Mason, Ohio – The University of Findlay baseball team dropped its first postseason contest in ten years, a first round loss at the 2018 Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) Baseball Tournament at the hands of the top seeded team from the South Division, Kentucky Wesleyan. With the 7-6 loss, the Oilers are now 22-16 on the season while the Panthers improve to 28-19 overall.
With a stiff wind blowing straight out to left field, Findlay's G-MAC Tournament debut featured five home runs, four of which came off the bats of the Panthers, which has now has 51 home runs on the season.
Two scoreless innings kicked off the game before the Oilers struck. Freshman Ryan O'Malley belted his first home run of the season in the top of the third, a two-run blast to give Findlay the lead.
In the top of the fourth inning, two infield hits and an error loaded the bases with no outs, but a force out at home, strike out, and ground out to the pitcher promptly ended that threat.
The bottom of the fifth was when the Panthers first struck as Levi Tanner blasted a home run to center field to pull within one. A couple of two-run blasts over the course of the next two innings would give KWC a 5-3 advantage through seven innings.
Findlay took the lead in the top of the eighth when, after loading the bases with no outs, O'Malley again delivered with a double off the wall in left field to clear the bases and put the Oilers ahead 6-5.
The Panthers tied the game in the eighth and, after a double play in the top of the ninth, got a walk off blast in the ninth to seal the victory and advance in the winner's bracket.
O'Malley ended the game with two hits, a run scored, and a career-high five RBI to lead the Oilers' offense. Fellow freshman Ryan Johsnon and Ethan St. Clair each had two hits as well.
Senior Colin Gossard started on the hill for Findlay and threw 6.1 innings and allowed five earned runs on 14 hits while striking out seven. Senior Josh Robinson got the loss, throwing one innings and allowing one run on two hits.
Findlay will take on Ohio Valley in tomorrow's win-or-go-home game in the consolation bracket. That game will begin at noon.