AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Junior Justin Childers (Pickerington, Ohio) cranked the go-ahead home run in the eighth inning as Ohio Dominican's baseball team outlasted Seton Hill 10-8 on Tuesday afternoon in the Russ Matt Central Florida Invitational.
The Panthers trailed 8-7 in the eighth inning, but sophomore Noah Bland (Oberlin, Ohio) and senior Tony Evans (Medway, Ohio) started the frame with singles. A double steal resulted in a throwing error, allowing Bland to score and tie the game.
With one out and an 0-1 count, Childers hit a two-run shot to put the Panthers on top 10-8. It was his second home run of the season and 10th of his career.
Sophomore Brad Wilson (Alexandria, Ohio), who had entered in the eighth inning, gave up a pair of hits with two outs in the ninth, but struck out the final batter on three pitches to seal the victory.
ODU (8-2) pounded out a season-high 17 hits and stole eight bases, including four by Bland, which tied a school record. The Panthers have now scored 10 or more runs in five of their 10 games this spring.
Bland finished 3-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs, Childers went 3-for-5 with a trio of RBIs, and sophomore Brad Hull (Gahanna, Ohio) went 3-for-4 at the dish. Junior Lee Sponseller (Mason, Ohio) and sophomore Colin Kaucher (Toledo, Ohio) each had a pair of hits as well for the Panthers.
ODU scored four runs in the fourth inning to take a 5-1 lead. Junior Jake Collinsworth (Cincinnati, Ohio) had an RBI basehit to right and Bland followed with a two-run opposite field single as well. Bland later came in to score on a wild pitch to give the Panthers their cushion.
The Griffins (7-5), who defeated No. 1 Tampa on Monday, scored two runs in the fifth inning, but the Panthers countered with a pair of their own in the sixth. Bland singled with one out, then stole second and third and came in to score on a grounder by Evans. Hull followed with a basehit, and Childers' double to right brought him home to put ODU in front 7-3.
However, Seton Hill came back with five runs on four hits in its half of the seventh to take an 8-7 lead before the Panthers rallied in the eighth.
Sophomore Garret Sendelbach (Tiffin, Ohio) started and allowed four earned runs in 6.1 innings, striking out five and allowing just five hits.
All nine starters for the Panthers recorded at least one hit, and five different players stole at least one base. The eight stolen bases were the most by ODU in a game since at least the 1999 season.
Ohio Dominican takes on Pace at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Panthers defeated the Setters 15-9 on Sunday.
Contact: Scott Miles