COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's baseball team made its 2019 Senior Day one to remember as the Panthers scored two walk off victories against visiting Walsh, winning by scores of 2-1 and 6-5 on Sunday.
In the opener, it was senior Noah Bland (Oberlin, Ohio) lining a basehit to center field that chased home sophomore Kenny Pettay (Groveport, Ohio). In game two, junior Joey Machuga (Canfield, Ohio) ripped a liner to the wall in left that scored senior Genesis Hillard (Cincinnati, Ohio) and finished off the sweep.
With the victories, ODU improved to 25-20 on the spring (18-9 G-MAC), while Walsh fell to 24-19 (17-10.)
Bland's hit in the opener made a winner out of senior Mitchell Bault (Maineville, Ohio), who was terrific in his final start in Panther Valley. Bault allowed a solo home run in the first inning but nothing more, scattering a total of four hits in his complete game effort.
He needed just 92 pitches to shut down the Cavs offense, throwing 60 strikes, and was particularly efficient early on as he worked through the first five frames in just 59 pitches.
After Walsh's first inning homer, ODU tied the game in the second inning as freshman Michael Lang (Cincinnati, Ohio) singled to start the frame and scored after classmate Manny Vorhees (Wapakoneta, Ohio) pounded a double into right-center.
The Panthers turned double plays to end both the sixth and seventh innings and keep Walsh off the board, and ODU performed its magic in the seventh after its first two hitters were retired. Senior Chris Sackett (Loveland, Ohio) walked and Vorhees reached on catcher's interference.
Pettay came in to run for Sackett and scored easily as Bland ripped his basehit into center.
Bland and senior Colin Kaucher (Toledo, Ohio) each had two hits to lead the offense.
In game two, the Panthers had a quick start offensively as each of the first four batters hit the ball sharply. Freshman Thomas Staab (Bellville, Ohio) singled, went to second on Kaucher's fielder's choice, then scored after senior Hillard doubled to left-center. A base hit to right by junior Jonathan Conkle (Massillon, Ohio) plated Hillard to give ODU a 2-0 lead.
Walsh stormed in front with a five-run third inning, but the Panthers answered in the fourth. Lang and Machuga singled to start the frame and advanced on Sackett's sacrifice. Vorhees then singled off the pitcher, scoring Lang, and Bland hit a sac fly to bring home Machuga.
Vorhees, who advanced to second on the sac fly with an acrobatic slide around the tag, then broke for third before the pitcher went into his motion. The throw to third trickled away and Vorhees was able to tag the bag, then take home to tie it at 5-5.
Sophomore Tim Zeller (Mount Vernon, Ohio) entered in the sixth and came up with a pair of strikeouts while Kaucher also hosed a would-be basestealer at second. The Panthers loaded the bases with one out in the bottom half, but could not score.
Zeller blanked the Cavs in the seventh, though, and Kaucher led off the bottom half with a ground rule double to right. Hillard was hit by a pitch, and after a fielder's choice and a ground out, Machuga came up and delivered the game-winning knock to score Hillard.
Machuga finished 3-for-4 in the game, the only Panther with more than one hit.
Zeller improved to 4-0 with the win, fanning three in his 2.0 innings of relief. Senior Garret Sendelbach (Tiffin, Ohio) allowed three earned runs in 5.0 innings, punching out four.
Ohio Dominican and Walsh will close their series with a single contest at 2 p.m. Monday at Panther Valley.
Contact: Scott Miles