By Ross Thompson, Sports Information Intern
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's baseball team is back on the road again this week in Florence, S.C. with matchups against Fairmont State and Clarion University.
The five games begin on Saturday against Fairmont with first pitch being at 3 p.m., followed by a Sunday doubleheader with one game apiece, starting with Clarion at 1 p.m. and followed by a 4 p.m. first toss with Fairmont. The Panthers conclude their trip with games Monday against Clarion at 10 a.m. and finish at 10 a.m. with Fairmont again on Tuesday.
The Panthers (7-3) took two of three games this past weekend from old GLIAC foe Wayne State in Chillicothe. ODU dropped the first game of Saturday's doubleheader 5-1, but bounced back with a convincing 11-0 victory, while finishing the series with a thrilling 5-4 win on Sunday.
The Panthers' early success has earned regional and national attention. ODU is ranked No. 3 in the NCBWA Midwest Region poll, and the Panthers are the fifth team receiving votes in the NCBWA Top 25 poll.
ODU's pitching staff has swept all four G-MAC Pitcher of the Week honors thus far, with junior hurler Mitchell Bault (Maineville, Ohio) taking another honor with his 9.0 inning shutout of Wayne State. He struck out a career-high ten and allowed only three hits, winning the honor for the second time this season
Junior catcher Colin Kaucher (Toledo, Ohio) added to the G-MAC honors after being named Player of the Week, becoming the third Panther to earn that award. Kaucher led the offense with a .500 average, five RBIs, three walks and three runs in the series.
On the season, Kaucher leads the Panther bats with a .433 average while slugging .567 and having an on-base percentage of .538. Sophomore Jonathan Conkle (Massillon, Ohio) sports a .333 average while junior Noah Bland (Oberlin, Ohio) and sophomore Joey Machuga (Canfield, Ohio) each are hitting .310 and .308 respectively.
The Panther pitching staff is on a tear from the rubber, having a G-MAC best 2.93 ERA and also allowing the lowest batting average in the conference at .233. Junior Brad Wilson (Alexandria, Ohio) is leading the league in opposing batting average at .105 and, as of March 6, Bault leads the conference with 27 punchouts.
Clarion will enter the contests with a 3-4 record while Fairmont State has a 5-3 record.
Contact: Scott Miles