FLORENCE, S.C. – Sophomore Joey Machuga (Canfield, Ohio) nearly matched the G-MAC RBI record and Ohio Dominican's baseball team stayed red-hot at the plate as the Panthers closed out their South Carolina trip with an 18-6 win over Fairmont State on Tuesday.
Machuga finished 4-for-5 with a walk and knocked in seven runs, which is one shy of tying the conference record for RBIs in a game. He had RBI singles in both the first and second innings, a two-run single in the seventh, and cleared the bases with a double in the eighth to account for his seven RBIs.
Four other Panthers had multi-hit efforts as ODU rapped out 16 hits while also drawing five walks in the game. Senior Justin Childers (Pickerington, Ohio) went 3-for-4 with a walk, five runs scored and an RBI, with his five runs scored equaling a G-MAC record in a game.
Junior Noah Bland (Oberlin, Ohio) went 3-for-4 with three runs scored, two RBIs and stole two bases, while senior Cody Paterniti (Chardon, Ohio) and junior Max Banke (Oakwood, Ohio) both went 2-for-5 and scored two runs, with Paterniti adding two RBIs.
ODU already entered today's contest leading the G-MAC in batting average, runs per game and on-base percentage, and did nothing to hurt those numbers. The Panthers (11-4) have now scored in double figures in three straight games, five of their past seven contests, and seven games overall this spring. This is also the eighth time ODU has recorded 10 or more hits in a game.
Trailing 3-1 heading to the bottom of the second, the Panthers hung a crooked number on the board by plating six runs, taking advantage of a pair of Fairmont State errors in the process. Paterniti hit a two-run single, while Childers, Machuga and junior Chris Sackett (Loveland, Ohio) each had RBI singles to put the Panthers on top 7-3.
The Falcons inched closer in the third, scoring a pair of runs, but the Panthers pushed across four more runs in the fifth frame to pull away. Bland had an RBI single, stole second, then scored on an RBI basehit by junior Colin Kaucher (Toledo, Ohio). Childers and Kaucher then each scored on wild pitches to put ODU in front 11-5.
Machuga's two-run single in the seventh made it a 13-6 ball game, and the Panthers closed it out with a five-run eighth inning. Bland had another RBI single and scored on a wild pitch before Machuga's three-run double capped the scoring.
ODU's bullpen was also strong in this contest, working six innings and yielding just one run on five hits. Senior Dustin Cowart (Hoover, Ala.) picked up the win, allowing two hits in three scoreless innings while striking out three. Senior Tyler Magley (Baltimore, Ohio) struck out two in a scoreless inning, as did junior Brad Wilson (Alexandria, Ohio).
Ohio Dominican will play its home and G-MAC opener on Friday as the Panthers host Ohio Valley for a 1 p.m. doubleheader. The Panthers will then remain home for a 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday against Cedarville.
Contact: Scott Miles