COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's baseball team heads to Wilson, N.C. for nine games in eight days, a stretch highlighted by nationally-ranked opponents and its first Great Midwest action of 2020.
SETTING THE SCENE: The Panthers begin the trip with a doubleheader Friday, March 6, facing #20 Mercyhurst (Pa.) at 10:30 a.m. before a 1:30 p.m. contest against Shepherd (Pa.). ODU will then have single games the next two days, March 7 and 8, at 2 p.m., against Lock Haven (Pa.) and Cal (Pa.). The final non-conference game of the stretch will be at 2 p.m., Tuesday, March 10, versus #3/4 Catawba (N.C.). A pair of doubleheaders with conference rival Trevecca Nazarene will conclude the trip on Thursday and Friday, March 12 and 13.
PANTHERS AT THE PLATE: Graduate senior Cory Contini (Dover, Ohio), who is hitting .296, leads Ohio Dominican (1-7) at the plate. Contini was one of three players to go 3-for-7 in ODU's last outing, a doubleheader with Kutztown on March 1. For the season, the senior has eight hits in 27 at-bats, including three doubles. Contini has also logged a pair of stolen bases.
Graduate senior Roger Danison (Carroll, Ohio) and sophomore Manny Vorhees (Wapakoneta, Ohio) also picked up three hits in Chillicothe last weekend. Both players are tied for the team high with five RBI on the season. To go along with his three hits, Vorhees added three runs scored, two RBI and his first home run of the season versus the Golden Bears. Sophomore Jake Daniel (Troy, Ohio) registered his first collegiate home run as well last Sunday.
Sophomore Michael Lang (Cincinnati, Ohio) is hitting .286 with two doubles. Lang is also the fourth toughest batter in the G-MAC to strikeout, doing so only once every 21 at-bats.
ODU ON THE MOUND: Fifteen different pitchers have appeared for the Panthers this spring, with freshman Grayson Hamilton (Lebanon, Ohio) leading the team with 12.0 inning pitched. Hamilton has made two starts, going 1-1, with a team-best 3.75 ERA and 16 strikeouts. Seniors Tyler Dalzell (Amherst, Ohio) and Logan Giddings (Pickerington, Ohio) each have three appearances out of the bullpen. Giddings has allowed two runs in 4.1 innings of action.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: ODU's non-conference opponents make the trip to Wilson, N.C. with a combined 32-16 record (.667). Headlining the group are nationally-ranked Mercyhurst and Catawba, who both appeared in the College World Series a year ago. The Lakers are 3-2 prior to play this weekend, and are coming off a 36-16 campaign in 2019. Catawba is already off to a 15-2 start and ranked inside the top five of both national polls. The Indians went 47-14 in 2019.
The Panthers' first G-MAC opponent of the season, Trevecca, is 5-9 early this spring and will host Purdue-Northwest for three games this weekend prior to making the trek to North Carolina for its conference opening games. The Trojans went 28-22 last year, including a 20-10 mark in G-MAC play. TNU is expected to be one of the favorites in the G-MAC West this season, as they were picked third with 44 points and two first place votes in the Coaches Preseason Poll. The Trojans and Panthers have met five times since ODU joined the G-MAC in 2018, with TNU holding a 3-2 edge in the series. They split a four-game conference series last spring and TNU won a conference tournament meeting in 2018.
Contact: Tyler Jester