Baseball Rallies to Sunday Sweep Over Hillsdale
COLUMBUS, Ohio – After taking the opener 4-2, Ohio Dominican's baseball team completed a doubleheader sweep of GLIAC foe Hillsdale as sophomore Anthony Raschilla (Girard, Ohio) singled home freshman Marcus Schluessler (Zanesville, Ohio) for the 2-1 walkoff victory in game two Sunday.
With the sweep, the Panthers improved to 22-20 on the season (14-14 GLIAC), while the Chargers fell to 11-33 (9-23 GLIAC).
ODU received a pair of stellar pitching performances from freshman Cole Carpenter (Zanesville, Ohio) and sophomore Sean Blackburn (Wadsworth, Ohio), who both went the distance in their victories. In the opener, Carpenter allowed just four hits and three walks while striking out two, and Blackburn threw a three-hitter in the nightcap.
The Panthers cranked out 18 hits in the two games, with Raschilla, senior Evan Shaw (Delaware, Ohio) and freshman Kenny Dixon (Springfield, Ohio) each tallying three apiece. ODU also benefited from nine free passes issued by Hillsdale pitchers.
In the nightcap, ODU had to rally from an early 1-0 hole as the Chargers scored the game's first run in the third inning. The Panthers stranded five runners in the first three frames but battled back to tie it in the fourth as back-to-back singles by sophomore Bryan Rudolph (Pickerington, Ohio) and junior Ryan Rovnak (Poland, Ohio) put two aboard, and senior Tyler Zaidel (Cincinnati, Ohio) singled to center to knot the game.
Blackburn settled into a rhythm after that point, retiring the side in order in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to keep the contest tied. In the seventh, Dixon drew a one out walk, and Schluessler – who came in to pinch-run - took second on an errant pickoff throw from the catcher. Two batters later, Raschilla delivered the basehit to left and the speedy Schluessler scored standing to give ODU the 2-1 victory.
Blackburn needed 91 pitches to close out his first complete game of the season, throwing 51 of them for strikes, and improved to 4-5 on the year.
Freshman Kyle Tisdale (Uniontown, Ohio) had his third two-hit game of the weekend, going 2-for-3 with a walk, and Shaw was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks.
In the opener, ODU provided Carpenter with all the run support he needed with a three-run fourth inning, highlighted by Rudolph's third homer of the season.
After falling behind 1-0 in the third, Raschilla started the fourth with a single, and Rudolph drilled a 1-1 fastball just left of the scoreboard in right-center field to give the Panthers a 2-1 edge. Three straight singles followed, and Dixon took four straight pitches to bring in Rovnak and put the Panthers on top 3-1.
The Chargers came back with a run of their own in the fifth, but Tisdale helped mitigate the damage by tossing out a would-be basestealer to end the inning. The first-year catcher then provided Carpenter an insurance tally with a sacrifice fly in the sixth, bringing in Shaw.
Carpenter tossed a 1-2-3 seventh, throwing just seven pitches in the frame to notch his second complete game outing of the season. He totaled 93 pitches, with 58 of them going for strikes.
A trio of Panthers had multi-hit efforts in this one, as Shaw (2-for-4, R), Dixon (2-for-3, RBI, BB) and Raschilla (2-for-4, R) accomplished the feat.
Ohio Dominican plays its final two road contests of the 2012 campaign on Wednesday as the Panthers travel to Lake Erie for a 2 p.m. doubleheader.
Contact: Scott Miles