Canales, Dascenzo Lift Panthers to Split with Findlay
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's baseball team followed a disheartening 5-3 game one loss to Findlay by rallying for a 4-3 win in the second half of Wednesday's GLIAC doubleheader at Panther Valley.
ODU moved to 18-16 on the season (10-10 GLIAC) and took three out of four games in the season series with the Oilers (14-21, 7-15).
Trailing 3-0 in the second inning of game two and with two runners on, freshman Alberto Canales (West Park, Fla.) entered in relief and ended the inning with a strikeout/caught stealing double play, with redshirt junior Zack Dascenzo (Uniontown, Pa.) firing a seed to third for the putout, to keep the Panthers in the game.
ODU responded with a two-out rally in its half of the second. Freshman Tyler Watkins (Belpre, Ohio) walked and Dascenzo doubled to left center to put two aboard, and freshman Kenny Dixon (Springfield, Ohio) delivered his first two collegiate RBI, lining a first pitch single into left to make it 3-2. Dixon would then go all the way to third on a throwing error by Findlay's catcher, and senior Evan Shaw (Delaware, Ohio) laid a perfect bunt down the first base line, evading the tag from UF's first baseman for a hit that scored Dixon and tied the game at three.
Canales worked out of a jam in the third, walking two hitters and loading the bases with one out, but closing the inning with back-to-back punchouts to strand all three runners and keep the game tied.
Then, in the bottom of the fourth, Dascenzo took a 1-1 pitch and drilled it into the trees behind the left field wall for his first home run of the season and fifth of his career to give the Panthers a 4-3 lead.
Canales settled into a groove in the middle innings, allowing just one hit in both the fourth and fifth innings and setting the side down in order in the sixth with a pair of strikeouts to maintain the one-run advantage.
In the seventh, Canales retired the first two batters but gave up back-to-back singles to put the tying run in scoring position. However, he needed just four pitches to close the game out with his season-best sixth strikeout, sealing the victory.
The right hander worked 5.2 innings and allowed just five hits – all singles – while walking two. It was his longest outing of the spring, and he also tossed a season-high 95 pitches while improving to 4-1.
Dascenzo, meanwhile, led ODU's 10 hit attack with a 2-for-2 effort while also drawing a walk. Shaw and freshman John Simindinger (Lima, Ohio) also had two hits apiece for the Panthers.
The Panthers, though, had to settle for the split on the afternoon after they could not hold on to a 1-0 lead in the opener.
After junior Nick Venditti (Brecksville, Ohio) struck out the side in the first, the Panthers scored the game's first run in the home half. Shaw lined a single to center, then later came in to score as redshirt sophomore Christian Prince (Hudsonville, Mich.) ripped a double over the bag at third and down the left field line.
Neither team could generate much offense after that point, as Venditti had six strikeouts through the first three frames and didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning. The right hander worked out of his first jam of the day in the fifth, as the Oilers put the first two aboard but could not score.
ODU's offense couldn't come up with more run support, though, and UF finally came alive with five runs in the sixth, sending 10 hitters to the plate and recording six hits to take a 5-1 lead.
The Panthers stranded two runners in the sixth but rallied in the seventh thanks to some shaky Oiler pitching. The first three hitters walked to start the inning, and after a strikeout, sophomore Anthony Raschilla (Girard, Ohio) lifted a sacrifice fly to center to bring in Simindinger. Freshman Kyle Tisdale (Uniontown, Ohio) followed with a basehit to right to make it 5-3, and senior John Bowron (Dayton, Ohio) was hit by a pitch to load the bases again.
However, a strike out ended the game for the Panthers, who left 10 runners on base in the setback.
Prince and Tisdale both had two hits, while Shaw had a hit, drew two walks and scored twice to lead the offense.
Venditti suffered the loss, going 5.1 innings and allowing seven hits and all five runs. He fell to 4-3 on the season.
Ohio Dominican hits the road for a four-game series with Saginaw Valley this weekend. First pitch of Saturday's doubleheader is slated for 1 p.m. from Saginaw.
Contact: Scott Miles