COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's baseball team had chances late in both ends of Saturday's G-MAC doubleheader, but the Panthers came up short, falling 8-7 in the opener and 6-3 in game two at Panther Valley.
ODU, ranked No. 15 in the NCBWA poll, falls to 25-10 (13-5 G-MAC), while Hillsdale improved to 18-20 (15-5 G-MAC).
In the opener, ODU trailed 8-3 heading to the ninth before closing to within a run. Junior Genesis Hillard (Cincinnati, Ohio) had a pinch-hit single, as did sophomore Bernee Sanchez (Grove City, Ohio) and sophomore Jonathan Conkle (Massillon, Ohio), with Conkle's base hit bringing in Hillard.
However, a strikeout ended the game as the Panthers fell just short.
Hillsdale had jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first inning before Kaucher hit a solo homer to right and senior Max Banke (Oakwood, Ohio) hit an RBI single up the middle to cut it to 3-2 in the bottom half.
The Chargers added single runs in the third and fourth frames, though ODU stayed within 5-3 after Banke doubled and later scored on an RBI grounder by senior Cody Paterniti (Chardon, Ohio) in the bottom of the fourth.
Hillsdale put up two more runs in the fifth, though, and added an unearned run in the sixth to take its 8-3 lead.
Both teams finished with 12 hits in the contest. Machuga went 3-for-5 at the dish, while Kaucher went 2-for-3 with a walk, Banke went 2-for-4, and senior Justin Childers (Pickerington, Ohio) hit a pair of doubles.
Sophomore Clay Davies (Massillon, Ohio) tossed 4.0 innings of quality relief, holding the Chargers to two hits and an unearned run. He struck out three.
In game two, the Panthers jumped to a 2-0 lead as Kaucher hit a soaring two-run shot to left-center in the bottom of the first inning.
The score remained that way until the fourth when Hillsdale hit a pair of homers to go in front 3-2, and the Chargers tacked on two more runs in the fifth and one in the seventh to make it 6-2.
The Panthers again tried to rally, as Hillard walked and came in to score on Banke's double to right-center. Paterniti walked and with two outs, Childers was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
However, a fielder's choice grounder would end the game, as ODU managed just four hits in the contest.
The two teams complete the four game series with a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Contact: Scott Miles