Baseball Sweeps Grand Valley, Improves To 4-0

Baseball Sweeps Grand Valley, Improves To 4-0

MASON, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's baseball team notched its first doubleheader sweep over Grand Valley State in its Division II era as the Panthers bested the Lakers by scores of 11-7 and 6-1 on Sunday at Prasco Park.

ODU improved to 4-0 on the season in dealing Grand Valley – the preseason No. 4 team in the NCBWA Midwest Region – two losses to start its season.

The Panthers were fueled by a 10-run second inning in the opener, then rode the strong pitching of junior Mitchell Bault (Maineville, Ohio) and clutch hitting of sophomore Joey Machuga (Canfield, Ohio) in game two.

In game one, ODU took advantage of wildness on the mound by GV pitching to ride its big inning. Junior Colin Kaucher (Toledo, Ohio) and sophomore Jonathan Conkle (Massillon, Ohio) singled, and then four straight Panthers were hit by pitches to bring in the first three runs.

Three straight singles by senior Justin Childers (Pickerington, Ohio), senior Cody Paterniti (Chardon, Ohio) and Kaucher extended the lead to 7-1, and Machuga followed with a two-run double to left to make it 9-1. With two outs, senior Jake Collinsworth (Cincinnati, Ohio) had an RBI single as well to close the rally.

Overall, the Panthers recorded seven hits in the frame and sent 14 batters to the plate.

Grand Valley didn't go quietly, though, countering ODU's big second inning by plating six runs in the top of the third to draw within 10-7.

But the Panthers were able to plate an insurance run in the fifth on an RBI single by junior Brad Hull (Gahanna, Ohio), and a trio of Panther arms in senior Tyler Magley (Baltimore, Ohio), Dustin Cowart (Hoover, Ala.) and freshman Tim Zeller (Mount Vernon, Ohio) kept the Lakers off the board over the final 4.1 innings.

Cowart was credited with the win with his 2.0 innings of relief, and Zeller shut the door by punching out four in the sixth and seventh frames.

Three Panthers had a pair of hits in Childers, Kaucher and Machuga, while Hull, Kaucher and Machuga all had two RBIs.

In game two, the Panthers played from in front, scoring in innings two, three and four to jump to a 6-0 lead, which was more than enough for Bault.

The right-hander allowed just three hits and one run in 6.0 innings while fanning a career-high nine. He threw 58 of his 91 pitches for strikes in the effort.

Collinsworth put the Panthers on the board with an RBI basehit in the second inning, and the Panthers tacked on two more runs in the third on RBI singles up the middle from Machuga and Conkle.

Machuga then helped put the game away in the fourth with a three-run double to left to make it 6-0.

Machuga finished 3-for-3 with four RBIs, while Conkle had a pair of hits as well. Childers had a hit, was walked twice and scored two runs.

Ohio Dominican returns to Prasco Park for three games next weekend, taking on Tiffin on Friday and Saturday and Mercyhurst on Sunday.

Contact: Scott Miles