Florence, Ky. – The University of Findlay baseball team began their 2018 campaign with a split against the Wheeling Jesuit Cardinals on Sunday, Feb. 25. The Oilers won the first game by a score of 12-2 and dropped the second in the later innings by a 4-2 decision. Both teams begin their season with 1-1 records as it was Opening Day for each squad.
Game 1 (W: 12-2 | Box Score)
Findlay got things started in a hurry as they would combined to score nine runs in their first three innings of the season, taking a 9-0 lead on the Cardinals. Those scoring plays were highlighted with a triple of the bat of Derrick Herd that scored Casey Gould in the first inning, giving the Oilers their first run of the season. Pete Burkett, Jordan Williams, Ryan O'Malley, and Gould would all finish with at least one RBI in the first three innings.
The offense did not stop as the red hot Oilers bats would score single runs in each of the remaining innings of the game to give the Orange and Black the ten-run victory.
Freshman Ryan O'Malley, getting his first taste of college baseball, had the perfect debut. He finished 4-for-4 at the plate with three runs scored and one run-batted-in. O'Malley, who got the start at catcher, also threw out a pair of runners in the team's winning effort.
Jordan Williams, Derrick Herd, and Troy Merriman all finished with a pair of hits in the contest. Williams led the team with three RBI while Gould, Herd, and Burkett each had two. Gould also scored a pair of runs in the win.
Senior Colin Gossard got his year started right earning the win in his first appearance. He tossed five innings and allowed just one run on two hits. He walked two batters and struck out nine.
The Oilers finished the game with 12 runs on 15 hits and did not commit an error while the Cardinals scored their two runs, single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, on four hits and made four errors.
Game 2 (L: 4-2 | Box Score)
The bats cooled off for the second contest as neither team would score until the fifth inning. WJU took a 1-0 lead in the fifth but the Oilers would answer in the seventh with a pair of runs.
With runners on second and third, Pete Burkett hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Jordan Williams to tie the game at one. Later that inning, O'Malley roped a single to scoring Derrick Herd and giving Findlay the 2-1 lead.
However, the Cardinals would answer with two runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh and scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth after Findlay failed to capitalize on a two-on, no-out situation in the top half of the frame.
Derrick Herd, who finished with five hits in the double-header, was 3-for-5 in the second contest, scoring one run.
Ryan O'Malley would go 2-for-5 in the night cap which gave the freshman six hits on his first day in the Orange and Black. O'Malley and Burkett would pick up the only RBI's in game 2.
Josh Robinson took the loss on the hill as he threw 2.1 innings and allowed three runs on six hits. He struck out three.
Mark Delas got a strong start on the hill and tossed 5.2 innings and allowing just a single run on seven hits. He struck out ten making it back-to-back seasons that Delas has begun the season with a double-digit strikeout performance.
Findlay will be back on the diamond for their spring trip against West Va. Wesleyan in Auburndale, Florida.