HARROGATE, Tenn. – A pair of newcomers in Grayson Hamilton (Lebanon, Ohio) and Roger Danison (Carroll, Ohio) helped the Ohio Dominican baseball team to a doubleheader split with Grand Valley State Saturday afternoon at Lincoln Memorial University.
The Panthers won the first game of the day, 10-5, before dropping the second half of the twin bill, 9-2. ODU's win in game one was its fifth straight victory against the Lakers, a streak snapped later in the day.
Despite being outhit 11-7 in the opener, the Black & Gold used a five-run eighth inning to secure their first win of the season. Hamilton started on the mound and went 7.0 innings, allowing three runs on six hits, while striking out 12 batters. Danison, senior Joey Machuga (Canfield, Ohio) and sophomore Manny Vorhees (Wapakoneta, Ohio) all drove in multiple runs at the plate, while combining for five of ODU's seven hits.
Grand Valley (1-1) took an early lead with a run in the top of the first inning on a two-out base hit to left field. Hamilton though, retired 13 of the next 15 batters he faced, conceding only two walks during the stretch. The run also featured six of his strikeouts.
ODU's offensive drought came to an end in the third inning with a sac fly from Danison, which scored freshman Brennen Hunt (Ashland, Ohio), who led off the frame with a bunt single. Senior Cory Contini (Dover, Ohio), who followed Hunt with a walk, later scored on a passed ball, giving the Panthers a 2-1 lead through three frames.
Danison added a two-out double to center in the bottom of the fourth, which scored two runs. Contini and junior Tim Zeller (Mount Vernon, Ohio) crossed home plate in the inning, which extended the advantage to 4-1. Machuga then doubled in the seventh inning to put the Panthers up 5-2.
The Lakers took advantage of four hits in the top of the eighth to score two runs and close their deficit to one run, 5-4. ODU though, had five of its first six batters reach in the bottom of the inning. Danison added another RBI base hit, giving him four runs driven in for the game. Vorhees followed with a bases-clearing double to left field and Machuga's sac fly later in the frame made it 10-4 in favor of the Black & Gold.
Grand Valley picked up a run in the ninth, but senior Logan Giddings (Pickerington, Ohio) worked around two hits to give the Panthers the 10-5 final decision.
Game two saw the Lakers rattle off four runs in the first, three runs in the second and two runs in the third inning to go in front 9-0. The shortened, seven-inning game saw the Panthers scored their only two runs of the game in the fifth frame. Sophomore Michael Lang (Cincinnati, Ohio) drove in both runs with a two-out double to center.
ODU had seven different pitchers appear in night cap, with four Panthers posting shutout frames.
Ohio Dominican and Grand Valley will close their three-game set at noon, Sunday, Feb. 23.
Contact: Tyler Jester