By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, Ohio---Grant Peters (Eastwood/Pemberville, Ohio) tossed a complete game shutout with 13 strikeouts for Owens Community College this afternoon to help his team pick up a doubleheader split against No. 3 Sinclair Community College.
With the split, Owens is now 17-9 overall and 2-2 in Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) play, while Sinclair is 36-5 overall and 10-2 in OCCAC play. Both teams are now tied in the loss column for second place in the conference behind Cuyahoga Community College (4-0).
Two of Sinclair's five losses this year are to Owens.
Owens will be back in action on Tuesday with a doubleheader at Ashland University beginning at 3 p.m. The game was originally scheduled to be a home date, but it was switched a few days ago.
Game 1: Owens d. No. 3 Sinclair 1-0
It was all about Peters in today's first game. After stranding the bases loaded in the first inning, the sophomore right hander struck out the side in the second, sixth and seventh. In fact, the final eight outs he recorded were via strikeout.
Following the first inning, the closest Sinclair came to scoring was when Chad Roberts doubled with one out. Peters, however, struck out the next batter on three pitches and then finished the inning with another strikeout.
The game's only run came via a solo home run to left field by Jake Wichlacz (Eisenhower/Macomb, Mich.) in the second inning. The blast came on the first pitch he saw from Sinclair starter Brody Basilone.
In fact, if not for the performance of Peters, Basilone could have been the star of the game. He allowed just five hits and one walk while striking out 10. Eight of his strikeouts came over the first three innings.
Similar to Sinclair, the closest Owens came to scoring outside of Wichlacz's home run came in the sixth inning when Ty Suntken (Wauseon/Wauseon, Ohio) and Zach Souter (Huron/Huron, Ohio) each singled with two outs. However, Basilone induced Wichlacz into an inning ending fielder's choice groundout. It also marked the only inning Owens put a runner on second base aside from the solo home run from Wichlacz.
Outside of his 13 strikeouts, Peters allowed just three hits and two walks. He improved to 3-1 this year and has now allowed just four hits and five walks over his last 12 innings pitched, which has included two complete game victories. His strikeout total was a career-high, and he came within one strikeout of tying the program's single game record.
Offensively, Suntken (2-for-2, BB) picked up two of the five hits for Owens, while Souter, Wichlacz and Riley Bennett (Howell/Howell, Mich.) each added one apiece. The home run from Wichlacz was his third of the season and first since April 2.
Game 2: No. 3 Sinclair d. Owens 5-4
For the second straight day, Sinclair picked up a 5-4 win over Owens to pick up a doubleheader split.
All of the game's runs came in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Each team picked up one run in the fourth and five before they combined for five unearned runs in the fifth. Owens had the potential game-tying run thrown out at the plate to end the fifth.
Jake Wojciechowski (Genoa/Genoa, Ohio) started on the mound and was a victim of some tough luck. It started in the third when a deep fly ball to left from Connor Cleary was lost in the sun, ending up as a leadoff double. He came around to score on a two-out double from Nick Massey to gave Sinclair a 1-0 lead.
Wichlacz then knocked an RBI single up the middle in the home half of the third to score Jake Schmeltz (Eastwood/Perrysburg, Ohio), who had reached on a fielder's choice earlier in the inning.
The back-and-forth action would continue in the fourth inning. Ben Myers hit a one-out home run to left field in the top half. Then, in the bottom half, Casey Gose (Genoa/Genoa, Ohio) reached on an infield single to short. On the play, Stephen Parker (Eisenhower/Shelby Township, Mich.) advanced from first to third, and then he scored when Sinclair's first baseman, Cleary, attempted to get him out at third, but threw wildly, after Gose was ruled safe at first.
The bad luck struck once again for Wojciechowski in the fifth. With one out and one on, Tyler Cowles reached on an error to put runners on first and second. Wojciechowski then struck out the next batter, which should have been the third out. However, the next batter was Roberts, who hit a pop up to right field that was also lost in the sun and led to a a two-run triple. Daniel O'Keefe followed with an RBI triple to right center that chased Wojciechowski.
Billy Todorowski (Springfield/Holland, Ohio) entered and induced a 6-3 groundout on the first pitch he threw to keep the deficit at three.
In the home half of the fifth, Owens started a rally with one out. Wichlacz reached on an error, and Devin Dubbert (Perkins/Sandusky, Ohio) followed with a walk. After a wild pitch advanced the runners, a strikeout set up a two-out, two in scoring position situation for Eric Hotchkiss (Bedford/Lambertville, Mich.).
Hotchkiss walked, but another wild pitch on ball four pulled Owens within two. Parker followed with a walk to load the bases. During the next at bat, Gose hit a chopper in the vicinity of second base that Cleary mishandled. Dubbert scored from third easily, but Hotchkiss was thrown out trying to get two bases on the error to end the inning.
Todorowski allowed just two singles over the next two innings before Owens tried to rally in the seventh. With two outs, Nick Wolfe (Genoa/Genoa, Ohio) roped a pinch hit single into centerfield with two strikes. Hotchkiss then sent a two strike pitch deep to left for a potential walk off, game winning home run, but the ball died on the warning track to end the game.
Wojciechowski (0-1) took the loss. He allowed six hits, five runs (two earned) and one walk while striking out six. Todorowski went 2.1 innings and allowed just two hits, while striking out two.
Jake Mason (6-0) picked up the win for Sinclair. He allowed four hits, two runs (one earned) and two walks while striking out four over four complete. Reed Norris picked up the save by going the final 2.1 innings and allowed just one hit and striking out three.
For Owens, Wichlacz picked up the team's lone RBI, while five different players picked up one hit apiece. Dubbert led the team with a pair of walks, as well.