Ohio State Takes Opener at Penn State, 4-1
Jaron Long

April 27, 2012

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – A three-run top of the eighth propelled the Ohio State baseball team to a 4-1 win over Penn State Friday night at Medlar Field. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 24-18 on the season, 8-8 in the Big Ten, while the Nittany Lions fall to 20-22, 6-7 in conference play.

Ohio State starter Jaron Long retired the first two hitters he faced in the bottom of the first but Joey DeBernardis doubled to right-center and Jordan Steranka followed with an RBI single up the middle to give the Nittany Lions a 1-0 lead after an inning of play.

The Buckeyes then tied it without the benefit of a hit in the top of the second against Penn State starter Joe Kurrasch. David Corna drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game but the Buckeyes still had the bases jammed with nobody out and a run in. However, Kirby Pellant lined out to short and Greg Solomon grounded into a 1-2-3 double play to end the rally.

After the rocky start, both pitchers then settled down until Kurrasch ran into some trouble in the top of the seventh when a fielder’s choice and stolen base by Pellant and a walk by Greg Solomon put runners at the corners with two down. Penn State went to the bullpen for Greg Welsh but, with Tim Wetzel at the plate, Pellant was caught trying to score on a double steal to end the Ohio State threat.

The Nittany Lions rallied in the bottom of the frame when a pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases with two down but Long struck out Penn State leadoff hitter Sean Deegan to keep the game tied.

The Buckeyes then took the lead in the top of the eighth when Josh Dezse was hit by a pitch with two down, pinch-hitter Brad Hutton walked and Brad Hallberg singled through the right side to give Ohio State the 2-1 advantage. After a walk to Patrick Porter loaded the bases again, Welsh issued an RBI free pass to Corna to push the lead to 3-1.

Penn State then went to Evan Dixon in relief of Welsh and Pellant promptly walked to make it 4-1 Ohio State before a groundout by Solomon ended the inning.

Long pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth before Dezse came on to toss a perfect ninth for his fourth save of the season.

Hallberg went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored while Long allowed one earned run on six hits over 8.0 innings to move to 4-2 on the season.

The Buckeyes take on the Nittany Lions in middle game of the three-game set at 1:05 p.m. Saturday. The game was originally slated for 2:05 p.m. but was moved up because of impending weather.

- Josh Dezse has reached base safely in 41 of 42 contests this season.
- Brad Hallberg recorded his team-high 16th multi-hit game.
- Long has gone at least 7.0 innings and allowed two earned runs or less in eight of his nine starts.