Panthers Prepare For Weekend Clash With Grand Valley

Panthers Prepare For Weekend Clash With Grand Valley

COLUMBUS, Ohio – After claiming a mid-week series on the road at Hillsdale, Ohio Dominican's baseball team returns home for a three-game set with Grand Valley State.

The Panthers (11-14, 7-4 GLIAC) and Lakers (14-10, 8-3) begin their series at 1 p.m. Saturday with a doubleheader, then close it with a single nine inning game at noon on Sunday. One-third of the way through the conference slate, Grand Valley is tied for first in the conference standings while the Panthers sit in a tie for third.

After splitting Tuesday's doubleheader with Hillsdale, the Panthers took the series with a 6-1 victory on Wednesday. Senior Nick Venditti (Brecksville, Ohio) threw his first nine inning game complete game since tossing a perfect game during his freshman season, holding the Chargers to the one run while striking out nine.

ODU also received a solid pitching performance from junior Sean Blackburn (Wadsworth, Ohio), who limited Hillsdale to two runs in 6.1 innings on Tuesday, while sophomore Vince Bartolone (Broadview Heights, Ohio) worked 2.2 innings of scoreless relief as well.

Overall, Panther pitchers struck out 19 batters and issues just four walks in the three games.

A trio of hitters did the bulk of the damage in the series, led by freshman Collin Parcher (Napoleon, Ohio), who went 5-for-9 with two doubles and two walks. Senior Ryan Rovnak (Poland, Ohio) saw his hitting streak stopped at 15 games on Wednesday but still went 6-for-12 with three runs scored, while junior Jossue Delgado (Barinas, Venezuela) drove in three and batted .364.

Junior Bryan Rudolph (Pickerington, Ohio) led the Panthers with four runs scored and also drilled his second home run of the season.

Delgado enters the weekend fifth in the GLIAC with his .382 batting average, while sophomore Kevin Lydic (Dublin, Ohio) is seventh with a .371 clip. Rovnak's seven doubles are tied for third in the league. Parcher, Rovnak and Delgado all rank in the top 10 in the league in RBI, and Delgado's 10 steals are tied for second.

Venditti is second in the conference with his four victories on the bump and is third in innings pitched (37.1). Sophomore Daniel Mooney (Wauconda, Ill.) ranks 12th in the conference in ERA (2.79) and third in strikeouts (30).

Grand Valley enters the weekend on the heels of a 9-8 victory against Tiffin on Thursday, though the Dragons took two out of three games from the Lakers. As a team, GVSU is batting .288, which is fifth in the conference, and they lead the GLIAC with a .410 slugging percentage. The Lakers have the top pitching staff in the conference with a 2.81 ERA as well.

Contact: Scott Miles

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