Toledo, OH – The University of Findlay baseball team split a double-header on Saturday, March 12 to hold the Oilers' record steady at 5-5. The games vs. Gannon each went to extra innings with the Knights winning the first game, 4-2, and Findlay walking-off to a final score of 3-2 in the second contest.
In the first contest, the Golden Knights, who came into the game with a 10-4 record, got on the board first in the fourth and fifth innings as they scored single runs in each of those frames. Findlay answered in the fifth with their first run of the day when sophomore Josh Schwerer singled to score sophomore Troy Merriman.
The Oilers' next run came in the bottom of the seventh inning, needing to score a run to extend the game. Junior Jordan Garcia walked to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Cameron Johnson. A wild pitch advanced both runners and, with two outs, Schwerer struck out on a ball in the dirt. The ball got away from the catcher Nate Cardy and Garcia crossed the plate to tie the game. Cardy threw to first attempting to get Schwerer out on the play. Meanwhile, Merriman, who was on second, rounded third and headed for home to try and win the game. He was thrown out sliding into home but the game was then tied at two heading into the eighth.
Gannon was able to tack on a pair of runs off of freshman Mark Delas, who tossed a no-hitter against the Golden Knights just a week and a half ago. Those two runs were enough as the Oilers went one-two-three in the bottom of the eighth.
The Oilers' starting pitcher in the game was sophomore Colin Gosard who pitched well going seven innings and allowing two runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out four.
The second game featured solid pitching as well as the Oilers did not cross home plate until the seventh inning.
Gannon got a pair of runs in the fourth off the starter, junior Austin Rodesky, but that was all the offense they would muster as Rodesky shut down a Gannon offense that entered with a .359 batting average, the ninth best in DII this season.
Again behind in the seventh inning, Findlay needed some magic to try and tie or win the ball game. Austin Adams doubled to left center to begin the inning and was pulled for pinch runner, freshman Jordan Williams. Williams advanced to third on a wild pitch and, after a walk and infield single from sophomore Anthony Ondrejcak, the Oilers had the bases loaded with one out.
A walk to Troy Merriman plated the first run for Findlay and the next batter, junior Logan Harrah, grounded out to first base, but scored Jordan Garcia to tie the game.
In the bottom of the eighth with the score tied at two, Findlay got a one-out baserunner in the form of sophomore Pete Burkett. He walked and was followed by an infield single from Jordan Garcia. With runners on first and second, sophomore Christion Smith roped a single down the left field line, plating Pete Burkett and giving Findlay the walk-off win.
Austin Rodesky was stellar in his third start of the season and picked up the victory improving his record to 3-0. He went the distance, pitching eight innings and allowing two runs on three hits. He struck out 11 and walked two. In his three starts, Rodesky has struck out 12, 12, and 11 hitters, respectively. His strikeouts-per-nine-innings are the 11th best in the country.
Smith ended the game with a pair of hits, including the walk off single, to lead the offense.
Garcia was 1-for-2 in the game, scored a run, and had two walks.
Findlay's next game will come next Friday, March 18 when they travel to Beckley, West Virginia to take on Malone University.