By Chris Schmidbauer, Sports Information Director
Sandusky, OH -- After a victory over Schoolcraft yesterday morning, the Owens Baseball program played two games in the Division III Region XII double elimination tournament at Sports Force Park in Sandusky, Ohio on Wednesday.
Game One: Delta 11 Owens 8
Unfortunately for the Express, the day got off to a rocky start, when they played Delta College. The Pioneers scored two runs in the second inning, five in the third, and one more in the fourth to stake themselves to an 8-2 lead. Delta scored two more runs in the top half of the sixth, but the Owens bats got going in the bottom half of the inning. The Express got a run back in the sixth, and they would score three more runs on three straight singles from Ryan Jagodzinski, Christian Orr, and Jake Pickerel to trim the Delta lead to 10-6.
The Express would pick the offense back up in the seventh. After a walk by Ryan Elgin and a single by Joey Peternel, Jagodzinki would drive his second run in of the afternoon with a sacrifice fly center. Orr would follow that up with his second hit and second RBI of the day to trim the Pioneer lead to just two runs. The Pioneers would get a run back in he top half of the ninth.
Brett Rhodes's two out double gave the Express some life in the bottom half of the ninth. Gary DeMartino, the next batter, would be hit by a pitch to bring the tying run to the plate in the form of Ryan Elgin. Elgin would strike out looking to end the game, giving Owens their first loss of the tournament.
Justin Studenka would take the loss, giving up 10 runs in six innings pitched, though just five of the runs were earned. He also struck out four batters and gave up just one walk. Joseph Everson came on in the seventh, giving up an unearned run and only allowed two hits.
The Express outhit the Pioneers 12-11 but they did have four errors as a team in the game.
Game Two: Owens 15 Lorain 3
Needing a win to stay alive in the regional tournament, the Owens bats showed up early. The Express would score 10 runs in the first, three more in the second, and two in the the fourth en route to a five inning win over the Commodores.
Jarrett Batanian's three run bomb got the scoring started for Owens. The Express would load the bases thanks to two walks and a hit batsmen. Landon Alexander would draw a bases loaded walk, and a Joey Peternel single would make the score 5-0 in favor of Owens. A sacrifice fly from the bat of Ryan Jagodzinski would score another run before a pair of two singles from Jake Pickerel and Batanian would make the score 10-0.
The Express would score three more runs in the next inning, and they would cap off their scoring with two more runs in the bottom half of the fourth inning.
Alec Jaquillard took the mound for Owens, and he kept the Lorain offense at bay over the course of four innings. He ended up pitching four innings of one run ball on just two hits. Jaquillard also struck out three and walked two.
Jacob Spiess would pitch the final inning, giving up two runs on four hits.
With the run deficit at more than 10, the game would end after just four and half innings.
Batanian ended up driving in five runners on three hits, one being the aforementioned home run, and a walk in four plate appearances. He has 25 runs batted in on the season after his outing this afternoon.
Jake Pickerel also drove in three runs during the game on three hits, and Joey Peternel drove in two runs as well on two hits. Despite going hitless in the game, Ryan Jagodzinski drove in two runs. Shortsop Christian Orr finished with three hits in the contest as well.
Owens outhit the Commodores 13-6 in the game.
The Express will now play Delta College again tomorrow morning at 11 AM at Sports Force Park. Should Owens win the game, there will be a second game played at 3 PM since the Pioneers have yet to lose in the tournament. The winner of that game would be the Region XII champion.
Owens is now 27-19 overall in their first season since the program's reinstatement.