ODU Uses Late-Inning Rallies To Sweep Eagles

Tyler Gray
Tyler Gray

There's no curfew in place for the Ohio Dominican baseball team. The later it gets, the better the Panthers seem to be.

The Panthers used a pair of late-game charges to sweep the Ashland University Eagles in a doubleheader on Saturday (Mar. 22) in Columbus, Ohio. The Eagles and Panthers are expected to be two of the top teams in the GLIAC this season. This twinbill lived up to that billing.

ODU scored a run in the bottom of the seventh inning to win the first game, 4-3. In the second game, AU took a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning. The Panthers scored three times in their half of the inning and slammed the door on the Eagles in the seventh for a 6-5 win.

Ashland is 10-9, 0-4 in the GLIAC. Ohio Dominican is 12-7 and 2-2. The teams will play a single game on Sunday (Mar. 23).

In the first game, the Panthers saddled AU's Vince Frate with his first loss of the season. Frate (4-1) went 6.2 innings and allowed four runs - two earned - on eight hits. He walked two and struck out two.

In the bottom of the seventh with the game tied, second baseman Drew Ryan led off with a single. A sacrifice bunt by catcher Kyle Tisdale advanced Ryan to second base. After a pair of intentional walks, Jacob Horsley lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to bring Ryan home.

The win went to relief pitcher Vince Bartolone, who worked 1.2 innings and didn't allow a run. The Eagles got one hit off of Bartolone.

Third baseman Wade Kaido and designated hitter Greg Ludwig both went 2-for-4 for Ashland. Catcher Adam Vasil and outfielder Nick Edwards went 2-for-3.

In the second game, AU first baseman Tyler Gray belted his team-high second homer of the season and drove in three runs. Edwards was 2-for-3 and second baseman Stephen James doubled.

ODU wiped out a two-run AU lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Horsley tied the game, 5-5 with a homer. The go-ahead run scored on a single by Ryan.

That uprising came against AU starter and loser Alex Smith. He went the distance - six innings - and was touched for 11 hits. Smith walked two and struck out four.

The win went to Sean Blackburn (3-0), who gave up five runs (three earned) in six innings. He allowed eight hits. Bartolone picked up his fifth save of the year with a scoreless seventh inning.