By Alyssa Grevenkamp
The University of Findlay baseball team made its annual trip to Florida over spring break. While the Oilers had some time off to catch some rays, they also had to take care of business on the field.
The Oilers played eight games during their week-long trip. During the first half of the week, they struggled to put both their offense and defense together to come up with a victory.
Later in the week, that would change.
“I believe it was a combination of both offense and defense that helped us win,” said junior left fielder Pete Yorgen. “Our team came out with a lot of energy which helped us get on top early.”
That energy both offensively and defensively helped propel the Oilers to back-to-back wins to close out their Florida trip.
On Thursday, March 3, Findlay looked to get revenge against Gannon who knocked off the Oilers earlier that day 12-5. This time, everything seemed to be clicking for the Oilers.
The story of this game was Mark Delas who was more than stellar for the Oilers. In his first career start, he threw a complete game shutout against one of the best offensive teams in the region. On top of that, Delas didn’t allow a single hit and may be the first Oiler to ever throw a no hitter in Oilers baseball history.
“Our defense did a great job making plays behind our pitchers and our pitching did a great job giving us a chance to win,” said Yorgen.
Delas couldn’t have gotten the win without his offense though.
In the second inning, junior Austin Adams led off with a single that was followed by a single from sophomore Pete Burkett. Senior Miguel Valdez grounded into a double-play but did score Adams from third base, giving the Oilers the lead.
Sophomore Josh Schwerer hit a one-out double in the third and later scored on a single by Yorgen giving Findlay a 2-0 lead.
“Once we got a couple runs on the board, we just kept trying to tack on a few more to give our pitchers some more room to work with,” said Yorgen.
Those two runs would be all that Findlay would need as they beat Gannon 2-0.
The final game of the trip was on Friday against Wheeling Jesuit. The Oilers continued their winning ways in this game as well.
The Oilers got things started by putting one run on the board in the third inning. They wouldn’t stop there though.
Yorgen led off the inning with a single and advanced on a single from Delas, who finished with three hits in the game. A fielders’ choice from Miguel Valdez moved runners to second and third when sophomore Cameron Johnson singled, plating Yorgen. Sophomore Troy Merriman followed with an RBI single that scored Valdez and gave Findlay a 3-0 lead.
Findlay concluded its scoring in the seventh inning when Delas scored on a passed ball.
It wasn’t just the offense doing all the work Friday afternoon. Junior Austin Rodesky got his second start of the week and was lights out. Rodesky struck out 12 batters for the second consecutive start.
The Oilers finished the tournament with an overall record of 4-4. These games will help the Oilers tune up for Gliac play coming up in the next couple of weeks.
“We played against some good teams from our region and it helps us see where we stack up against them. It helped show us some things we need to work on before our first conference series,” said Yorgen.
The Oilers will be back in action against Gannon at Mercy Fields in Toledo. They will play a double header on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. and on Sunday at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.