Seniors Shine as Baseball Takes Down No. 2 Minnesota State

Sean Blackburn
Sean Blackburn

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – Senior Sean Blackburn (Wadsworth, Ohio) tossed a complete game shutout and classmate Anthony Raschilla (Girard, Ohio) hit two big doubles to lead Ohio Dominican's baseball team to a 2-0 upset over No. 2 Minnesota State on Tuesday morning.

The victory was ODU's first over a top-five team since defeating No. 1 Georgia College in 2011.

Blackburn was dominant from the first frame on, allowing just five hits without issuing a walk. He struck out five in his first collegiate shutout, and it was also the first nine-inning complete game he has thrown.

The right-hander needed just 106 pitches (72 strikes) to shut down the defending national runner-up Mavericks, who entered play today averaging nearly seven runs per game.

MSU threatened in the second as an ODU error helped put runners on second and third, but a ground out and a fly out ended the inning.

The Panthers cracked the scoring column in the fourth as senior Jossue Delgado (Barinas, Venezuela) singled and stole second, then came in to score on Raschilla's double to center, giving the Panthers a 1-0 advantage.

Blackburn allowed just one base hit in the fourth and fifth innings and worked a 1-2-3 sixth before the Mavericks put runners on second and third with one out in the seventh. However, Blackburn escaped trouble as a strikeout and a ground out halted the threat.

After a scoreless eighth inning, the Panthers gave Blackburn some breathing room in the ninth as Raschilla legged out his second double and came in on an RBI single by junior Phil Jaskot (Upper Arlington, Ohio).

Blackburn then worked a perfect inning in the bottom half to seal the victory for ODU, which improved to 5-4. The Mavericks fell to 10-3.

It was another strong outing for a member of the ODU staff, which has now just allowed five runs in the past four games.

The Panthers are back in action with an 11 a.m. game against Winona State on Wednesday.

Contact: Scott Miles

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