Oilers Split with No. 17 Panthers | Earn First Conference Tournament Berth in Ten Years

Oilers Split with No. 17 Panthers | Earn First Conference Tournament Berth in Ten Years

Findlay, Ohio – In their final home series of the year, the University of Findlay baseball team split a Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) double header with Ohio Dominican, ranked no. 17 in the country. The Oilers dropped the first contest by a score of 7-2 but dominated in the nightcap to earn an 8-3 victory. With the split, Findlay's record is now 22-14 overall with a 15-9 mark in league play while Ohio Dominican moves their record to 31-13 overall and 17-7 in the league. With the win in the game two, the Oilers broke their 11-game losing streak against the Panthers and punched their ticket to the G-MAC Baseball Tournament which will be held next week at Prasco Park in Mason, Ohio. It will be Findlay's first appearance at the conference tournament since they finished runner-up in the 2008 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic (GLIAC) Championship.

Game 1 (L 7-2) Box Score

Coming into the weekend looking to close out the G-MAC North Division title, the Panthers flexed their muscle early. On just the fifth pitch of the game, ODU's Bernee Sanchez smashed a ball over the centerfield fence to take an early lead. Another run in the top half of the inning game the Black and Gold a 2-0 advantage in the first.

Findlay answered with one in the bottom of the first, but again, the Panthers used the deep ball to get on the board. This time it was a two-run homerun off the bat of Justin Childers, the heavy favorite to collect the honor as the G-MAC's Most Valuable Player.

Another run in the fourth by ODU gave the visitors a 5-1 lead. Findlay's Trevor Anderson delivered with an RBI in the eighth, but the Panthers added two more in the ninth to seal the victory.

Senior Alexander Theiss took the loss on the hill as he threw 7.2 innings and allowed five runs, four earned, on eight hits. He walked one and struck out seven out of the 33 batters he faced in the game.

Junior Derrick Herd and freshman Tyler Burley each finished with two hits and a run scored in the game. However, the offense was led by junior Trevor Anderson who entered the game for senior Troy Merriman who was hit in the head by a pitch in the second inning. Anderson finished the game a perfect 3-for-3 and had an RBI.

Game 2 (W 8-3) Box Score

The second contest was a complete 180 from the opener as it was the Oilers who came out looking like the more dominant team. Findlay tore up the Panthers' pitching to the tune of 15 hits and plated eight runs to humble to 17th ranked squad in the country.

In the bottom of the first, Findlay pieced together five hits and scored three runs to take the early lead. Junior Nic Varda delivered with an RBI double in the inning while freshman Ryan Johnson and senior Josh Schwerer each had RBI singles.

The Panthers did score a pair of runs in the top of the second, but the Oilers scored single runs in the next two innings to hold a 5-2 lead through three innings.

Although the Oilers already held the lead, it was not until the fifth inning that Findlay's momentum would reach its peak. Freshman pitcher Jordan Bekier came out of the bullpen in relief of starter Alex Harter in the top of the fifth. Bekier breezed through the Panthers' three, four, and five hitters, striking out the side.

Findlay used that fire in the bottom of the inning as Casey Gould led off with a double down the leftfield line. After a sac bunt, a double off the bat of Trevor Anderson pushed Findlay's lead to four. The Oilers weren't done yet as freshman Ethan St. Clair roped a single to left field that scored Anderson to put the home team ahead 7-2.

In the bottom of the sixth, Findlay got the nail in the coffin, a home run to straight-away centerfield off the bat of Nic Varda.

The Panthers scored on a home run by Bernee Sanchez in the seventh, but it was not enough as the Oilers would snag the win and earn their spot in the league tournament next week.

Eight of the Oilers nine hitters recorded a hit in the second game and five players finished with two or more hits. Ethan St. Clair, Derrick Herd, and Trevor Anderson all had two hits in the contest while Nic Varda and Casey Gould each had three hits. Varda, who finished the game with seven total bases, scored twice and had three RBI to lead the Orange and Black.

Alex Harter earned the win on the mound, his fourth win of the season. He tossed four innings and allowed two runs, none earned, while striking out two and walking four. Jordan Bekier came in relief and threw three innings and allowed just one run on one hit. He struck out five.

Findlay is back on the diamond tomorrow, May 6 for their Senior Day contest against the Panthers. That game will begin at noon.