COLUMBUS, Ohio – With snowflakes descending on Panther Valley, senior Ryan Rovnak (Poland, Ohio) ended a nearly four-hour marathon with a walkoff home run in the 10th, lifting Ohio Dominican's baseball team to a thrilling 12-11 victory over Tiffin in GLIAC play Sunday.
Rovnak's first home run of the season and second of his career capped a wild affair that featured 27 hits and 10 errors between the two teams. ODU swept the three-game season series from Tiffin and improved to 8-11 (4-1 GLIAC), while the Dragons dropped to 8-12 (2-3 GLIAC).
The Panthers rallied from a 10-9 deficit in the eighth inning as sophomore Marcus Schluessler (Zanesville, Ohio) reached on an error and went to second on Rovnak's sac bunt. Junior Jossue Delgado (Barinas, Venezuela) lined a single back up the middle to plate Schluessler and knot the game at 10.
Delgado then swiped second base, and freshman Collin Parcher (Napoleon, Ohio) followed with the clutch two-out hit, ripping a single to center to score Delgado and give the Panthers an 11-10 lead.
However, a one-out ODU error in the ninth opened the door for Tiffin, and the Dragons would capitalize with a two-out RBI basehit themselves to tie the game at 11.
The Panthers couldn't score in the bottom half, but sophomore Vince Bartolone (Broadview Heights, Ohio) worked a perfect tenth to keep the game even. After Schluessler lined out to right to start the bottom of the inning, Rovnak turned on a 3-1 fastball and deposited it over the wall in right to secure the win for ODU.
Bartolone picked up his first win of the season with his 2.1 innings of relief, allowing just two hits while punching out three, helping ODU win its first game in extra innings this spring (1-4).
The first pitch temperature was 35 degrees and dropped throughout the afternoon, with flurries falling by the latter innings.
Tiffin jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first, but the Panthers quickly came back to tie it in the second on the benefit of two Dragon errors. Junior Bryan Rudolph (Pickerington, Ohio) had an RBI groundout that wound up scoring two runners on a Tiffin throwing error, and freshman Jacob Horsley (Thornville, Ohio) had an RBI basehit to right-center to tie the game at three.
The Panthers surged in front in the third, with sophomore Kyle Tisdale (Uniontown, Ohio) singling home Rovnak and Parcher smoking a two-run double to straightaway centerfield to start the scoring. Later, Parcher would score on Lydic's RBI groundout to give the Panthers a 7-3 lead.
Tiffin responded with three runs of its own in the fourth, then knotted the game at 7-7 in the fifth on a two-out single. Once again, the Panther offense came alive, scoring twice on Lydic's RBI double into the gap in left-center and on Horsley's sac fly to left to put ODU back on top 9-7.
The Dragons came back with two unearned runs in the sixth inning, though, and would take their 10-9 lead in the seventh on another unearned run.
Rovnak extended his hitting streak to 10 straight games, while Parcher has now hit in six straight for the Panthers.
Ohio Dominican hits the road for a 3 p.m. contest at Lake Erie on Wednesday.
Contact: Scott Miles