By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Parma, OH---The Express baseball team managed only two hits in a 7-1 loss to Cuyahoga Community College in the loser's bracket of the NJCAA D-II Sub-Region XII tournament on Saturday. The loss ends their season.
Cuyahoga answered right back with two runs in the bottom half and didn't look back. The Challengers would score twice more in the fourth and three more times in the fifth.
Express starter Andrew Joseph threw the first four innings and allowed five hits, four runs and two walks while striking out one. Daniel Heatherly began the fifth inning on the mound, but allowed four hits and three earned runs before being pulled for Alex Juday, who allowed only one hit while striking out one in 1.1 innings.
Jared Mlady picked up the win for Cuyahoga. He allowed only two hits, one run (zero earned) and one walk while striking out four over seven innings.
Heatherly and Trevor Ozenbaugh had the two Express hits.
Owens finishes the season 19-35 overall and 8-16 in the OCCAC (4th Place).
Sophomore Ryan Hotmer led the team in batting average (.329), doubles (14), and hits (48). Justin Elder was second in batting average (.319) with a .417 on base percentage, while Nate Manis, had a team high 29 steals. Ryan Horvath led the team in walks with 19. Nick Collins had a team-high three triples. Elder, Manis, Horvath and Collins are all freshmen.
Sophomore Clayton Ruch led the team in ERA at 1.93 and broke the school record for saves in a season with seven. Freshman Dane Davis was second on the team with a 3.21 ERA, while accumulating a team-high five wins. Sophomore Chris Ward had team-highs in innings pitched (54.2), games started (10) and strikeouts (61). He was 2-3 with a 3.95 ERA.