MASON, Ohio – An eighth and ninth inning rally carried Ohio Dominican's baseball team past top-seeded Malone on Thursday, eliminating the Pioneers 9-5 and advancing to action on Friday in the G-MAC Tournament.
Ohio Dominican, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, will take on No. 4 Lake Erie at 1:30 p.m. Friday. Should the Panthers win that game, they will take on the loser of Tiffin and Kentucky Wesleyan at 6 p.m. Friday.
The Panthers trailed Malone 5-3 in the top of the eighth inning when senior Bret Yutzy (Plain City, Ohio), in just his 17th at bat of the season and 21st in his career, launched a solo home run to left to cut the deficit in half.
Junior Logan Giddings (Pickerington, Ohio) kept the Pioneers off the board in the bottom half, stranding a runner in scoring position, and the offense kicked it into gear in the ninth.
Senior Genesis Hillard (Cincinnati, Ohio) started the frame with an infield single, then went to third on a wild pitch and throwing error. Junior Joey Machuga (Canfield, Ohio) walked and senior Robbie Jobe (Grove City, Ohio) hit a sac fly to left to bring home Hillard and even the score.
Freshman Michael Lang (Cincinnati, Ohio) followed with an RBI double to left-center, and sophomore Tim Zeller (Mount Vernon, Ohio) clubbed a pinch-hit double to left-center as well to put ODU in front 7-5.
Freshman Manny Vorhees (Wapakoneta, Ohio) capped the scoring by cranking a two-run shot to right-center, and Giddings fanned the final two hitters in the bottom half to seal the victory.
The Panthers outhit Malone 14-7 and also drew 10 walks in the game, but ODU stranded 11 runners and had to play from behind the length of the game.
The Pioneers plated a pair of unearned runs in the bottom half, though, to take their biggest lead at 4-1. However, ODU answered with two runs in the fifth as Jobe had an RBI single and Machuga scored on a wild pitch to close the gap to 4-3.
Malone struck back with an RBI single in the sixth to regain a two-cushion that they carried into the eighth.
Giddings was credited with the win, tossing 3.2 scoreless innings and yielding just two hits. He threw 38 of 55 pitches for strikes.
Jobe finished 3-for-4 and Vorhees had three hits as well for the Panthers, while Hillard and Bland each had two hits. Machuga drew three walks and Bland walked twice as well.
Contact: Scott Miles