YPSILANTI, Mich. – Trailing 7-0, Ohio Dominican's baseball team fought back against Ashland but came up just short in advancing to the championship game, suffering a 7-5 defeat to the Eagles Saturday in the championship round of the GLIAC Baseball Tournament.
With the setback, Ohio Dominican's season ends with a 25-28 record. Ashland, the top-ranked team in the Midwest, improved to 35-17 and faces off against Grand Valley later this afternoon in the championship game.
Ashland scored three runs in both the second and fourth innings, helping propel them to that seven-run advantage.
The Panthers, who managed just two hits through the first five frames, came alive in the sixth. Sophomore Marcus Schluessler (Zanesville, Ohio) started the inning with a standup double to left-center, then later came in to score on a wild pitch. After a single by sophomore Kyle Tisdale (Uniontown, Ohio), an Ashland fielding error kept the Panther inning alive, and junior Jossue Delgado (Barinas, Venezuela) delivered the key two-out hit with an RBI single to left to score Tisdale.
ODU continued to climb back in the game in the seventh, as sophomore Phil Jaskot (Upper Arlington, Ohio) walked and freshman Jacob Horsley (Thornville, Ohio) singled through the left side. Schluessler ripped a single into left and senior Ryan Rovnak (Poland, Ohio) fought a 2-2 pitch into center field to bring in Jaskot.
The Panthers would leave the bases loaded in the seventh, though, as each of the next three hitters were retired.
Still, ODU kept pushing back, scoring twice with two outs in the eighth. Delgado and junior Bryan Rudolph (Pickerington, Ohio) each walked to start the inning and would later advance on a wild pitch. Horsley then drilled a 3-2 fastball to the wall in right-center to score both and make it 7-5.
Senior Alex Borgan (Pickerington, Ohio) kept the deficit at two runs as he induced a double play grounder to end the Ashland eighth, but the Panthers went down in order in the ninth to end the game.
Horsley went 3-for-4 with the two RBI and Schluessler had the two hits to help lead the Panther offense, which finished with nine hits.
Borgan pitched 4.2 innings of relief and held Ashland to just one run on four hits.
Contact: Scott Miles