COLUMBUS, Ohio – Down to his last strike with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth, junior Anthony Raschilla (Girard, Ohio) ripped a liner that stayed just fair inside the right field line to score two runs and give Ohio Dominican's baseball team a thrilling 11-10 victory over Ohio Wesleyan on Thursday.
Raschilla's clutch hit capped a wild comeback by the Panthers, who found themselves trailing 8-0 through five innings, going in front 9-8 in the eighth, then needing some last at bat magic after yielding two runs in the top of the ninth.
With the non-conference home win, ODU improved to 15-21 on the year, while the Battling Bishops fell to 12-11.
After falling in that 8-0 hole, the Panthers scored a run in the sixth as junior Christian Prince (Hudsonville, Mich.) singled through the left side of the infield to plate Raschilla, who had begun the frame with a leadoff hit.
The Panthers left two runners on board in that inning, though, and stranded two more in the seventh to keep the deficit at 8-1 heading to the eighth.
That's where the fireworks began for ODU, as junior Bryan Rudolph (Pickerington, Ohio) led off with a walk, sophomore Phil Jaskot (Upper Arlington, Ohio) reached on an error and Prince reached on an infield single to load the bases with no outs. Freshman Jacob Horsley (Thornville, Ohio) drew a walk and sophomore Marcus Schluessler (Zanesville, Ohio) was plunked to score two runs and keep the bases loaded.
Senior Ryan Rovnak (Poland, Ohio) then singled through the left side to score another run, and junior Jossue Delgado (Barinas, Venezuela) was also hit by a pitch to bring in another run and make it 8-5 with still no outs.
Raschilla delivered a sacrifice fly to right that scored Schluessler without a throw, and sophomore Kyle Tisdale (Uniontown, Ohio) stepped to the plate with two on and one out. After falling behind in the count 0-2, Tisdale turned on a fastball and crushed it high over the wall in left field, giving the Panthers their first lead at 9-8.
The Panthers scored eight runs in the frame on the benefit of just three hits.
Needing a run to extend to the game, Prince started the ninth with a leadoff single to left and was replaced by pinch-runner Dylan West (Westerville, Ohio). Horsley laid down a perfect bunt and beat the throw to first for a hit, and Rovnak drew a one-out walk to load the bases.
A strikeout brought Raschilla to the plate with a chance to be the hero, and after fouling the first pitch back to the screen and swinging through the second pitch, he responded with the game-winning knock down the line, which easily scored both runners without a throw.
That hit capped off a 3-for-5 performance for the first baseman, who also drove in three. Tisdale had three hits as well and drove in all three of his runs on what was his second homer of the season, Prince had a season-high three hits and Horsley and Schluessler also had two hits apiece.
The Panthers finished with 16 hits in the game, their second-best tally of the season, and the 11 runs scored were their most since a 14-2 win over Saginaw Valley on March 30.
Sophomore Cole Carpenter (Zanesville, Ohio) came on in the ninth and picked up the victory for the Panthers, while freshman Drew Murray (Somerset, Ohio) had his best outing of the season, pitching three innings of scoreless, two-hit relief to keep ODU in the game in the late innings. He struck out a season-best three in the effort.
Ohio Dominican returns to conference play this weekend with a three game series at Wayne State. The Panthers and Warriors play a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Contact: Scott Miles