also scored on the long ball.
Schneider, a true freshman from Agoura Hills, Calif. (Agoura) gave Ohio State a six-run lead in the sixth inning with his first grand slam and the second for the Buckeyes this season. With the top of the order coming to plate to start the inning, Drew Anderson (Jr., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) led off with a single through the right side. Jacob Howell (Fr., Ashland, Ohio/Ashland) followed with a single to shallow center field before Steve Caravati (Jr., Dover, Ohio/Dover) beat out the would-be sacrifice bunt. That set the table full for Schneider, who was pinch hitting for Cody Caughenbaugh (So., Newark, Ohio/Licking Valley).
Minnesota scored two times in the bottom of the seventh to close within the four-run final.
After losing by 12 runs in the opener, the Buckeyes stormed out to a 4-0 lead before Minnesota even took a turn in the batter’s box. Anderson led off with a double down the left-field line and then moved to third on a bunt single by Howell. Caravati extended his hit streak to 10 with a double that knocked in Anderson for his 47th RBI this season. Minnesota starter Craig Molldrem walked Caughenbaugh to load the bases. Minnesota turned a double play, but Howell was able to score from third. Ronnie Bourquin (Fr., Canton, Ohio/Canton South) singled to right-center field to score Caravati and then the third double of the inning, this time delivered by Paul Farinacci (Jr., Westlake Village, Calif./Agoura) off the wall in the left-center field gap, scored Bourquin from first base to give Buckeye starter Scott Lewis (Jr., Washington Court House, Ohio/Washington) a four-run cushion before he threw his first pitch.
Luke MacLean, who was 4-for-5 Friday night against the Buckeyes drove in Minnesota’s first run of the game in the bottom of the third inning. Tony Leseman drew a leadoff walk from Lewis, his third of the game.
Minnesota tied the game in the fourth inning, getting three runs on three hits with the assistance of one Ohio State error. Andy Hunter doubled down the right-field line with one out and then went to third on a single by Mike Mee. Howell, the Buckeye right fielder dove for a ball off the bat of David Hrncirik, but could not come up with the ball. He picked it up and threw wide of second allowing Mee to reach on the throwing error. Hunter was able to score on the play to pull within a 4-2 score. Mee moved to third on fly out by Leseman and scored on a wild pitch by OSU reliever Jeffrey Carroll, who came in to face Hrncirik.
Carroll got the win for Ohio State to improve to 4-2 on the year. He pitched the final 3.1 innings and allowed three runs on two hits. He walked one and struck out two. The Buckeyes handed Molldrem his first loss in Big Ten play as he fell to 6-2 on the season.
Howell and Bourquin each finished the game with three hits to pace Ohio State offensively through it was Garrard and Schneider who delivered a bulk of the RBI.
The field for the 2004 Big Ten Tournament was determined in the middle of the day Saturday. Needing a sweep at Michigan State to qualify for the conference postseason event, Northwestern was dealt a 2-1 defeat in the second game of its series. Joining Ohio State and Minnesota will be Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State and Purdue.
Ohio State and Minnesota finish off the doubleheader Saturday before concluding the series Sunday at 2:05 p.m. (EDT). NPR 820 (WOSU-AM) will broadcast both games.