Baseball Settles For Road Split At Hillsdale

Ryan Rovnak
Ryan Rovnak

HILLSDALE, Mich. – After taking a 3-2 victory in game one, Ohio Dominican's baseball team jumped to a 4-0 lead in game two against Hillsdale before the Chargers responded with an 11-5 victory to split Tuesday's GLIAC doubleheader.

With the split, Ohio Dominican is now 10-14 (6-4 GLIAC) on the season, while the Chargers are 11-12 (4-6 GLIAC). 

In the opener, the Panthers cracked the scoring column in the third inning after failing to push runners across in scoring position in the first and second innings. Senior Ryan Rovnak (Poland, Ohio) doubled down the right field line, then came in to score on a Jossue Delgado (Barinas, Venezuela) single to left for ODU's first run. Later, Delgado would scamper home on a passed ball to give ODU a 2-0 lead.

Junior starting pitcher Sean Blackburn (Wadsworth, Ohio) was near flawless through the first six innings, allowing just a basehit in the first and fourth innings but nothing more. However, a leadoff home run in the seventh helped the Chargers get back in the game, and Hillsdale would tie it at two with a one-out double to center.

Both teams stranded two runners in the eighth, but ODU pushed through with the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth. Rovnak walked and Delgado singled, and a throwing error moved those two up 90 feet into scoring position. An intentional walk loaded the bases, and junior Anthony Raschilla (Girard, Ohio) hit a sacrifice fly to right that was deep enough to plate Rovnak, who beat a good throw to the plate to score.

Sophomore Vince Bartolone (Broadview Heights, Ohio), who entered in relief in the seventh, ran into some trouble in the ninth as an error and a hit put two runners aboard with one out, but ended the game with a double play groundout to short.

Blackburn did not earn a decision, working 6.1 innings and allowing the two runs on just three hits. He punched out five and walked one, throwing 59 of his 88 pitches for strikes. It was the longest outing of the season for the right-hander and the five strikeouts were a season-high

Bartolone improved to 2-2 this spring with his 2.2 innings of scoreless relief, allowing three hits and walking one.

The Panthers out-hit Hillsdale 10-6, as Rovnak and Delgado each finished with three hits apiece. Freshman Collin Parcher (Napoleon, Ohio) had two hits as well for the Panthers, who did strand 12 runners on base in the win.

ODU carried that momentum into the second game, jumping to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first. Sophomore Kyle Tisdale (Uniontown, Ohio) had an RBI groundout and Parcher followed with an RBI single to give the Panthers a 2-0 advantage.
Junior Bryan Rudolph (Pickerington, Ohio) then delivered the big blow, drilling a two-out, two-run homer over the scoreboard in left-center field to stake the Panthers to the four-run lead. It was Rudolph's second home run in the past three games.

Hillsdale answered right back, though, scoring four runs of its own in the bottom half of the first and getting three more on a bases-clearing triple in the third to take a 7-4 lead.

The Panthers came back to make it 7-5 in the fourth, as Rudolph hit a leadoff opposite field double and sophomore Phil Jaskot (Upper Arlington, Ohio) followed with a double of his own to left to cut the deficit to two.

However, Hillsdale responded with three runs of its own in the bottom half, then tacked on an insurance run in the fifth to take the 11-5 victory.

Rovnak had another three-hit effort, extending his hitting streak to 15 consecutive games - the longest streak by a Panther since Felix Brown hit in 14 straight in 2008 - and Rudolph had two hits as well for ODU.

The Panthers and Chargers conclude their three-game series with a single nine inning game at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

Contact: Scott Miles

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