FINDLAY, Ohio – A Saturday split with Findlay, coupled with other results around the G-MAC, enabled Ohio Dominican's baseball team to clinch the top seed in the G-MAC North Division.
The Panthers, ranked No. 17 in the nation, won the opener 7-2 before falling 8-3 in game two. Still, with a 17-7 G-MAC record and 31-13 overall mark, ODU will be the #1 seed from the North Division in next week's conference tournament.
In game one, the Panthers played from in front as sophomore Bernee Sanchez (Grove City, Ohio) hit his first home run of the season, a one-out solo shot to center, and senior Jake Collinsworth (Cincinnati, Ohio) followed with an RBI single to right-center that scored sophomore Joey Machuga (Canfield, Ohio) to make it 2-0.
Junior Joe Filosa (Fort Wayne, Ind.) allowed a run in the bottom of the first inning, but settled in from there, not allowing another hit until the fifth inning.
Meanwhile, ODU continued to build its lead. Senior Justin Childers (Pickerington, Ohio) socked a two-run homer to right-center in the second and senior Cody Paterniti (Chardon, Ohio) scored on an error in the fourth inning to increase the lead to 5-1.
The Oilers put two on in the seventh inning, but senior Tyler Magley (Baltimore, Ohio) entered and got out of the jam with a pair of fly outs. Findlay was then able to string together a trio of hits in the eighth and plate a run, but Magley finished off that inning with a ground out to keep the lead at 5-2.
ODU then put the game away in the ninth as junior Brad Hull (Gahanna, Ohio) reached on a bunt single and later came in to score on a passed ball, and Childers cranked his second homer of the day, a solo shot to left-center, to make it 7-2.
Filosa picked up the win after tossing 6.1 innings and allowing six hits, all singles, and the one run. He struck out seven, walked one, and threw 61 of 93 pitches for strikes in the outing. He improved to 4-1 on the spring with the victory, and Filosa now has at recorded at least five punch outs in seven outings.
Childers went 2-for-3 with a walk, a hit by pitch, and three RBIs, while Sanchez went 2-for-5.
In game two, ODU could not gain much traction as the Panthers were outhit 15-4 in the contest.
Findlay took a 3-0 lead in the first inning, but ODU came back with two runs in the second inning on an RBI grounder from Hull and a sac fly by Childers.
The Oilers scored five unanswered runs, though, and the Panthers managed just one more tally, a Sanchez solo homer in the seventh, to close the contest.
ODU and Findlay conclude their series with a single game at noon on Sunday.
Contact: Scott Miles