COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's baseball team rallied for a wild 12-10 win over Ashland in a Wednesday non-conference matchup in Panther Valley featuring two of the top five teams in the Midwest Region.
The Panthers entered the day ranked No. 24 in the nation and slotted fourth in the initial NCAA Midwest Regional Rankings, while the Eagles were fifth in the region. With the win, ODU improved to 28-10, while Ashland fell to 26-13.
ODU took a 10-8 lead in the bottom of the seventh on a two-run homer to right-center by senior Cody Paterniti (Chardon, Ohio), but the Eagles struck back with two runs in the eighth to draw even.
Sophomore Joey Machuga (Canfield, Ohio) smacked a one-out double to left in the eighth and went to third on a grounder. Senior Max Banke (Oakwood, Ohio) was intentionally walked to bring junior Jace Komminsk (Westerville, Ohio) to the plate, and he fell in an 0-2 hole.
However, the next offering sailed to the backstop, allowing Machuga to race home to score the go-ahead run, and Komminsk followed by drilling a single through the left side to score Banke and make it 12-10.
Junior closer Brad Wilson (Alexandria, Ohio) entered in the ninth and issued a leadoff walk, but struck out the next two batters and induced a grounder to first base to notch his eighth save of the season.
The Panthers pounded out 18 hits, tied for their third-most in a game this season, with eight players notching multi-hit efforts. Sophomore Bernee Sanchez (Grove City, Ohio) went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and Banke went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a walk to lead the way.
Junior Colin Kaucher (Toledo, Ohio) went 2-for-5 with two runs and extended his hitting streak to 20 straight games. Machuga, junior Chris Sackett (Loveland, Ohio), Komminsk, Paterniti and junior Brad Hull (Gahanna, Ohio) all notched two hits, while junior Noah Bland (Oberlin, Ohio) had a hit and drew a walk.
The offense clicked early as the first five hitters all singled. Sackett and Banke each registered RBIs and Komminsk picked up one on a fielder's choice grounder that scored both Machuga and Sackett after a throwing error to give the Panthers a 4-0 lead.
Ashland scored twice in the second inning, but ODU answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half as Bland walked and Sanchez singled, with each later scoring on grounders by Kaucher and Machuga, extending the lead to 6-2.
Ashland scored in the fourth to make it 6-3, but Banke countered with a two-out, two-run single to right-center to plate Sanchez and Kaucher and increase the lead to 8-3.
However, Ashland scored three times in the fifth and twice more in the sixth to tie the game at 8-8.
Ohio Dominican remains at home this weekend to take on Walsh in a three-game series, starting at 4 p.m. Friday in Panther Valley.
Contact: Scott Miles