By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, Ohio---Noah Pierce (Central Catholic/Toledo, Ohio) tossed a complete game shutout for the Owens Community College baseball team to highlight a doubleheader sweep of Lourdes University's JV team at home this afternoon.
Owens is now 23-10 overall. They will be back in action with four crucial games against Lakeland Community College on Friday and Saturday. Each doubleheader will start at 1 p.m. as Owens looks to stay in the race for an OCCAC championship in the program's final season.
Game 1: Owens d. Lourdes 10-0 (5 Innings)
While his offense was scoring at least one run in each inning, Pierce was busy blanking the Lourdes offense. The freshman right-hander allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out seven over his five innings.
On offense, Owens exploded for seven runs over the first two innings.
In the first, Owens got a bases loaded walk from Zach Souter (Huron/Huron, Ohio) to open the scoring. Jake Wichlacz (Eisenhower/Macomb, Mich.) followed with a sacrifice fly to center, and Devin Burns (Springfield/Holland, Ohio) closed the inning with a run scoring groundout to second.
Then, Casey Gose (Genoa/Genoa, Ohio) and Jake Schmeltz (Eastwood/Perrysburg, Ohio) notched back-to-back RBI singles to make it 5-0 early in the second inning. Later, Ty Suntken (Wauseon/Wauseon, Ohio) produced his team's second sacrifice fly of the game, which was followed by a run scoring triple to deep center from Wichlacz as Owens took control of the game early.
After Pierce retired the side 1-2-3 in the third inning, Gose added another run on a fielder's choice groundout in the third. Owens then closed the scoring with a pair of bases loaded walks from Eric Hotchkiss (Bedford/Lambertville, Mich.) and Stephen Parker (Eisenhower/Shelby Township, Mich.) in the fourth.
Pierce closed the game in the fifth with a pair of strikeouts.
Owens was 8-for-8 in the first game in stolen bases, led by two each from Gose, Schmeltz and Souter. Suntken and Hotchkiss each added one.
Offensively, Owens was led by Schmeltz (2-for-3, 2 R, RBI) and Hotchkiss (2-for-2, 2 R, RBI, BB), although three others picked up one hit apiece and three others picked up two runs apiece. Gose and Wichlacz each contributed two RBI, as well.
Pierce improved to 3-0 this year with the win. He lowered his ERA to 4.15 on the season, while all of his wins have come in complete game fashion.
For Lourdes, Devin Stanley, Kevin Suttles and Derek Scott each picked up one hit apiece, while Josh Lord took the loss after allowing seven runs, six hits and two walks over the first two innings.
Game 2: Owens d. Lourdes 10-0 (6 Innings)
It took one extra inning in today's second game, but Owens captured its second 10-0 win of the day behind the pitching duo of Quintin Cantelli (Perkins/Sandusky, Ohio) and Billy Todorowski (Springfield/Holland, Ohio).
Featuring a lineup of players getting a rare chance to shine, Owens didn't skip a beat in the second game as Hotchkiss picked up two more hits, while Kyle Kozlaker (Clay/Oregon, Ohio) and Francis Vasquez (Norman Thomas/New York, N.Y.) combined for four hits, three runs and two RBI.
Suntken, who walked with one out in the first inning, opened the scoring by crossing the plate via a wild pitch in the first inning.
Vasquez roped an RBI double to open the second following a leadoff single by Kozlaker. Parker added an RBI groundout later in the inning to put Owens up three after two innings.
Hotchkiss produced an RBI single to right center in the third inning to score Devin Burns (Springfield/Holland, Ohio), and Kozlaker scored on an error in the fourth to make it 5-0.
Cantelli was relieved by Todorowski at that point. He struck out the side in the fifth and added a fourth strikeout in the sixth, while also inducing a pair of groundouts.
Meanwhile, in the fifth, Nickolon Dudhnath (Sandalwood Heights/Toronto, Ontario, Canada) knocked in two runs with a booming opposite field double to left, and that was followed by another RBI double from Vasquez that bounced over the bag down the left field line to give Owens an 8-0 lead.
Owens closed the game in walk-off fashion in the sixth. Parker opened the inning with a double to left. After Suntken singled through the left side and stole second to put a pair of runners in scoring position, Burns walked to load the bases with no outs. Parker then scored on a passed ball before Gose produced a looping walk-off RBI single to right that scored Suntken.
Cantelli, who evened his record at 1-1 with the win, allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out four in four innings. Todorowski allowed just one walk while striking out four in the final two innings.
Kozlaker (2-for-3, 2 R), Hotchkiss (2-for-2, R, RBI, BB, 2 SB) and Vasquez (2-for-3, R, 2 RBI) led the Owens offense, although Suntken and Burns each scored a pair of runs. Dudhnath and Vasquez led the team with two RBI each.
For Lourdes, Matt York, Adam Dolesh and Travis Brown each picked up one hit, while Zak Lauscher took the loss after allowed four hits, four runs and three walks over the first three innings.
Owens produced 18 hits, which included four doubles, while also drawing 14 walks in the doubleheader. They also swiped 14 bases, while only getting caught once. On the mound, the trio of Pierce, Cantelli and Todorowski allowed just six hits and five walks while striking out 15. Furthermore, Owens scored at least one in all 10 innings they came to the plate.
Owens has now matched its win total from last year - with 15 fewer losses at this point. Furthermore, the team is three wins away from having the most wins in a season since the 2010 team won 35 games. The team has 14 games left on its schedule in the regular season, along with the postseason, which gives the team an outside chance of getting close to the single season wins mark of 38 set in 2003. If they should reach 30 wins, they would become just the 10th team in program history to reach that mark.