By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Kirtland, OH---The Express (25-11, 9-5 OCCAC) finished their regular season on Tuesday with a doubleheader sweep of Lakeland Community College on the road.
The sweep gives them a 3-1 season series victory over Lakeland and gives them an eight-game winning streak heading into sub-regional play on Friday.
Game 1: Owens 8 Lakeland 3
The Express jumped on Lakeland right away with five runs in the first inning while Shawn Downey (Martinsville/Martinsville, Ind.) threw a complete game for the win.
Downey allowed six hits and four walks while striking out three.
Joe Sickler (Bowling Green/Bowling Green, Ohio) led the Express in total hits as he went 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Jesse Solomon (Wayne/Huber Heights, Ohio) went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI, while Daniel Heatherly (Trenton/Trenton, Mich.) began his big day offensively with a 1-for-3 performance - including a home run and three RBIs.
Lakeland tried to chip back into the game as they scored two in the third and one in the fourth to cut the lead to 5-3. However, the Express scored one in the fifth and two in the sixth to put Lakeland away.
Overall, the Express out-hit Lakeland 10-6.
Game 2: Owens 6 Lakeland 2
Heatherly and Jeff Davis (St. Francis/Toledo, Ohio) combined on a two-hitter as the Express rolled to their eighth straight win.
Davis started and went the first five innings to pick up the win. He allowed only one hit and three walks while striking out five. Heatherly then relieved him to go the final two while allowing one hit and one walk while striking out one.
At the plate, Heatherly once again homered as he finished 1-for-2 with two walks, an RBI and two runs scored. Danny Schira (Switzerland County/Vevay, Ind.) went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Owens took a 1-0 lead with a run in the fourth inning. Lakeland answered back to take 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth. However, the Express exploded for five runs in the sixth inning to demoralize Lakeland.
The Express out-hit Lakeland 4-2, but produced six runs on those four hits compared to two runs on two hits for Lakeland.
The Express are now 9-5 in the OCCAC, while conference leader Sinclair Community College is 11-5. Owens can't make up the ground due to rain outs as all conference games had to be completed by midnight Tuesday night. The Express was scheduled to take on Cuyahoga Community College on Monday, but it was rained out. Owens now heads into sub-regional play beginning on Friday. The tournament will be held at Owens.