Baseball Inches Closer to Tournament Bid with Sweep of Walsh

Christian Prince
Christian Prince

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's baseball team closed out its home schedule in style, sweeping a doubleheader from Walsh by scores of 6-1 and 4-3 Thursday afternoon in Panther Valley.

The 6-1 victory counted towards ODU's GLIAC ledger, moving the Panthers to 16-14 in conference play, while the 4-3 game two victory was counted as a non-league tilt between the teams. Overall, ODU stands at 22-24 after the sweep, while Walsh is 22-19 (14-14 GLIAC).

Winners in six of their past seven games, the Panthers moved two games clear of Saginaw Valley for the fourth spot in the conference standings and now stand three games clear of both Tiffin and Findlay.

Sophomore Daniel Mooney (Wauconda, Ill.) was sharp in the opener, nearly going the distance in the nine-inning affair. He worked 8.2 innings, limiting the Cavaliers to one unearned run on four hits. He walked four and struck out six in improving to 6-5 on the season. Mooney threw 79 of his 127 pitches for strikes in the win.

After Walsh scored its unearned run in the third to go in front 1-0, ODU answered with two runs of its own in the bottom half. Sophomore Phil Jaskot (Upper Arlington, Ohio) and freshman Jacob Horsley (Thornville, Ohio) started the inning with singles, and sophomore Marcus Schluessler (Zanesville, Ohio) drew a walk to load the bases with nobody out.

An RBI fielder's choice by Rovnak scored Jaskot, and sophomore Kyle Tisdale (Uniontown, Ohio) hit a deep liner to left that was caught but deep enough to plate Horsley and give ODU the 2-1 advantage.

The Panthers tacked on another run in the fourth on an RBI groundout by Jaskot, and Mooney allowed just one baserunner in the middle innings to keep the lead intact.

ODU's offense gave him some more breathing room in the seventh, as Schluessler smacked a leadoff double and came in to score on Tisdale's one-out RBI single. Later in the frame, junior Jossue Delgado (Barinas, Venezuela) lined a basehit to center as well to bring in freshman pinch-runner Dylan West (Westerville, Ohio) and give ODU a 5-1 lead.

The Panthers scored their final run on a sacrifice fly by Schluessler in the eighth.

Mooney was one out away from his fifth complete game of the spring, as he was lifted after a walk and a hit batsman in the ninth. He lowered his ERA to 2.76 with the outing, though.

ODU finished the opener with eight hits, with Delgado leading the way at 2-for-3. Freshman Collin Parcher (Napoleon, Ohio) drew three walks and Schluessler walked twice as well.

The Panthers played from behind through the entirety of game two, as Walsh scored twice in the top of the first inning to go in front early.

ODU got a run back in the bottom half, with Delgado smoking a double to left with two outs and coming in to score on an RBI basehit by junior Anthony Raschilla (Girard, Ohio).

The score remained 2-1 all the way through the sixth inning, when the Panthers drew a pair of two out walks with the bases empty. Sophomore Austin Butler (Pickerington, Ohio) delivered an RBI single to center that scored West and knotted the game at two.

After a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, Horsley hit a rocket down the third base line that Trevor Smith of Walsh made a diving grab on to keep the game tied.

Walsh then managed to push across a run on a single, a sacrifice bunt and a two-out RBI basehit to center in its half of the seventh to go in front 3-2.

Undaunted, Schluessler lined a single to right-center to start the Panther seventh, then went to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Ryan Rovnak (Poland, Ohio). Delgado drew a five-pitch walk, and Raschilla ripped a single to right field that chased home Schluessler and sent Delgado to third.

Senior Christian Prince (Hudsonville, Mich.) then stepped to the plate and, in final at bat in Panther Valley, drilled the first pitch he saw into deep right-center for a basehit, scoring Delgado and winning the game for ODU.

Raschilla and Butler each had two hits for the Panthers in game two.

Ohio Dominican closes its regular season this weekend with a three-game series at Ashland. The Panthers and Eagles will tangle at 4 p.m. Saturday for a single nine-inning game.

Contact: Scott Miles

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