The Oilers first game of a double-header on March 7th marked third time in seven games that the University of Findlay baseball team played extra innings and they fell short by a final of 11-6 in the 14th to the Point Park Pioneers on the final day of their trip to Auburndale, Florida. The loss dropped the Oilers to 2-5 and they will look to rebound in Game 2.
Findlay's offense came around in the first inning of action as they tallied three runs in the opening frame. Junior Tyler Donaldson reached on an error and sophomore Jordan Garcia was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second with one out for senior Reid Rothenbuhler. The short stop laced a double to right field, scoring Donaldson. With runners on second and third, freshman Austin Adams chopped a groundball to short. The ball was booted, allowing both runners to score unearned runs.
The lead would not long as the Pioneers tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the first, roughing up Oilers starter senior Derek Draper, highlighted by a two-run homerun.
The score would remain tied until the bottom of the 5th inning when Point Park scored two more runs, making their lead 5-3.
In the top of the 6th, Garcia led off with a single and, after a fly ball, reached third on an Adams double. Following a strikeout for the second out, senior Dylan Cintula reached on an error by the second basemen, scoring Garcia and bringing the Oilers to within one run, 5-4.
Junior Jake Ireland took over on the mound and shut the Pioneers down in the top of the 7th. This proved to be big for Findlay as they would need to tie the game in the bottom half in order to keep playing.
The Oilers got the run they needed from senior Joe Sickler who, with one out, hit his second homerun of the year, tying the game at 5-5 and eventually sending the game to extra innings.
Junior Alex Williams would then come in to pitch for Findlay and held the Pioneers scoreless until the 12th inning when he allowed a run. He gave way to freshman Brandon Ross who ended the threat.
In the top of the 14th inning, Point Park would take a lead and not give it up. With Ross still on the mound, Michael DeJesus hit a three-run home run, making the lead 9-6, ending Ross' day on the hill. The Pioneers would score twice more in the inning and when the dust had settled, the Oilers were staring at a 11-6 deficit that would prove insurmountable.
Ross would take the loss for the Oilers on the hill.
The second game of the double-header saw the Oilers fall by a final of 5-1 thanks to dominant pitching from Pioneers starter Isaiah Marsh who held Findlay scoreless through 6 innings.
Findlay squandered a good scoring chance in the top of the third inning as sophomore Kris Hayward led off with a single to center and, following a fly out, moved to third on a Michael Louis double. With runners on second and third and one out, Findlay hitters failed to produce and the game remained tied at 0-0.
That score would remain until the 5th inning when Point Park produced two runs off Findlay starter, junior Jon Walker thanks in part to an error by the Oiler defense. The Pioneers weren't done there as they touched Walker for one more run in the bottom of the sixth, ending his day. Ireland then took the hill and allowed two runs to score, making the score 5-0 heading into the top of the 7th.
Needing 5 runs, the Oilers led off the 7th with a homerun from Garcia, his first of the year, but would not make any more noise, ending the game.
Taking the loss on the hill was starter Jon Walker.
The loss drops Findlay to 2-6 on the season and ends their Florida trip. The next time the Oilers will take the field will be Tuesday, March 11th as they travel to Chillicothe, OH for a neutral site double-header vs. the Blue Knights of Urbana University. The first pitch is set to happen at 1:00 pm.
Photo Courtesy of Amanda Gladczak