Findlay, OH – On Tuesday, May 3, the University of Findlay baseball team swept a double-header for the first time since April 12 of last season. Entering the final weekend of play, the Oilers have a 16-25 record overall with a 9-17 mark in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action. The two wins over Saginaw Valley State give the Orange and Black the 3-to-1 series win over the Cardinals, the first GLIAC series victory since Findlay beat Hillsdale in a three-game set back in April of 2014.
Saginaw Valley State got on the scoreboard first as they were able to plate a single run in the top of the second inning, but Findlay would come back with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning.
Sophomore Josh Schwerer led the inning off with a single to left field and was followed with a single from sophomore Troy Merriman, advancing Schwerer to third. An infield single off the bat of sophomore Pete Burkett would tie the game at 1-1.
Findlay took the lead for good in the bottom of the third inning in a big way. With two outs, sophomore Christion Smith rolled a single through the left side of the infield and the next batter, junior Peter Yorgen, clubbed his second home run of the season to give the Oilers the 3-1 lead.
The Cardinals would get a single run in the fourth inning but would go quietly in the fifth and sixth. Junior AJ Cecil came on in the seventh and, despite a two-out walk, would pick up his fourth save of the season.
Alexander Theiss, now 2-and-3 on the season, got the victory on the mound after escaping trouble time and again. He delivered seven walks but allowed just two runs on four hits to get the win.
Christion Smith was 2-for-3 with a run scored in the game while Pete Burkett was a perfect 2-for-2 with an RBI.
Now trailing the season series 2-to-1, the Cardinals wasted no time getting ahead as they scored three runs in the first two innings to take a quick 3-0 lead. As they had done in the previous game, however, Findlay had an answer.
Troy Merriman led off the third with a walk and was followed with a hit-by-pitch to Cameron Johnson. A double play looked to end the threat but, after a single from Brian Cappiello, a passed ball would allow Merriman to score from third, making the score 3-1.
Another leadoff walk to Merriman in the fifth would produce a run. Following the walk, he advanced to second on a wild pitch and later scored on a hit from Capiello, who finished with three hits in the game.
With the score 3-2 in favor of the visiting Cardinals, Findlay scored an unconventional tying run as the inning began with a strikeout to Josh Schwerer. The ball squirted away from the catcher, however, allowing Schwerer to reach first base. He then stole second and advanced to third base on an errant throw from the catcher, and scored on a sacrifice fly from Cameron Johnson. That tied the game at 3-3.
The eighth began with a single from Cappeillo, who would advance on a sac bunt from Derrick Herd. With the go-ahead run on second, senior Jordan Garcia delivered with rope back up the middle, scoring Capeillo and giving Findlay a 4-3 lead with an inning to play.
Coach Steve Parrill then turned the ball over to his closer, AJ Cecil, who, despite two hits and a walk, would leave the bases loaded and shut the door for his fifth save of the year.
Earning his first win on the mound was freshman Alex Harter who was stellar out of the bullpen. He gave up one hit and did not allow a run in 4.2 innings of work. He struck out six and walked two.
Cappeillo was 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI while Garcia was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Merriman, despite not collecting a hit, reached base twice and scored two runs.
The Oilers will play their final series of the year when they host Ashland for a four-game set that begins on Saturday, May 7 at 1:00 pm. Before the game, each of the seniors will be recognized and there will also be a special presentation to the Oilers' Make-A-Wish child, Aiden.