April 5, 2002
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Penn State got 21 hits while holding Ohio State to just four in a 14-2 victory over the Buckeyes Friday night in the opener of a four-game Big Ten Series at Bill Davis Stadium.
Nittany Lion starter Mike Watson went the distance in giving up just two runs on the four hits by the Buckeyes. He struck out 11, but walked seven of the 38 batters he faced on a total of 150 pitches. Mike Milliron was 4-for-5 scoring three times with one run batted in. Chris Wright and Mike De Renzo, who extended his 19-game hit streak, each had three hits as all but one of the Nittany Lion starters had hits in the game.
Penn State (11-11, 2-3 Big Ten) took an early 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning. Arin Gelletly doubled to left field and the Milliron reached on a base hit to deep short where Brett Garrard (So., Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) fielded and threw high to first base allowing Gelletly to score and Milliron to reach second base. Two batters later, Wes Reohr hit a shot over the fence in right field to give the Nittany Lions a 3-0 advantage.
Doug Dendinger (Sr., Greenwich, Ohio/South Central) put the Buckeyes on the board in the bottom half of the inning with a solo shot to right. It was his second home run of the year and pulled Ohio State within 3-1.
But that is as close as it would get. Penn State added six runs in the fourth inning on seven hits. Ohio State starter E.J. Laratta (Sr., Englewood, Colo./Cherry Creek) walked the first two batters of the inning and then hit Gelletly to load the bases. After giving up back-to-back base hits to right field, Laratta was lifted for Kyle Brown (Jr., Washington Court House, Ohio/Washington Court House). The Nittany Lions continued it offensive attack, getting four straight hits off Brown to score four more runs and take a 9-1 lead. Penn State scored another four runs in the fifth inning keyed by a home run by De Renzo and double by Wright.
Ohio State (15-6-1, 3-2) tried to take advantage of four straight walks by Watson, but after one run scored to give the Buckeyes their second run of the game, Watson struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning and strand the bases loaded for Ohio State.
Christian Snavely (So., Defiance, Ohio/Defiance) added a hit in the eighth inning and Mike Rabin (Fr., West Chester, Ohio/Lakota East) singled in the ninth.
Laratta went into the fourth and faced the first five batters before getting pulled. He had four strikeouts in the first three innings and retired batters in order to open the game. All eight runs from just six hits were earned. Brown pitched five innings in relief with a career-high seven strikeouts without a walk. He did surrender five runs on 14 hits. Jesse Paciorek (Fr, Lakewood, Ohio/Lakewood) saw his first action as a Buckeye pitching the ninth inning against Penn State. He allowed a home run against the first batter he faced, but then struck out two before a ground out ended the inning.
The series continues with a doubleheader Saturday at 4:05 p.m. and then concludes Sunday with a 1:05 p.m. first pitch.