Bats Go On the Attack As Eagles, Panthers Split Twinbill

Bats Go On the Attack As Eagles, Panthers Split Twinbill

            An exterminator could have made a pretty penny Monday (Apr. 9) afternoon at AU's Donges Field.

            Pitchers from the baseball teams of Ohio Dominican and Ashland would have paid good money for someone who knew how to control bats. In Monday's first game, the Eagles scored 17 runs on 13 hits in a 17-2 victory. The second game saw the teams combine for 23 hits with ODU holding on for a 10-5 triumph.

            The Eagles (18-12/10-6 GLIAC) shouldn't quibble with that split. They won three of four games from ODU in this series and entered Monday's action in a three-way tie for second place in the GLIAC, one game behind first place Wayne State. AU didn't take a step back in this series. The Eagles are in a good spot as they prepare to host Saginaw Valley State (9-5 in GLIAC play) this coming weekend.

            As for the sweet spot, that's where the AU hitters spent most of Monday when they were at the plate. In the first game, Ashland rapped out five extra-base hits.  Sophomore third baseman Tyler Gray (Plain City, Ohio/Jonathan Alder) was 3-for-4 with five RBI.  Gray homered for the eighth time this season and ripped his fourth double.  Junior Shayne Herold (LeRoy, N.Y./Genesee C.C.) belted his first home run and was 3-for-3 with four RBI.

            Hot-hitting sophomore outfielder Wade Kaido (Zanesville, Ohio) was 2-for-3 and collected his eighth double.  Kaido, like most of the Eagles, showed exceptional discipline at the plate. The Eagles never gave away at bats.

            ODU (16-12/8-6) took a short-lived 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning off of junior Zach Botjer (Deshler, Ohio/Sinclair C.C.).  AU responded with six runs in the third inning, four runs in both the fourth and fifth innings and three runs in the sixth. Botjer ended up going five innings and allowing two runs on five hits.  He's 3-3.

            The Eagles didn't really stop hitting in the second game.  AU scored three times in the first and led, 3-2 after one inning. But ODU put Ashland in a hole by scoring six times in the top of the second inning. That barrage drove Herold (1-2) from the mound in favor of sophomore lefty Cole Hudson (Dresden, Ohio/Zanesville). The Panthers had five hits in the inning.  John Bowron started the uprising with a triple to right field. Later in the inning, Kyle Trisdale hit a three-run homer off of Hudson. Trisdale went 3-for-3 and drove in five runs.

            Even with an 8-2 cushion, the Panthers couldn't rest easy. Ashland kept putting runners on base, the Eagles never went out one-two-three the entire game.  The Eagles stranded 13 runners.  In the bottom of the seventh the third of three ODU pitchers, Erik Lamka, got two quick outs. Then second baseman Giancarlo Saia (Mentor, Ohio/Lake Catholic) singled to center field and Kaido was plunked by a pitch. First baseman Austin Erb (Mechanicsville, Va./Hanover), who already had two hits and two RBI in the game, was retired on a fly ball to center field to end the game.

            Kaido and Erb doubled for the Eagles in the second game.  Ryan Rovnak hit his first homer of the year for ODU. The win went to Austin Bueter, who allowed five runs (only one earned) on nine hits in 4.1 innings. He walked two and struck out six.