HILLSDALE, Mich. – Ohio Dominican's baseball team will enter the G-MAC Tournament as the No. 2 seed as the Panthers finished off a four-game sweep of Hillsdale on Sunday, winning the opener 9-2 and taking the nightcap 12-10.
ODU completes the regular season with a 29-21 record (22-10 G-MAC) and will open play in the G-MAC Tournament against No. 7 seed Tiffin on Wednesday at a time to be determined at Prasco Park in Mason, Ohio.
The Panthers received tremendous pitching in the opener before breaking the game open in the seventh inning, then outslugged one of the top power hitting teams in the league in game two to finish off the sweep.
Freshman Joel Roediger (Wapakoneta, Ohio) allowed just one hit in 5.0 innings in game one, and the Panthers scored six times in the final frame to take a 9-1 lead.
Junior Joey Machuga (Canfield, Ohio) had an RBI single in the first inning and freshman Michael Lang (Cincinnati, Ohio) hit a two-run blast in the fourth, his second homer of the spring, to put the Panthers on top 3-0.
The score remained that way until the sixth when Hillsdale hit a solo homer to draw within 3-1, but the Panthers countered with a huge seventh inning. Freshman Thomas Staab (Bellville, Ohio) hit a bases loaded double to score and classmate Zach Schone (Pataskala, Ohio) to start the scoring. Then, with the bases loaded again, senior Genesis Hillard (Cincinnati, Ohio) hit a grand slam to left to give the Panthers an eight run lead.
Lang had two hits, while Machuga and senior Colin Kaucher (Toledo, Ohio) each had a hit and walked twice in the win.
The Panthers then struck early in game two, jumping to a 3-0 lead in the first inning as Hillard had an RBI double, Machuga hit a sac fly, and freshman Jake Daniel (Troy, Ohio) had an RBI basehit.
Hillsdale countered with six unanswered runs in the first and second innings to go in front 6-3, but the Panthers came back right away with a four-run third. Lang had an RBI single, freshman Manny Vorhees (Wapakoneta, Ohio) a two-run triple, and senior Noah Bland (Oberlin, Ohio) an RBI single to put the Panthers back in front 7-6.
The score stayed that way until the sixth inning when Lang had an RBI grounder, scoring Kaucher, and senior Chris Sackett (Loveland, Ohio) hit an RBI double to center to score Machuga and make it 9-6.
Hillsdale cut it to 9-7 in the bottom half on a solo homer, but the Panthers responded with three more tallies in the seventh. Staab hit an RBI double, Hillard a sac fly, and Lang an RBI basehit to give ODU a 12-7 cushion.
The Chargers scored three times in the eighth inning and brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but sophomore Tim Zeller (Mount Vernon, Ohio) retired the final three Chargers to pick up his second save in as many days.
ODU finished with 17 hits, highlighted by a 4-for-5 performance from Kaucher, who also stole two bases and walked. Bland and Lang each finished with three hits and Staab had two hits as well.
Contact: Scott Miles