COLUMBUS, Ohio – For the first time since 2015, Ohio Dominican's baseball team has a win streak reach double figures as the Panthers swept yet another doubleheader, taking down Alderson Broaddus 4-3 in 12 innings in the opener and 10-2 in the nightcap in G-MAC play from Panther Valley.
ODU has now won 11 straight games as the Panthers, ranked No. 18 nationally, improved to 19-4 and 8-0 in the conference. The Panthers have won 14 of 15 games overall, and the win streak is the longest since ODU won straight games between April 22-May 7, 2015.
The streak was in doubt early as the Panthers and Battlers were locked up the entire first game. Scoreless heading to the fifth and with ODU batting as the visiting team, the Panthers finally broke through with a two-out, three-run double to left by junior Colin Kaucher (Toledo, Ohio) to take the lead.
AB wasted no time answering, though, scoring three times in the bottom half of the frame to draw even.
ODU had runners reach third base in the sixth and seventh innings but came up empty, and relievers in senior Dustin Cowart (Hoover, Ala.) and freshman Tim Zeller (Mount Vernon, Ohio) kept putting up zeros as well to send the game into extras.
The Battlers had a scoring threat in the 10th as the first two reached, but a double play helped quell the threat. ODU challenged to take the lead in the 11th with runners on first and second with just one out, but could not push across a run, and AB loaded the bases with two outs in the 11th before Zeller came up with a punch out to keep the game alive.
ODU finally cracked through in the 12th, as junior Jace Komminsk (Westerville, Ohio) and Kaucher singled with one out, and Komminsk came in to score the go-ahead run on a wild pitch to make it 4-3.
Junior Brad Wilson (Alexandria, Ohio) then entered in the bottom of the inning and sandwiched a grounder to the mound around two strikeouts to lock down the save, his fifth of the season.
Cowart, Zeller and Wilson combined to throw 5.1 scoreless innings of relief, allowing just four hits while striking out six. Zeller was credited with the win, moving to 3-0 on the spring, after tossing 3.2 innings and surrendering just two hits.
Wilson, meanwhile, continued his electric season. In 14.1 innings, he has allowed just one run, two hits and two walks against 24 strikeouts. He hasn't allowed a baserunner in his last seven outings, spanning 9.0 innings, and has struck out 17 batters in that stretch.
Junior Mitchell Bault (Maineville, Ohio) logged a quality start for the Panthers, going 6.2 innings and allowing six hits and the three runs while striking out six. He's struck out at least six batters in each of his last four outings.
Kaucher led the offense by going 3-for-6 while senior Max Banke (Oakwood, Ohio) finished 2-for-4 at the dish.
It was the first extra inning game for the Panthers this spring as ODU improved to 5-1 in one-run games in 2018.
Game two, meanwhile, had a much different feel, with the Panthers jumping to an 8-0 lead after an inning and a half.
Kaucher started things off with an RBI single and junior Chris Sackett (Loveland, Ohio) delivered a two-run single, followed by Banke's sac fly, to make it 4-0 in the first inning. Senior Justin Childers (Pickerington, Ohio) then blasted a two-run homer to right-center in the second inning, which was followed by a two-run single by junior Noah Bland (Oberlin, Ohio), to make the score 8-0 in favor of the Panthers.
ODU then tacked on a run in the sixth on Kaucher's sac fly and one more in the seventh on a sac fly from Banke to round out its scoring.
That proved to be more than enough run support for senior Matt Kittelberger (Massillon, Ohio), who went the distance in the seven inning contest, yielding just three hits and two runs while striking out four. It was his second complete game of the season and fourth in his career as he improved to 4-2 on the year.
Childers went 3-for-3 at the plate with the homer, three runs scored, two RBIs and a walk, and Bland went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs. Kaucher went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs as well and sophomore Joey Machuga (Canfield, Ohio) drew a pair of walks.
ODU will continue what is now a 12-game homestand on Thursday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader against Trevecca Nazarene in Panther Valley.
Contact: Scott Miles