March 28, 2012

Panthers Power Past Findlay in Doubleheader Sweep

FINDLAY, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's baseball team pounded out 33 runs on 33 hits in extending its winning streak to four straight, taking both ends of a doubleheader from GLIAC foe Findlay 12-8 and 21-4 Wednesday afternoon.

The second game was the most prolific day at the dish for Ohio Dominican since the Panthers defeated Mount Vernon Nazarene 22-9 on May 13, 2005. ODU's 21 runs on 22 hits in game two are the most since ODU registered the 22 runs on 26 hits in that 2005 contest. The hit total is also the most by a GLIAC team in a single game since the 2010 season.

Sophomore Bryan Rudolph (Pickerington, Ohio) had seven of his nine RBI on the day in the second game, which is the most by a Panther in a game since Angel Lopez drove in eight in that same game against Mount Vernon Nazarene. Rudolph's RBI total is also the most by a GLIAC player since 2010 as well.

The Panthers entered the day batting .295 as a team and raised that average to .313.

Findlay's pitching staff also issued 18 walks in the doubleheader, including 12 in the opener alone, which tied ODU's single-game record. The Panthers last walked 12 times in a game on April 19, 1996 against Otterbein.

With the sweep, ODU improved to 12-7 on the season, 4-2 in the GLIAC. Findlay fell to 6-11 (1-5 GLIAC).

In the opener, the Panthers loaded the bases with two outs in the third but couldn't score, and Findlay surged in front with a three-run inning in the bottom half. However, ODU answered back with a four-spot in the fourth, with senior Tyler Zaidel (Cincinnati, Ohio) notching a two-run single with the bases loaded that plated senior John Bowron (Dayton, Ohio) and Rudolph to make it 3-2. An RBI groundout by senior Evan Shaw (Delaware, Ohio) brought in redshirt junior Zack Dascenzo (Uniontown, Ohio), and Zaidel would score on a wild pitch to give the Panthers their first lead at 4-3.

ODU than appeared to break the game open in the top half of the fifth, batting around and scoring five times on just three hits. The first three batters reached on a walk, a fielder's choice and an infield single, and redshirt sophomore Christian Prince (Hudsonville, Mich.) delivered an RBI basehit into right to bring home Shaw and freshman Chase Westphal (Brecksville, Ohio). The next batter, Rudolph, recorded another two-run single, chasing home pinch-runners Billy Tecklenburg (Troy, Ohio) and junior Ryan Rovnak (Poland, Ohio). Later in the frame, Zaidel capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly to left that was deep enough to bring home sophomore Anthony Raschilla (Girard, Ohio) and put the Panthers in front 9-3.

However, Findlay came right back with a five-spot of its own in the home half of the sixth, loading the bases with one out and smacking a grand slam to come within 9-8. Freshman reliever Tucker Hughes (Sabina, Ohio) was able to keep the Panthers on top, though, ending the inning with a pair of groundouts to the right side.

Needing some insurance runs, ODU's bats struck again in the seventh, starting with Tecklenburg's RBI single that scored Westphal, who led off with a walk. Raschilla followed with an RBI knock to right, bringing in Tecklenburg, and Bowron ripped his first triple of the season to right to score Raschilla and make it a 12-8 game.

Senior Erik Lamka (Troy, Ohio) allowed one hit in the seventh but no damage in sending the Panthers to the game one victory.

The Panthers finished the first game with 11 hits and tied a school-record by drawing 12 walks. Zaidel went 3-for-4, Prince and Rudolph both had two hits, while Raschilla (three walks), Westphal, Watkins and Dascenzo (two walks each) led the parade to first base.

Junior Alex Borgan (Pickerington, Ohio) was charged with seven runs but did pick up his third win of the season, going 5.1 innings and fanning four in a 67-pitch outing.

The second game turned into a rout early, with the Panthers scoring seven times before Findlay's first at bat. All seven runs came with two outs, with Rudolph smacking a two-run double and Bowron knocking in a run with a single. The Oilers committed four of their six errors in the frame as well to help ODU build its lead.

After Findlay scored twice in the bottom of the inning, ODU was held quiet in the second and third innings before tacking on four more runs in the fourth. Rudolph had another two-run double and freshman Austin Butler (Pickerington, Ohio) chipped in with a sacrifice fly as the Panther lead grew to 11-2.

The lead swelled to 19-2 as ODU strung together an eight-run fifth inning. Freshman Kyle Tisdale (Uniontown, Ohio) had a run-scoring single and Rudolph followed with a three-run blast to make it 15-2. Zaidel and Westphal both had RBI singles, and Tisdale came around to bat again, knocking in two with another single.

ODU's final two runs came in the seventh inning as freshman Matt Jurevicius (Broadview Heights, Ohio) had an infield single for an RBI and Butler had his second sacrifice fly of the afternoon.

Four Panthers had three hits apiece, including Tisdale, Rudolph, Butler and Zaidel. Tisdale finished with three RBI and Butler had two in addition to Rudolph's seven.

Sophomore Sean Blackburn (Wadsworth, Ohio) was the beneficiary of the run support as he went five innings to earn the win. The righty allowed seven hits and four earned runs in improving to 2-2 on the season.

For the afternoon, 10 Panthers had at least two hits, 10 scored at least twice and six had at least two RBI.

The Panthers continue GLIAC play with a four-game series at Northwood, starting with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Contact: Scott Miles