By Sports Information Intern Brian Moracz
COLMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's baseball team will travel to Chillicothe, Ohio this weekend for three contests against the West Liberty Hilltoppers at VA Memorial Stadium to begin its 2017 campaign.
ODU will face the Hilltoppers in its first contest on Saturday at Noon, and will meet again with West Liberty on Sunday in doubleheader action, with contests at Noon and 3:30 p.m. at VA Memorial Stadium.
About Ohio Dominican
The Panthers received 29 points in the GLIAC preseason coaches poll and return plenty of experience to its lineup and pitching rotation entering 2017 under the direction of first year head coach Chris Antonides.
Eight players who started at least 24 contests will return for the Panthers this season, including redshirt junior outfielder Lee Sponseller (Mason, Ohio), who batted .344 with six home runs and 32 RBIs with a .477 on base percentage in 36 games last season. Senior second baseman Tony Evans (Medway, Ohio) batted .327 with 21 RBIs in 29 games, and junior first baseman Justin Childers (Pickerington, Ohio) broke out last year to hit .327 with a team-high eight home runs and 38 RBIs.
Sophomore catcher Colin Kaucher (Toledo, Ohio) batted .300 with 24 RBIs in his debut season, junior outfielder Cody Paterniti (Chardon, Ohio) finished with a .298 average, and sophomore outfielder Genesis Hillard (Cincinnato, Ohio) hit .277 with seven doubles. Senior shortstop Kyle Burson (Brunswick, Ohio) batted .273 while playing sparkling defense, and junior Max Banke (Oakwood, Ohio) made 24 starts as well.
Sophomore Brad Wilson (Alexandria, Ohio) had a strong campaign, going 5-4 with a 3.61 ERA and striking out 64 hitters in 67.1 innings. Senior Joe Filosa (Fort Wayne, Indiana) and junior Matt Kittelberger (Massillon, Ohio) also picked up three wins on the mound. ODU also returns sophomores Mitchell Bault (Maineville, Ohio), who started 10 games, and Garret Sendelbach (Tiffin, Ohio), who made seven starts.
About West Liberty
The West Liberty Hilltoppers are coming off a 2016 campaign that saw the squad finish the season with a record of 29-25. The Hilltoppers are currently 4-1 this season and are coming off a weekend series against Chowan University. West Liberty took two-out-of-three games in the series and defeated Chowan 11-8 on Sunday afternoon.
The Hilltoppers are led by senior Yale Hughes, who is hitting .400 this year, including two home runs and six RBIs. In WLU's win on Sunday, Hughes went 3-for-6, tallying five RBIs and scoring two runs in the process.
Also making a major contribution for the Hilltopppers is freshman Tyler Ramsey, who is hitting .417 with two home runs and six RBIs through the first five games.
Following its contests with West Liberty this weekend, Ohio Dominican will prepare to host Mercyhurst on Friday, March 3 and Urbana on Sunday, March 5 in its first home contests of the season.
Contact: Scott Miles