By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, OH---In the first of two doubleheaders this weekend, the Express were swept by Sinclair Community College, 8-1 and 13-0.
Game 1: Sinclair CC 8 Owens 1
An error helped lead to seven first inning runs for the Tartan Pride en route to an 8-1 win.
Following a leadoff double, the Express misplayed a sacrifice bunt. It would lead to six unearned runs. Following that, the Express played well, but couldn't muster much offense against Sinclair starter Jon Thacker, who threw a complete game.
The Express had one big offensive opportunity, and it came in the second inning. Ryan Hotmer led off with a double to left center before Daniel Heatherly singled through the left side and Nick Collins was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Ryan Horvath then knocked Hotmer in with a sacrifice fly to center, but Michael Louis struck out and Austin Legate flew out to center to end the threat.
Only two runners reached for the Express following that - a one out single by Louis in the fifth and a leadoff singled by Nate Manis in the sixth. Both runners were picked off, however.
Hotmer was 1-for-3 with a run for the Express, while Louis was 1-for-2. Jonathan Lowe led Sinclair with a 3-for-3, two run, one RBI performance.
Express starter Chris Ward (1-3) took the loss. He was pulled after facing the first nine batters in the first inning. In 2/3 of an inning, he allowed five hits and seven runs (six earned). Dane Davis relieved him and struck out Sinclair's leadoff hitter, Joe Ford, to end the inning.
Davis pitched well through the third inning, as he only allowed one single while striking out four. Aaron Peoples relieved Davis and pitched three innings of three hit, one run ball. He allowed a one out home run to Lowe in the sixth inning.
Jeff Davis pitched the seventh and got two flyouts and a strikeout.
Thacker allowed four hits and one run while walking none and striking out four.
Game 2: Sinclair CC 13 Owens 0
A 2-0 Sinclair lead through three became a rout as the Tartan Pride banged out 15 hits off Express pitching in a 13-0 win.
On the other hand, the top six batters in the Express lineup combined to hit 0-for-15 with a walk and seven strikeouts against Sinclair starter Ian Creager, who matched his teammate, Thacker, with a complete game of his own.
The offense as a whole only had two batters reach third base. James Moore Jr. doubled to lead off the third and moved to third on a single by Travis Tackett two batters later, but a groundout to first and a pop out ended the threat. In the fifth, Clayton Ruch led off with a pinch hit double down the left field line. He advanced to third on a passed ball, but Creager struck out three in the inning to end the threat.
Moore was the lone Express player with two hits as he finished 2-for-3.
Sinclair scored one in the second and one in the third before breaking it open with four in the fourth off Express starter Garrett Scott, who lasted the first 3.1 innings.
Scott's final line included six hits, six runs (five earned), three walks and one strikeout.
Sean Koerber relieved Scott in the fourth and pitched the next 2.2 innings. He allowed two runs in the sixth and had a final line that included five hits, two runs and three strikeouts.
Adam Jones started the seventh inning in place of Koerber and didn't fare too well. He allowed four hits, five runs and two walks while striking out two over 2/3 of the inning. Alex Juday relieved him for the ninth batter of the inning, which ended up being a strikeout.
Creager's final line included four hits, two walks and 11 strikeouts.
Both teams were scheduled to play a doubleheader at Owens on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m., but it was moved up to 9 a.m. to accomodate forecasted rain in the Toledo area.
Sinclair improved their record to 29-11 overall and 12-2 OCCAC, while the Express fell to 13-24 overall and 6-8 in the OCCAC.