MASON, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's baseball team fought off elimination for one more game, defeating Lake Erie 6-4 to start day three of the G-MAC Tournament, but the Panthers saw their season end with an 11-3 setback to Kentucky Wesleyan Friday evening at Prasco Park.
Ohio Dominican concludes its year with a 32-23 record. Over the past two seasons, ODU has amassed a 68-40 (.630) record.
The opener against Lake Erie was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth when the Panthers struck with two outs. Senior Noah Bland (Oberlin, Ohio) hit a two-run double down the right field line and freshman Thomas Staab (Bellville, Ohio) followed with an RBI basehit to stake the Panthers to a 3-0 lead.
Lake Erie answered with three runs of its own in the top of the sixth, but ODU regained the lead as freshman Manny Vorhees (Wapakoneta, Ohio) hit an RBI single back up the middle to put the Panthers in front 4-3.
ODU earned some cushion in the seventh as senior Colin Kaucher (Toledo, Ohio) tripled to start the frame and was chased home on an RBI single by senior Genesis Hillard (Cincinnati, Ohio). Later in the inning, freshman Michael Lang (Cincinnati, Ohio) had a basehit to right that scored Hillard and made it 6-3.
Lake Erie scored once in the ninth and had the tying run on base, but sophomore Tim Zeller (Mount Vernon, Ohio) closed out the win with a punchout to record his eighth save of the season.
Junior Logan Brewer (Ashland, Ohio) carried a shutout into the sixth inning. Though he was not credited with a decision, he allowed just one run in 5.1 innings and struck out three.
Junior Danny Matic (Highland Heights, Ohio) kept Lake Erie off the board in his 1.1 innings of relief, improving to 4-1 on the spring.
Lang had a hit and walked three times, while Staab and Vorhees each had a pair of hits.
In the finale, ODU hung tight until the eighth inning when KWC broke it open with a five-run frame.
Kaucher answered a two-run first inning by KWC with a solo home run in the bottom half, and after another KWC run in the second inning, Staab drew a bases loaded walk in the bottom end to make it a 3-2 game.
The score remained that way until the sixth when KWC scored three times to make it 6-2, but ODU came back again in the bottom half with an RBI single from senior Chris Sackett (Loveland, Ohio) to cut it to 6-3.
However, ODU could not muster any more offense as KWC pulled away late.
Kaucher, Sackett and Bland each had two hits in their final game for ODU.
Freshman Jaden Tabler (Van Buren, Ohio) made his first collegiate start and kept the Panthers in the game, working 5.0 innings and allowing five runs.
Contact: Scott Miles