The University of Findlay baseball team loaded up and headed to Columbus, OH for their Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) series vs. the Panthers of Ohio Dominican and split the first two games. Game 1 saw the Oilers finish in front by a final of 9-3 and the Panthers came back to take Game 2 by a score of 7-1. The split moved Findlay to 9-19 overall and 6-12 in conference play.
As soon as the Oilers stepped off the bus, their bats were hot as they took an early lead and never looked back. In the top of the first, Jordan Garcia rolled a single through the left side and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Tyler Donaldson. Reid Rothenbuhler then laced a single to right center, scoring Garcia and giving Findlay the lead. The offense was not done there. The next batter, Derek Draper, doubled to left field and following a strikeout, Rothenbuhler scored on a Nick Andonides single. A strikeout ended the inning but two runs and four hits was good news for the Oilers.
The Panthers would bring the score to 2-1 with a single run in the third but Findlay put the game away with a big sixth inning.
Draper began the inning by reaching on a throwing error by the third baseman and Joe Sickler walked. The third baseman made another error on a ball by Antonides and the first run of seven scored. Kevin Schrock bunted for a hit and Michael Louis singled. With the bases loaded, Garcia singled to left, scoring Antonides. Hits by Donaldson and Rothenbuhler and a sacrifice fly by Draper made the score 9-1.
ODU made a comeback attempt in the bottom of the seventh inning as they scored a pair of runs, making the score 9-3, but it was not enough to overcome the large deficit put on by the Oilers.
Jon Walker went the distance on the mound for the Oilers. He gave up just three runs, two earned, on eight hits. He walked two and struck out three on 125 pitches.
Garcia had three hits, an RBI, and scored a run in the win. Also collecting three hits was Schrock. Rothenbuhler collected a pair of hits and two RBI and Donaldson also picked up two RBI.
The night cap was a flipped script as ODU used a big inning of their own to take an insurmountable lead.
Each starting pitcher went toe-to-toe through two innings as neither surrendered a run.
The Oilers took another lead as they scored in the top of inning number three when Louis doubled to left center and later came around to score on a Donaldson single. However, that was the last run Findlay would score and the lead would not last long as the Panthers answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning.
Ohio Dominican put the game away with four runs in the bottom of the fourth and two more runs in the bottom of the fifth, making their lead 7-1.
Derek Draper took the loss on the mound for the Oilers as he went four innings and allowed five runs, three earned, on five hits. He walked one and struck out two.
Louis had two hits for the Oilers, including his third inning double.
The rubber match will be tomorrow afternoon in Columbus and will begin at 1:00pm.