INDIANAPOLIS – Playing its fourth and fifth games in less than 55 hours and with 300 miles of travel in between, Ohio Dominican's baseball team finished off a busy weekend by splitting a doubleheader with Indianapolis, winning game one 11-2 and falling 6-5 in game two on Sunday.
The Panthers, ranked No. 15 in the country, are now 25-8 on the season. Indy, which was ranked as high as No. 7 earlier this spring and had a week off since its last game, is now 18-13.
ODU just finished a three-game series against Malone in Canton and won two of three games against the Pioneers on Friday and Saturday, and found itself in a 2-0 hole quickly in the first inning of the opener against the Greyhounds after a two-run homer.
However, the Panthers took control from there, starting with a four-run second inning. Seniors Max Banke (Oakwood, Ohio) and Cody Paterniti (Chardon, Ohio) each singled, then sophomore Bernee Sanchez (Grove City, Ohio) and senior Justin Childers (Pickerington, Ohio) were each hit by pitches to force in a run.
The Panthers then scored two runs in each of the third, fourth and sixth innings to pull away. Banke tripled in the third and scored on Paterniti's single, and after Paterniti stole second, he came in to score on an RBI basehit by Sanchez to make it 6-2.
Three extra base hits in the fourth inning bumped the lead to 8-2 as Childers tripled to center and Kaucher and junior Chris Sackett (Loveland, Ohio) each doubled to right center.
Banke's two-run single in the sixth inning and Kaucher's RBI grounder in the seventh closed out the scoring.
Junior Garret Sendelbach (Tiffin, Ohio) was the beneficiary of the run support, though he was sharp after the first inning. The southpaw improved to 4-1 and threw 61 of his 91 pitches for strikes in logging his first career complete game. He allowed just one hit after the first inning and struck out five.
Six Panthers had multi-hit efforts as ODU tallied 14 hits in the contest. Banke finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored, and Kaucher went 2-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs.
Childers, Machuga, Sackett and Paterniti each had two hits and an RBI as well.
ODU grabbed the lead early in game two, scoring three times with two outs in the second inning. Banke walked, Paterniti singled to left and junior Brad Hull (Gahanna, Ohio) reached on a bunt single to load the bases, and Banke scored on a wild pitch. Sanchez then smacked a two-run triple to right center to make it 3-0.
Indy came back with four runs in the fourth inning, though two of them were unearned, but ODU struck back in the fifth. Two hits, two Greyhound errors, and three walks resulted in two runs for the Panthers, who took the lead back at 5-4.
However, the Greyhounds scored twice in the bottom of the inning, with the go-ahead run coming in on a passed ball, to go back in front at 6-5.
The Panthers had the tying run thrown out at the plate in the sixth inning, then went down in order to suffer the setback.
Kaucher went 2-for-4 to lead the offense in game two as ODU finished with eight hits in the contest.
Sophomore Clay Davies (Massillon, Ohio) made his first collegiate start and allowed two earned runs in 3.0 innings, striking out two. Senior Dustin Cowart (Hoover, Ala.) worked the final 1.2 innings and allowed just one hit.
ODU will travel to West Liberty for a non-conference doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Contact: Scott Miles