March 6, 1998
LAS VEGAS -- The Ohio State Buckeyes capitalized on windy conditions to hit three home runs and starting pitcher Eric Thompson threw a complete game to hand the Washington State baseball team a lopsided 11-2 loss Friday morning in second round play of the UNLV Desert Classic at Earl E. Wilson Field.
Thompson (1-1) paved the way for the 23rd-ranked Buckeyes (5-3), keeping the Cougar bats in check allowing only two runs to cross the plate in his nine innings of work. The junior right-hander scattered 11 Washington State (6-5) hits and struck out seven in route to his first victory of the '98 season.
Washington State's Dave Wheeler (0-2) was roughed up early in his first start of the season. Wheeler was used as a spot starter as the Cougs are still trying to fill the fourth spot of the rotation. Wheeler was tagged for nine Buckeye hits and gave up six runs while lasting four and two-thirds innings. Aaron Cozzens, Shane Rice, and Ole Vigeland each added an inning of relief in the Cougars fifth loss of the season. Vigeland was very impressive in his inning of work, striking out two of the three batters he faced in the eighth. The converted infielder was not only making his pitching debut in a Cougar uniform, but also his first stint on the mound since he was a freshman in high school.
The defending Big Ten champs were led at the plate by a host of players. Centerfielder Mike Lockwood was 2-for-4, including a leadoff home run in the first frame. Shortstop Mark Carek enjoyed a two-hit day while scoring two runs. Dan Zabloudil and Chad Ehrnsberger each added home runs to the winning cause.
A midst the lopsided score, the Cougars did manage to tie Ohio State in the hit column with 11 apiece. Second Baseman Boyd Robertson was 3-for-4 and played solid defense. Steve Gleason provided the most offense with his fifth inning home run. Leftfielder Scott Randall continued his hot hitting with a 2-for-5 day and extended his hitting streak to six games. Randall's hitting streak is now the longest on the team, as Shawn Stevenson saw his school record 28 game hitting streak come to a halt. Stevenson road the collar with an 0-4 game, although he did manage to reach base twice on errors.
Ohio State wasted no time getting on the board. The Buckeyes roughed up Wheeler collecting five hits and scoring three runs in the first inning. Lockwood led the game off with a home run over the left center field fence. The first six batters of the Buckeye lineup combined to hit for the cycle. Lockwood with the home run, Carek with a triple, Mike Kremblas with a run scoring double, and Dan Zabloudil with a single. Ohio State added a single tally in the fourth and then two more in the fifth on a two-run homer by Zabloudil.
The Cougs scored their runs in the fifth and sixth innings consecutively. In the fifth Gleason hit his first home run of the year to cut Ohio State's lead to 4-1. Washington State added their last run of the afternoon in the sixth when Casey Kelley scored on a single by catcher Jeff Scherer. Ohio State added five more runs off the relief corps of Cozzens and Rice.
The Cougars recorded hits in seven of the nine innings, but combined to leave 11 runners stranded on base. Ohio State killed three potential WSU rallies in the first, third, and sixth innings. Each time the Buckeyes used the 6-4-3 double play combination to kill the rally.
Washington State is now 1-1 in the 18th Annual UNLV/Coors Desert Classic. They are scheduled to play an afternoon doubleheader against Oral Roberts at 10 a.m., and Cal State Northridge at 1:30 p.m. Jamaal Gaines (1-1) and Todd Meldahl (2-1) are expected to take the mound for the Cougars. Oral Roberts is coming off a 26 win season, while the Matadors of Cal State Northridge recorded 42 wins last season.
WSU 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 - 2 11 4 OHIO STATE 3 0 0 1 2 3 2 0 x - 11 11 3 Dave Wheeler, Aaron Cozzens (5), Shane Rice (7), Ole Vigeland (8), and Jeff Scherer. Eric Thompson and Mike Kremblas. W - Thompson (1-1); L - Wheeler (0-2); S - None, HR - Gleason (1), Lockwood, Zabloudil, Ehrnsberger. T - 2:43; A - 150. WSU Hits - Randall 2, Robertson 3, Kelley, Mitchell, Grove, Scherer, Gleason 2. OHIO STATE Hits - Lockwood 2, Carek 2, Kremblas, Middleton, Zabloudil 2, Turner, Ehrnsberger 2. E - Stevenson (5), Kelley (5), Mitchell (3), Gleason (2), Kremblas, Middleton, Ehrnsberger. 2B - Kelley, Kremblas. 3B - Carek.