COLUMBUS, Ohio – Appearing in its first conference tournament since 2015, Ohio Dominican's baseball team looks to keep its momentum rolling as the Panthers get set to take on Walsh in the first round of the G-MAC Championship at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Mason's Prasco Park.
ODU claimed the North Division title and enters the tournament with a 32-13 overall record and the best conference record of any program with an 18-7 mark in league play. Walsh earned a wild card bid into the conference tournament and enters play with a 24-21 overall record (16-11 G-MAC).
These two teams just met in Columbus on April 27-28, with Walsh winning the opener 7-5 before the Panthers bounced back with wins of 6-2 and 19-7. ODU has a 13-9 record against the Cavaliers since Walsh joined the GLIAC in 2013.
ODU is ranked No. 17 in the nation in last week's NCBWA poll, and the Panthers sat at No. 4 in the NCAA Midwest Regional Rankings that were released last Wednesday, with the top-eight teams qualifying for the postseason.
The Panthers enter the league tournament still sporting one of the nation's most prolific offenses. ODU ranks third in the country in batting (.341) and is ninth in scoring at 8.9 runs per game. The Panthers are also 10th in Division II in on-base percentage (.424).
Despite the absence of the G-MAC leader in RBIs, junior Colin Kaucher (Toledo, Ohio), over the last six games, ODU went 4-2 in that stretch and averaged 9.0 runs per game. ODU has nine players with at least 21 RBIs on the season and six players who have driven in more than 30.
Senior Justin Childers (Pickerington, Ohio) continues to rank amongst the nation's best in multiple offensive categories, despite missing most of four games three weeks back. His .571 on-base percentage is atop the country, as are his 1.60 runs scored per contest. He ranks third in the country with an .852 slugging percentage, is sixth with a .443 batting average and 19th in most walks drawn per game.
Kaucher sits fourth in the nation in RBIs per game (1.49) and is eighth with a .438 batting average, as well as 11th with a .523 OBP.
In last weekend's series against Findlay, ODU received a pair of tremendous outings from redshirt junior Joe Filosa (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and junior Mitchell Bault (Maineville, Ohio). Filosa held the Oilers to one run on six hits over 6.1 innings with seven strikeouts, while Bault went 6.0 innings, allowing just one run on five hits while striking out a career-high 11. He's now struck out 17 hitters and walked just one over his last 13.0 innings.
For his effort against Findlay, Bault was named the G-MAC North Division Pitcher of the Week. This is the third time this spring he's picked up the honor.
Junior southpaw Garret Sendelbach (Tiffin, Ohio) has logged four straight solid outings for the Panthers, allowing just six earned runs over his last 23.1 innings pitched (2.31 ERA).
Junior closer Brad Wilson (Alexandria, Ohio) leads the league in relief appearances (22) and his eight saves are third in the conference. He's punched out 42 batters and walked just five in 26.0 innings of work, sporting a 2.08 ERA.
Senior left-hander Dustin Cowart (Hoover, Ala.) continues to excel out of the bullpen as well, sporting a 3-0 record with a save and a 1.23 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 22.0 innings.
Contact: Scott Miles