By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Adrian, MI---The Express doubled their season win total tonight with two big, come from behind wins over Adrian College's JV team.
Game 1: Owens 6 Adrian College JV 3
After losing a 2-0 second inning lead and falling behind 3-2, the Express scored two runs in the sixth and seventh innings to capture the victory.
In the second inning, Joe Sickler led off with a double over the third baseman's head and down the left field line. Logan Shullick then singled on a bunt and stole second. That set up an RBI groundout by Nick Collins and a sacrifice fly by Travis Tackett to put Owens up early.
Adrian College then answered back with single runs in the second, third and fourth innings to take a 3-2 lead. In the fourth, Nate Manis started a 6-4-3 double play with the bases loaded to end a threat to score more for Adrian.
In the sixth, the Express took the lead with a two-out rally. Ryan Hotmer singled to lead off the inning and Michael Louis pinch ran for him. After Louis stole second, Sickler struck out and Shullick popped out.
However, Collins and Tackett came through clutch again to give Owens a 4-3 lead as Collins doubled to left field scoring Louis, while Tackett followed with a single to left field that scored Collins.
In the seventh, Ryan Horvath led off with a double to right center. Manis then knocked Horvath in with a single. Manis was thrown out at second on the play helping to allow Horvath to score. The inning wasn't over, though.
Myles Debol then doubled to left center and advanced to third on a fielding error by Adrian's centerfielder. He would score one out later on a passed ball to put Owens up 6-3.
Daniel Heatherly then pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his first save of the season.
Sean Koerber pitched the first three innings for Owens. He allowed four hits, two runs (one earned) and one walk while striking out four. Relieving him were Jeff Davis (one inning), Dane Davis (two innings) and Heatherly.
Dane Davis (2-1) was credited with the win. He retired all six batters he faced in the fifth and sixth innings while striking out three.
Manis led the Express at the plate as he went 2-for-4 with one RBI, while Collins (2-for-3, R, two RBIs) and Tackett (1-for-2, two RBIs) led the Express in RBIs.
Overall, the Express went 9-for-28 at the plate with two walks while striking out five times. They got two stolen bases from Shullick, one from Louis and one from Debol. They made only one error in the field.
Game 2: Owens 6 Adrian College JV 4
Debol pumped his fist after he lined the game winning, two-out RBI single through the right side with two outs in the seventh inning to help give the Express a 6-4 win.
The game was scoreless until the third when Owens plated three in the top half to take the lead. Austin Legate led off with a double to left field . That was followed by an RBI triple by Justin Elder, who rolled his ankle heading into third and was replaced by Trevor Ozenbaugh.
After a pop out by Horvath, Manis singled through the middle to score Ozenbaugh and put Owens up 2-0. Manis then stole second and third before scoring one out later on a double to left center by Daniel Heatherly.
In the third, Adrian College plated two runs off Express starter Adam Jones. Owens escaped further damage thanks to a nice play at shortstop by Manis to get a runner at first with the bases loaded for the final out.
After the Express went down 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth, Adrian College then got a two-out RBI single to tie the game at three.
In the fifth, Adrian College took a 4-3 lead with a sacrifice fly.
Then, in the sixth, the Express used a little luck to tie the game. Debol singled to lead off the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Heatherly. Debol was then on third with two outs when Collins rolled a routine grounder to second base. However, the throw to first was high, pulling the first baseman off the bag, allowing Collins to reach safely and Debol to score.
Then, after Garrett Scott stranded a runner at third to keep Adrian College scoreless in the bottom half, the Express rallied with two outs and nobody on in the seventh.
Following a groundout by Legate and a strikeout by Ozenbaugh, Horvath singled to right field and Manis singled through the right side to put runners on first and third. Debol then put an 0-1 pitch through the right side to score Horvath. On the play, Adrian's rightfielder had the ball slip out of his hand on the throw in, which allowed Manis to also score on the play.
Ryan Hotmer then relieved Scott on the mound. He walked the leadoff batter, but retired the next three batters to pick up his first save of the season.
In his three innings, Jones allowed four hits, two runs and four walks while striking out two. Aaron Peoples relieved him in the fourth and allowed two hits, one run and one walk. It was the collegiate debut for the Australian.
Jordan Basinger relieved Peoples in the fifth and allowed two walks and one run before Scott and Hotmer closed it out.
Scott (1-1) picked up the win.
Manis and Debol led the Express offensively. Manis went 2-for-4 with two runs, two stolen bases, and one RBI, while Debol went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.
The Express (4-13) will open OCCAC play this weekend with four road games against Sinclair Community College on the road. Sinclair is the defending OCCAC champion and the Express will play two on Friday and two on Saturday.
Debol and Horvath are now leading the team in batting average at .333, while Horvath has the most hits with 16 and runs with 11. Sickler leads the team in RBIs with nine, doubles with four, and stolen bases with six. Manis upped his average to .279 with is four hits today.
Hotmer has a team leading 1.59 ERA in four appearances. He has allowed only two hits, one run and three walks in 5.2 innings pitched.