EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Trailing 6-4 going to the ninth, Ohio Dominican's baseball team rallied to score three runs and defeat Truman State 7-6 Friday afternoon. That result helped the No. 23 Panthers pick up a split on the day after falling 15-3 to No. 15 Southern Indiana earlier.
Senior Genesis Hillard (Cincinnati, Ohio) started the ninth with a walk, senior Brad Hull (Gahanna, Ohio) singled, and junior Joey Machuga (Canfield, Ohio) also walked to load the bases with one out. An error by the Bulldogs' right fielder allowed Hillard and Hull to score the tying runs, and freshman Manny Vorhees (Wapakoneta, Ohio) followed with an RBI double down the left field line to score Machuga with the go-ahead run.
Sophomore Tim Zeller (Mount Vernon, Ohio) then entered to pitch the bottom of the ninth and made quick work of the Bulldogs, striking out the side in 13 pitches to record his first collegiate save.
ODU took a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Hillard doubled to start the contest, then scored on Hull's RBI single. Truman scored five unanswered runs, though, and led 5-1 heading to the seventh.
Senior Noah Bland (Oberlin, Ohio) doubled to start the seventh, and after walks to Zeller and senior Jace Komminsk (Westerville, Ohio) loaded the bases with nobody out, the Panthers would get back into the game. Bland scored on a balk, Hillard delivered a sac fly, and senior Colin Kaucher (Toledo, Ohio) had an RBI single to make it a 5-4 game.
Truman tacked on a run in the eighth inning, but Vorhees prevented any further damage by inducing a pop up with the bases loaded to close the frame.
Hull, Vorhees and Zeller each had two hits, while Zeller and Machuga drew two walks apiece as well.
The Panthers hung close through the first three and a half innings in the opener against USI, but couldn't capitalize on scoring opportunities early, while the Screaming Eagles took advantage of 11 walks issued by ODU pitching in the game.
Komminsk had an RBI single in the second inning to put ODU in front 1-0 before USI countered with a three-run inning in the bottom half. Kaucher blasted a two-run shot to right-center in the fourth to even the game, but USI scored six runs in the bottom of the inning, then tacked on three more runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings to pick up the win.
ODU stranded seven runners on base the first three innings and finished with 10 hits in the game, with Hillard, Hull, Vorhees and Komminsk each logging a pair of hits.
Ohio Dominican (3-1) returns to action at 11 a.m. (CT) in Evansville to take on Grand Valley.
Contact: Scott Miles