Panthers Pick Up Split with Malone

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's baseball team played two close games with visiting Malone on Wednesday, recovering from a 6-5 extra inning setback in the opener to take a 5-3 victory in game two in GLIAC action from Panther Valley.

With the split, ODU is now 14-21 on the season (10-11 GLIAC), while the Pioneers are 14-20 (7-14). The Panthers maintained their position in the GLIAC Tournament hunt, sitting just one game behind fourth-place Tiffin with 12 to play.

In the game two victory, ODU found itself behind 1-0 in the bottom of the third before plating three runs. Sophomores Phil Jaskot (Upper Arlington, Ohio) and Kevin Lydic (Dublin, Ohio) tore singles through the hole on the left side of the infield to start the inning. Freshman Jacob Horsley (Thornville, Ohio) then laid down a sacrifice bunt that was thrown away down the right field line, scoring Jaskot and putting Horsley and Lydic on second and third, respectively.

Sophomore Marcus Schluessler (Zanesville, Ohio) ripped a line drive basehit to left that brought home Lydic, and Horsley – who moved to third on the play – would come in to score on a sacrifice liner to left off the bat of senior Ryan Rovnak (Poland, Ohio) for the two-run lead.

The Panthers made it 4-1 in the fourth as junior Bryan Rudolph (Pickerington, Ohio) started a two-out rally with a solid basehit up the middle. Jaskot followed with a ball to the outfield that Malone's centerfielder made a diving attempt on but could not catch, chasing Rudolph all the way home from first.

Malone answered with two runs on three hits in the fifth to make it 4-3, but the Panthers got a run back of their own in the bottom half. Horsley reached on an infield single and went to second on a throwing error on the play, then moved to third on Schluesser's sacrifice bunt. Later, a wild pitch to the backstop allowed the freshman to score without a throw and increase the lead to 5-3.

Malone put a runner on board in the sixth, but sophomore Cole Carpenter (Zanesville, Ohio) relieved and ended the inning with a foul out to Schluessler in right. Carpenter stayed on for the seventh and after allowing a two-out single, closed the game with a fly out to medium-deep left for his first collegiate save.

Freshman Ryan Colegate (Centerville, Ohio) picked up the victory in his third start of the spring. He worked 5.2 innings, a season-best, and held the Pioneers to five hits and three runs. Colegate improved to 2-2 on the spring with the win.

Jaskot and Rovnak both had two hits and an RBI to lead the offense in the nightcap.

In the opener, ODU rallied from a 5-1 deficit to tie it in the sixth, but could not come up with a key hit in the late innings to fall to 2-5 in extra inning games and 2-7 in games decided by one run.

Tied at 1-1, Malone took advantage of some sloppy play in the infield by the Panthers to score two unearned runs in the fifth, then brought two more runs in to take a four-run lead in the top of the sixth.

But with one down in the bottom of the sixth, junior Anthony Raschilla (Girard, Ohio) sparked the rally by lining a single to right-center. Freshman Collin Parcher (Napoleon, Ohio) and sophomore Kyle Tisdale (Uniontown, Ohio) were both hit by pitches to load the bases, and Jaskot battled back from a 1-2 count to draw a walk and bring in a run.

Rudolph followed by drilling a base hit into left, scoring Tisdale and Parcher, and Horsley sent a high chopper off the plate that would bring home Jaskot to tie the game at 5-5.

ODU put the winning run on base in the seventh but could not score, and neither team could push across a run in the eighth either. Malone came through with a one-out RBI single in the ninth, though, to take a 6-5 lead.

With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Horsley reached on an infield hit, but the next batter was retired on a pop out. Rovnak kept the inning alive with a base hit back up the middle, and junior Jossue Delgado (Barinas, Venezuela) – who was down 0-2 in the count – was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Freshman Dylan West (Westerville, Ohio) then hit a roller to the right of the mound, and the speedster was out by an eyelash as the throw just beat him to the base to end the game.

The Panthers were out-hit by Malone 12-7 in the opener and also committed four errors which resulted in three unearned runs. Senior Nick Venditti (Brecksville, Ohio) went 6.1 innings and gave up five runs (two earned), while junior Sean Blackburn (Wadsworth, Ohio) was hit with the loss after working the final 2.2 innings.

Rovnak had three of ODU's seven hits and finished the doubleheader 5-for-6.

Ohio Dominican steps out of conference play for a matchup with Ohio Wesleyan at 4 p.m. Thursday at Panther Valley.

Contact: Scott Miles
miless@ohiodominican.edu