COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's baseball team hung tough but fell in both ends of a doubleheader to conference frontrunner Grand Valley, dropping a 4-1 decision in the opener followed by a 6-3 setback in game two Saturday at Panther Valley.
Grand Valley's pitching staff, which ranks first in the GLIAC in ERA, limited the Panthers (11-16, 7-6 GLIAC) to nine hits in the two games as ODU scored in just two of the 14 combined innings.
In the opener, sophomore Daniel Mooney (Wauconda, Ill.) danced around trouble in the opening four frames, stranding seven Lakers on base while striking out six, including the side in the second. The Lakers would load the bases in the fourth with one down, but a strike out and a fielder's choice grounder kept Grand Valley (16-10, 10-3 GLIAC) off the board.
The Panthers, who were retired in order in each of the first three innings, struck in the fourth as sophomore Marcus Schluessler (Zanesville, Ohio) pounded a double into the gap in left center to start the inning. Senior Ryan Rovnak (Poland, Ohio) advanced him to third on a beautiful sacrifice bunt, and junior Jossue Delgado (Barinas, Venezuela) scored him with a high chopper in the infield.
GVSU answered quickly in the fifth, though, as a single and a pair of doubles down the left field line gave the Lakers a 2-1 advantage. Grand Valley would then tack on two more in the sixth on three additional hits to take a 4-1 lead.
ODU threatened in the seventh, as Delgado crushed a double off the top of the wall in left-center to start the inning, and freshman Collin Parcher (Napoleon, Ohio) drew a one-out walk to bring the tying run to the plate.
However, a strikeout and caught stealing would end ODU's rally as the Lakers took the three-run victory.
Mooney took the loss, allowing four runs on six hits in 5.2 innings while striking out six. The Panthers were limited to just two hits, though.
In game two, Grand Valley scored a single run in each of the first four innings to take a 4-0 lead before the Panthers broke through with a rally of their own in the bottom of the fourth.
Rovnak singled to start the inning, and after a bobbled play at short put him and Delgado on base, Parcher delivered a single through the right side of the infield on a hit-and-run that plated Rovnak and sent Delgado to third.
Junior Bryan Rudolph (Pickerington, Ohio) drew a walk after falling behind 0-2 to load the bases, and an RBI groundout by Kevin Lydic (Dublin, Ohio) scored Delgado to make it 4-2. Freshman Jacob Horsley (Thornville, Ohio) then ripped a single through the hole on the left side that scored Parcher, but Rudolph was called out on the throw to the plate to keep the Panthers behind by a run, 4-3.
Both teams went quietly in the fifth, but Grand Valley opened a three-run cushion in the sixth, scoring twice on three hits to take a 6-3 advantage. ODU managed two hits in the sixth and one more in the seventh but could not score again.
Parcher went 3-for-3 in the nightcap to lead the ODU offense. Junior Sean Blackburn (Wadsworth, Ohio) was tagged with the loss, allowing four runs in five innings.
Ohio Dominican and Grand Valley conclude their three-game series with a single nine-inning game at noon on Saturday.
Contact: Scott Miles