NCAA SOUTH I REGION NOTEBOOK : Ohio State Wins in 12 Innings on Strange Play

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Ohio State endured two half-hour rain delays and overcame feisty Providence College, 7-6, in a 12-inning, five-hour game that was full of twists and turns and was played amid several lightning bolts and blasts of thunder in the later innings Saturday afternoon.

The Buckeyes, who play Cal State Fullerton today at 11 a.m., scored two runs in the top of the ninth to tie it, 5-5, and another in the 10th to take a 6-5 lead.

Providence left fielder Don Martone smashed a bases-empty homer over the scoreboard in left-center field to make it 6-6 in the bottom of the 10th, but Ohio State finally won it on Doug Wollenburg's RBI single in the 12th.

The Buckeyes tied the game in the ninth on a fluke play. With one run in and Wollenburg on first, Jeff Anderson blooped a single to left-center. As Wollenburg headed for third, Martone relayed the ball to second.

But his throw took a wild hop over P.J. O'Toole's head and because first baseman Phil Ierardi was near the mound, positioning himself as the cut-off man for a possible play at home, there was no one backing up second. The ball rolled all the way to the first-base dugout and Wollenburg walked home with the tying run.

"I didn't think the game was going to end," Ohio State right fielder Joe Robinson said. "We showed a lot of character bouncing back in the top of the ninth. It was a great game."

Moving on: Louisiana State advanced to Saturday night's game against Fullerton by defeating Tulane, 7-3, Saturday afternoon. The Tigers had only four hits, but one was a grand slam by Chris Moock in the first inning.

Moock also had an RBI double in the third inning for defending-national champion LSU, which has a .304 team batting average but had only 22 hits in 96 at-bats (.229) in three tournament games prior to facing Fullerton.

Think big: How big is LSU baseball here? So big that fans were lined 200 yards deep in each direction outside Alex Box Field waiting to get into Saturday night's LSU-Fullerton game.

The public address announcer asked fans to squeeze together as close as they could to make room for more.

And how big is LSU Coach Skip Bertman, in his ninth season with the Tigers? So big that you can buy his hardcover book--"Skip: The Man and the System"--in Baton Rouge stores.

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