CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – Behind the power of three home runs and a strong start from sophomore Brad Wilson (Alexandria, Ohio), Ohio Dominican's baseball team earned a 14-2 win in its season opener Saturday afternoon over West Liberty.
The victory was the first for head coach Chris Antonides, making his debut in the Panther dugout, and came against a Hilltoppers squad that was 4-1 coming into today and ranked No. 10 in the Atlantic Region.
Sophomore Colin Kaucher (Toledo, Ohio) went a career-best 4-for-5 at the plate with a home run and five RBIs, and seniors Kyle Burson (Brunswick, Ohio) and Tony Evans (Medway, Ohio) each launched two-run homers to back Wilson.
Wilson matched a career-high by tossing 7.0 innings and held West Liberty to one run on eight hits. He struck out four and threw 69 of his 107 pitches for strikes.
The game was scoreless before ODU broke through in the bottom of the third. Sophomore Brad Hull (Gahanna, Ohio) led off with a single, and Evans ripped an 0-2 pitch down the left field line for an RBI triple. Junior Justin Childers (Pickerington, Ohio) lined a double into the gap in right center to bring home Evans, and an infield blooper off the bat of sophomore Genesis Hillard (Cincinnati, Ohio) scored Childers to make it 3-0.
Burson then followed with a two-run blast to left center to give the Panthers a 5-0 cushion.
Junior Cody Paterniti (Chardon, Ohio) led off the fourth with a basehit, and Evans' first career home run to left extended the ODU lead to 7-0.
Kaucher led off the fifth with an opposite field shot to right, his second career home run, to give the Panthers an 8-0 advantage.
Kaucher capped off his day with an RBI double down the left field line in the seventh, then had a bases clearing double as part of a five-run eighth inning that put the game away.
Evans finished 2-for-5 with three RBIs and Childers went 2-for-4 with three runs scored. Paterniti reached base three times and stole three bases, a personal best.
Ohio Dominican and West Liberty will conclude their three game series with a doubleheader beginning at noon Sunday at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe.
Contact: Scott Miles