Close calls: Baseball splits with Gannon

By Alyssa Grevenkamp
@Grevenkampa

The University of Findlay baseball team had a double header on Saturday afternoon in Toledo against Gannon. The Oilers previously faced off against them on their Florida trip over spring break.

The first game against the Knights the Oilers fought hard, but just came up short of a win. Gannon struck first putting up one run in the top of the fourth inning and scored again in the top of the fifth.

Findlay answered back in the bottom of the fifth with a single from sophomore Josh Schwerer that scored sophomore Troy Merriman.

The Oilers’ next run came in the bottom of the seventh inning. 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.

After the wild seventh inning, the game went into the eighth inning where the Oilers brought in freshman pitcher Mark Delas to come in to relieve Colin Gosard. Gosard pitched a nice game striking out four and giving up only two runs.

Delas pitched a no-hitter against the Knights almost a week and a half ago, but this time would be different as the Knights had Delas’ number. Gannon was able to tack on two runs in the eighth and that would be enough as the Oilers went one-two-three in the bottom of the eighth.

The Oilers had one more game to try to redeem themselves after the 4-2 loss.

“I think after we lost game one we came out even stronger in game two because we knew we had to find a way to get at least one win,” said junior shortstop Kevin Schrock.

The Oilers did find a way in game two to come out on top, but they would need extra innings to do so.

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 the Gannon offense that entered with a .359 batting average, the ninth best in Division II this season.

“We knew Rodesky was going to be solid. We know we can count on him every time he goes out there,” said Schrock. “Our whole pitching staff is phenomenal which takes some pressure off our lineup because the pitching is going to keep us in every game.”

As Rodesky did his work on the mound for majority of the game, the Oilers bats finally started to come alive in the seventh inning.

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.

“We had good at-bats and swung at good pitches,” said junior catcher Miguel Valdez. “The team has a lot of heart and passion during the game. In the last inning, we worked together as one to try to get the win.”

That heart and passion poured out in the bottom of the eighth as sophomore Pete Burkett got on base in the form of a walk with one out. Jordan Garcia then singled putting runners on first and second. Sophomore Christion Smith roped a single down the left field line that scored Burkett and gave 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 allowed 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.

The Oilers now improve to 5-5 on the season. UF baseball will be back in action at 4 p.m. today against Malone at Linda K. Epling Stadium in Beckley, West Virginia.

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