CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – Sophomore Chris Sackett (Loveland, Ohio) cranked a three run walkoff homer off the scoreboard in left-center to give Ohio Dominican's baseball team a doubleheader sweep over West Liberty on Sunday afternoon at VA Memorial Stadium.
After winning the opener 9-5, ODU trailed 6-4 heading to the seventh in game two. Junior Jake Collinsworth (Cincinnati, Ohio) ripped a one-out single to left center and classmate Max Banke (Oakwood, Ohio) followed with a four-pitch walk to put two runners on.
Sackett than launched a 1-0 fastball over the wall and off the scoreboard for his first career home run to lift the Panthers to a 7-6 victory.
ODU (3-0) swept the weekend series from West Liberty (4-4), who entered the year ranked No. 10 in the Atlantic Region poll.
In game one on Sunday, ODU pounded out 11 hits, including a career best 3-for-3 effort from Banke. The Panthers jumped to an early lead on an RBI single from sophomore Genesis Hillard (Cincinnati, Ohio) and a two-run basehit by Collinsworth to go in front 3-0 in the first inning.
A sacrifice fly from sophomore Colin Kaucher (Toledo, Ohio) and an RBI single from junior Lee Sponseller (Mason, Ohio) kept ODU in front 6-2 through four innings, but West Liberty scored once in the sixth to close within 6-3.
The Panthers earned some breathing room in the bottom half of the inning, though. A squeeze bunt by sophomore Brad Hull (Gahanna, Ohio) scored Banke, and with two outs, Childers blasted a double off the top of the wall in right-center to score two more runs and put ODU in front 9-3.
The Hilltoppers didn't go quietly, though, scoring twice in the seventh and loading the bases with two outs. Junior Joe Filosa (Fort Wayne, Ind.) entered and ended the rally by inducing a fielder's choice grounder to close the game.
Childers and Hillard each had two hits in the contest to back a strong start from senior Kyle Burson (Brunswick, Ohio). Making his collegiate debut on the mound, Burson tossed 6.1 innings and struck out six without walking a batter to earn the victory.
In game two, ODU appeared to be in control after a four-run third inning. Senior Tony Evans (Medway, Ohio) was hit by a pitch to start the inning and stole second base, then scored on a base hit from Childers.
Kaucher followed with a single, and Hillard drilled his first career home run to left center to stake the Panthers to a 4-0 lead.
Sophomore Garret Sendelbach (Tiffin, Ohio) kept the Hilltoppers off the board through the first four innings before a bloop double down the right field line helped West Liberty get on the board with a tally in the fifth to make it 4-1. The Hilltoppers then surged forward with a five-run sixth inning to go in front 6-4.
ODU threatened in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases with two outs, but could not score. Junior Dustin Cowart (Hoover, Ala.), who entered in the sixth inning, kept West Liberty off the board in the seventh and was credited with his first win as a Panther following Sackett's blast.
Childers and Collinsworth each had two hits to pace the Panther offense. Sendelbach worked 5.1 innings and allowed four hits while striking out four.
Ohio Dominican returns to action with its home opener at 3 p.m. Friday against Mercyhurst at Panther Valley.
Contact: Scott Miles