April 16, 2000
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – On April 22, 1990, Ohio State head coach Bob Todd and his baseball team was swept in a four-game series by the Minnesota Golden Gophers. A decade later, the 2000 Ohio State baseball team (23-14 overall, 5-7 in the Big Ten) avoided being just the second team in the 13-year tenure of Todd to be swept in a Big Ten series by defeating the Michigan Wolverines (13-20-1 overall, 6-10 in the Big Ten), 14-4 at Ray Fisher Stadium.
With the win, the Buckeyes lose the weekend series to Michigan 3-1. The series loss is just the 12th ever under Todd, who has won or tied 75-of-87 Big Ten series in his career.
“We need guys to step up and make things happen and we got that today,” head coach Bob Todd said. “Greg Prenger did a great job of holding the lead and guys like Jason Turner and Chris Alvord got some key hits and scored some key runs..”
Ohio State went on the attack in the top of the first inning. With one out, Jason Driscoll (Sr., Middlefield, Ohio) reached base on an infield single and then moved to second on a wild pitch by UM starter Bobby Wood. Chad Ehrnsberger (Jr., Kalida, Ohio) and Jason Turner (Sr., Versailles, Ohio) followed and worked back-to-back walks to load the bases. Nick Swisher (Fr., Parkersburg, W.Va.) then drove in the first run of the ballgame on groundout to UM first baseman Jef Trzos. OSU then increased its lead to 3-0 when Doug Dendinger (So., Greenwich, Ohio) lined a single to centerfield to score Ehrnsberger and Turner.
In the bottom half the inning, UM cut the OSU lead to 3-2. Jay Dines drove in the first run on a sacrifice fly and Brock Koman drove in the second run with a single to rightfield. With two outs and a 0-2 count on Jordan Cantalamessa, OSU starting pitcher Nate Smith (So., Bryan, Ohio) was removed from the game because of soreness in his throwing shoulder. Relief pitcher Greg Prenger (Fr., Harpster, Ohio) entered the contest and proceeded to strikeout Cantalamessa on two pitches to end the innings.
In the top of the third inning, Turner led off by taking a 3-1 offering from Wood and belting it over the rightfield wall for his 10th home run of the season. The solo home run increased OSU’s lead to 4-2.
The top of the fourth inning, the OSU offensive outburst continued. Hot-hitting Chris Alvord (Jr., Mentor, Ohio) led off and singled to leftfield but was later thrown out at second base when Mike Check (Jr., Bay Village, Ohio) followed and reached base on a fielder’s choice to the third baseman. Driscoll then followed with a walk and Ehrnsberger reached base when he was hit by a pitch from Wood. UM then replaced Wood for reliever Rich Hill and Turner quickly greeted him with a two-run single to centerfield to score Check and Driscoll and increase the OSU lead to 6-2.
In the top of the sixth inning, Check and Driscoll led off with back-to-back walks. Hill then fired back-to-back wild pitches to score Check. Two batters later, Turner fired a triple off the wall in the leftfield alley to score Driscoll. Swisher kept the bats going with a single and then proceeded to steal second base. On the steal, he was able to advance to third base because UM catcher Parrish over threw second base on the play. Two batters later, Swisher scored on a single by Joe Wilkins (So., Grove City, Ohio) to increase the OSU lead to 10-2.
The Buckeyes added two more runs in the top of the seventh inning. With one out, Check singled to leftfield and later scored on a triple by Driscoll. UM reliever Bryan Cranson then threw a wild pitch to allow Driscoll to score and increase the OSU lead to 12-2.
Michigan added a run in the bottom half of the seventh on a RBI single by Scott Tousa.
With two outs and Wilkins on base in the top of the eighth inning, Alvord took a 2-1 offering from Cranson over the leftfield wall for his first career home run. The two-run blast increased the OSU lead to 14-3. In the bottom half of the inning, Jordan Cantalamessa had a one-run single to cut the OSU lead to 14-4.
Smith (3-2) did not factor into the decision. He went 0.2 innings, threw 20 pitches, gave up three hits and two runs before leaving the game with the injury. Prenger was the winning pitcher and improved to 2-1 on the season. He went six innings, threw 93 pitches, gave up 11 hits, one run and struck out six. Wood (0-3) was the losing pitcher. He went 3.1 innings, gave up five hits, six runs and struck out one.
On Wednesday, Ohio State plays host to Dayton at 6:35 p.m. in Bill Davis Stadium.