COLUMBUS, Ohio – Freshman Nick Mazzone (Clarkston, Mich.) delivered his first career walkoff basehit to score sophomore Dylan West (Westerville, Ohio) and lift Ohio Dominican's baseball team to a 4-3 victory over Cedarville in non-conference action Tuesday from Panther Valley.
Mazzone's hit helped snap a six-game losing skid for ODU, which will close its regular season with four GLIAC contests and a chance to qualify for its second consecutive conference tournament.
With the score tied at 3-3, West slapped the first pitch he saw in the ninth down the left field line for a standup, one-out double. After a groundout, Mazzone hit a 1-0 pitch back up the middle and into center field, and West easily beat the throw to home, setting off a mobbing of Mazzone by his teammates at first base.
The Panthers (23-21) fought back from a 2-0 deficit in the fifth and a 3-2 deficit in the eighth to earn the victory. ODU tied the game at 2-2 without the benefit of a hit in the bottom of the fifth inning, as junior Kevin Lydic (Dublin, Ohio) was hit by a pitch and freshman Kyle Burson (Brunswick, Ohio) walked to start the inning.
Junior Marcus Schluessler (Zanesville, Ohio) laid down a bunt that was bobbled, then thrown away, allowing Lydic to score, and freshman Jimmy Gravett (Grove City, Ohio) hit a sacrifice fly to right to bring in Burson.
Cedarville (21-22) loaded the bases with nobody out in the eighth but managed just one run on a fielder's choice grounder, as senior Alex Borgan (Pickerington, Ohio) escaped any further trouble by inducing a double play grounder to end the frame.
The Panthers then knotted the score at 3-3 in the bottom half, as senior Anthony Raschilla (Girard, Ohio) blooped a double down the right field line, and pinch-runner Tony Evans (Medway, Ohio) scored on a headfirst dive after a sacrifice fly from sophomore Jacob Horsley (Thornville, Ohio).
Borgan (4-4) then worked around a jam in the ninth, stranding runners on second and third with a strikeout to end the frame, setting up West and Mazzone's heroics in the bottom half.
ODU had eight hits compared to just six for Cedarville, but the Yellow Jackets stranded 13 runners on base as Panther pitchers walked six and hit three batters.
Ohio Dominican will take on Walsh in a single nine inning game in Canton at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.
Contact: Scott Miles