Wagner and Downey Help Express Sweep St. Clair County

By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information

Toledo, OH---The Express baseball team earned two close one-run victories over St. Clair County on Sunday behind some nice pitching from Kelley Wagner and Shawn Downey.

Game 1: Owens 5 St. Clair County 4

Owens jumped out to a 4-1 lead before hanging on to win.

Brown-Lewis hit a bases loaded double in the first inning to put the Express up 2-0. It was a fortunate hit as St. Clair County's right fielder Evan Lyszczyk lost the ball in the sun and the ball dropped in front of him.

St. Clair County answered back with a run in the top of the second before Owens scored two more in the bottom half on a two-run single up the middle by Schmenk.

St. Clair County starter Nick Riley was pulled after the inning. He allowed five hits, four runs (one earned) and one walk.

An RBI double by St. Clair County's cleanup hitter Eric Altman in the third inning cut the Express lead in half. Then, in the fourth, back-to-back run RBI hits by Trevor Barton and Charles Melvin tied the game.

In the fifth, Owens had the bases loaded with two outs when Hayes hit a ball to Altman at short, who flipped to second but the ball ricocheted off the second baseman's glove allowing Moore to score and give the Express a 5-4 lead.

Kelley Wagner (Brownstown/Brownstown, Ind.) picked up the win for Owens. The freshman right-hander relieved starter Andy Joseph (Southview/Toledo, Ohio) to begin the fourth. Wagner (1-0) allowed six hits, two runs and two walks, while striking out four.

Schmenk and Brown-Lewis each went 1-for-3 with two RBIs to lead the Express offensively. Brown-Lewis is hitting .333 for Owens to begin his freshman campaign.

Seven different players had one hit apiece for Owens. Anthony Sheperd, who relieved Riley, took the loss for St. Clair County.

Game 2: Owens 3 St. Clair County 2

In Sunday's second game, which featured cool and windy conditions all day, the Express scored only three runs, but prevailed to sweep the doubleheader.

Three bases loaded walks in the second inning by Miceli, Sickler and Schmenk allowed Owens to jump out to a 3-0 lead.

St. Clair County's catcher Devon Wiegers then hit a home run to left field on the first pitch he saw to begin the fourth off Express starter Shawn Downey (Martinsville/Martinsville, Ind). They added a second run in the inning on a single by Ricky Brooks to make it 3-2.

Aside from the fourth inning, Downey was dominant. He struck out nine, while allowing two runs (one earned), three hits and two walks over his five innings to pick up the win.

Downey has a 1.38 ERA to begin the season.

Hotmer pitched the final two innings to preserve the 3-2 lead and pick up his first save of the season. His outing included escaping a one-out, runner on third jam in the sixth inning. The freshman allowed one walk in his two innings, while striking out three, lowering his season ERA to 2.70.

Both teams combined for eight hits, with Owens picking up five. The difference in the game was the seven walks that the Express drew, including the three bases loaded walks that gave them their three runs.

Busch went 2-for-2 with a walk to lead the Express offensively. On the mound, Owens pitchers struck out 12 St. Clair County batters.

The next game for the Express (14-2) is on the road against Jackson C.C. on Tuesday at 2 p.m.