Matthew Zitny (Oxford/Oxford, Mich.) picked up his first collegiate win, while Nick Street (Rockford/Rockford, Mich.) picked up a save as the Owens Community College baseball team split a doubleheader against St. Clair County Community College at home today.
Game 1: St. Clair County 17 Owens 7
Derek Hafner (Central Catholic/Toledo, Ohio) had a tough outing in today's first game loss for the Express.
After a solid first inning, Hafner allowed four runs with two outs in the second inning. St. Clair added one in the third and six more in the fourth before Hafner was replaced by Dustin Osborne (Barberton/Barberton, Ohio) mid-inning.
The Express got three runs each in the third and sixth innings. In the third,Zach Kazmierski (Whitmer/Toledo, Ohio) had an RBI single through the left side and Taran Temple (Delta/Muncie, Ind) had a two-run double.
In the sixth, the Express had three straight batters get hit by a pitch with one out. Tyler Byerly (Washington Township/Crown Point, Ind.) followed with an RBI single, Ardian Selmani (Southview/Sylvania, Ohio) had a sacrifice fly and an error allowed the third run to score.
The Express added a single run in the seventh inning on an RBI single fromMarcus Rozsa (All Saints Secondary/Whitby, Ontario, Canada).
Osborne, who pitched the final 3.1 innings, allowed five hits, six runs, one walk and one hit batter. He struck out one. Meanwhile, Hafner (0-3) allowed 11 hits, 11 runs (nine earned) and one walk in 3.2 innings. He struck out two.
Temple led the Express at the plate as he finished 1-for-4 with two RBIs, while Kazmierski finished 1-for-3 with two runs and one RBI.
Game 2: Owens 4 St. Clair County 3
The Express bounced back in the second game thanks to a quality outing from Zitny and a two inning save from Street, as well as Charlie Sipe's (Northrop/Fort Wayne, Ind.) ability to walk.
Zitny (1-0) started and went the first five innings. He allowed four hits and three runs, although only one was earned. He exited with a 4-3 lead.
Offensively, the Express got things started in the first inning with an RBI double from Temple, which scored Sipe.
The visiting Skippers tied things up in the top of the second off Zitny via an RBI fielder's choice groundout.
Then, in the bottom half, an odd play helped the Express take a three run lead. With two outs, Selmani and Sipe drew back-to-back walks. Kazmierski then laced a single to left that scored Selmani. On the play, St. Clair County's left fielder threw errantly to third trying to get Sipe out, and the ball went into the visitor's dugout. The umpire allowed Sipe and Kazmierski to score on the play and make it 4-1 Express.
A sacrifice fly pulled St. Clair County within two in the fourth and a fifth inning RBI double by Tyler Spoelsma pulled them within one.
Street then closed things out over the next two innings. After allowing a leadoff walk in the sixth, he got a 1-6-3 double play and a strikeout to end the inning. In the seventh, Street allowed a one out error to reach base, but that was it as he picked up his first save of the season.
Street allowed just the one walk in his two innings while striking out one.
Sipe finished 0-for-1 at the plate, but had three walks and scored two runs. Kazmierski (1-for-3, R, RBI, BB) and Temple (1-for-3, RBI) also helped at the plate.
Caleb Alston took the loss for St. Clair County. He allowed three hits, four runs (two earned) and six walks in 3.1 innings.