Ohio State Pounds Past Penn State 10-3
May 23, 2007
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Nothing was fancy with No. 6 Ohio State's 10-3 victory over No. 3 Penn State. The Buckeyes used fundamental hitting to manufacture most of its runs and chip away at the Penn State pitching staff. The Nittany Lions came into the game with the best team ERA (3.41) of any Big Ten school and starting pitcher Seth Whitehill (3.86) had the fifth-best ERA in the conference. Either the Buckeyes didn't bother looking at statistics or they just didn't care as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the very first inning and never let up.
With the help of starting pitcher Cory Luebke Ohio State was led by outfielders Jacob Howell, Matt Angle and third baseman Tony Kennedy who contributed three hits on the day. Three other Buckeyes collected two hits while J.B. Shuck added three RBIs to the team total.
The game started with lead off batter Jacob Howell singling through the right side. Angle followed with a single to left center and advanced to second when a hustling Howell drew a throw to third after successfully taking the extra base. Catcher Eric Fryer continued to chip away at Whitehill with a single of his own to left centerfield to score Howell. With runners on first and third clean-up hitter Shuck added another run for the Buckeyes with a long sacrifice fly to left field to score Angle. Designated hitter Jason Zoeller singled up the middle to advance Fryer to third before Kennedy singled to right field scoring Fryer and giving Ohio State a 3-0 lead after the first inning.
Ohio State continued to plate runners in the following inning and stretch its lead. Cory Kovanda singled to the pitcher and advanced to third on an Angle double down the left field line. Before Penn State could escape the inning unscathed, Shuck hit a two run single up the middle to extend the Buckeye lead to 5-0. After just two complete innings the Buckeyes were out hitting the Nittany Lions, 8-1.
The Buckeyes tacked on another insurance run to go ahead 7-0 in the fourth and extended its scoring drive to four consecutive innings after picking up a single run in the third and scaring off Penn State starting pitcher Whitehill after just 2.2 innings.
Three unearned runs in the seventh increased the Ohio State lead to 10-0 before the Nittany Lions ended the streak of goose eggs on the board with three runs in the bottom of the eighth. Lead off batter Matt Cavagnaro picked up his second hit of the day when he led off the inning with a single to left- centerfield. First baseman Cory Wine loaded the bases for Penn State after squeezing the second consecutive base on balls out of the Taylor Barnes, who had replaced Luebke at the beginning of the inning. After a wild pitch plated one Nittany Lion runner, Penn State used two fundamental sacrifice flies to score its remaining runs to cut the deficit to 10-3.
The scored remained until the final out as Luebke (8-1) picked up the win for the Buckeyes after going seven innings and allowing just three hits while fanning three batters. The deep Nittany Lion bullpen used six pitchers in their loss with starting pitcher Whitehill picking up the loss (5-6). Whitehill allowed 10 hits in 2.2 innings of work.
With day one of the Big Ten Baseball Tournament complete the bracket is now set for Thursday's action. Tomorrow will begin with No. 4 Iowa facing No. 3 Penn State at 12:05 p.m. ET. Following the game, No. 5 Illinois is set to clash with No. 2 Minnesota at 3:35 p.m. ET while Ohio State and No. 1 Michigan anchor the day with a 7:05 p.m. ET first pitch start.