COLUMBUS, Ohio – Two dominant starts from junior Matt Kittelberger (Massillon, Ohio) and sophomore Mitchell Bault (Maineville, Ohio) and 31 hits from the offense propelled Ohio Dominican's baseball team to a doubleheader sweep of visiting Findlay by scores of 10-1 and 11-0 Sunday afternoon in Panther Valley.
The Panthers won all four games this weekend against the Oilers, outscoring Findlay 32-8 in the series, and improved to 22-16 (13-10 GLIAC). ODU moves to six games over .500 for the first time since March 14, when ODU started the year 8-2.
Kittelberger threw his first career complete game in the opener, holding Findlay (17-20, 7-17 GLIAC) to just five hits, all singles, and the one run. He struck out four, walked two, and threw 52 of 77 pitches for strikes. The defense turned four double plays behind him as Findlay managed just two fly ball outs on the day.
Junior Justin Childers (Pickerington, Ohio) had an RBI double in the first inning, and the Panthers broke loose with a four-run third inning. Junior Lee Sponseller (Mason, Ohio) hit a towering solo homer to right field, senior Tony Evans (Medway, Ohio) doubled and came in to score on a wild pitch, and sophomore Genesis Hillard (Cincinnati, Ohio) ripped a two-run single to left-center to extend the lead to 5-0.
Childers banged a base hit back up in the middle to score Sponseller in the fourth inning, and sophomore Brad Hull (Gahanna, Ohio) and Evans each had run scoring singles in the fifth frame to put ODU in front 9-0.
Hillard capped the scoring for ODU with a blast to left to start the sixth inning, his third homer of the spring.
Kittelberger kept the Oilers off the board for the first five innings, including striking out the side in order in the fifth, before surrendering the lone run in the sixth inning.
The Panthers registered 13 hits as Sponseller, Evans, Childers, Hillard and junior Cody Paterniti (Chardon, Ohio) each had two hits. Sponseller and Childers reached in all four plate appearances as both drew a pair of walks, and Sponseller scored three times. Hillard drove in three runs, and Evans and Childers each had a pair of RBIs.
Bault was up to the task on the mound in game two, logging his second career nine inning complete game effort. He kept the Oilers to just six hits and struck out a career high eight batters without issuing a walk. Bault tossed 79 of his 107 pitches for strikes, and no runner reached third base against him.
A seven-run second inning proved to be the backbreaker as the Panthers sent 12 hitters to the plate in the inning. Senior Kyle Burson (Brunswick, Ohio) and sophomore Noah Bland (Oberlin, Ohio) each singled to start the inning, and Hull laid a squeeze bunt that scored both as the throw to first sailed up the first base line.
Sponseller followed with an RBI single to center, and Evans and Childers each pounded singles through the left side of the infield to score Sponseller and put ODU in front 4-0. Sophomore Colin Kaucher (Toledo, Ohio) drilled the first pitch he saw to center for another RBI single, and Childers scored from third on a foul ball caught near the Findlay dugout when home plate was left unattended. Kaucher then scored on a wild pitch to close the inning for the Panthers, putting them in front 7-0.
Hillard pounded an RBI double into the gap in left center to make it 8-0 in the fourth, and Paterniti doubles and scored on a wild pitch in the fifth inning to extend the lead to 9-0.
In the seventh inning, Sponseller and Evans went back to back with massive solo shots to close out the scoring for ODU.
The Panthers outhit Findlay 18-6 in the ballgame, the third-most hits ODU has recorded in a game. Burson went 4-for-4 with a walk, matching a career best in hits, and Evans finished 3-for-4. Sponseller, Childers, Hillard, Bland and Paterniti each had a pair of hits as well.
Ohio Dominican will hit the road for a non-conference doubleheader at Malone beginning at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Contact: Scott Miles