Bennett Suffers First Loss As Owens Baseball Drops Pair To No. 10 Sinclair
13abc.com Joe Nugent, Sports Anchor/Reporter - email
The Owens Community College baseball team dropped a pair of games to No. 10 Sinclair Tartan Pride on Friday afternoon in an Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) doubleheader.
Game 1: Sinclair 4 Owens 3
The Express were able to put up three early runs but Sinclair chipped away and eventually came out on top, 4-3.
Owens got on the board early in the first inning after back to back errors by the Tartan Pride middle infield. The errors put Alec Skender (Metamora/Metamora, Ill.) and Charlie Sipe(Northrop/Fort Wayne, Ind.) on first and third. After a walk to Taran Temple (Delta/Muncie, Ind.), the bases were loaded with one out. Zach Kazmierski (Whitmer/Toledo, Ohio) grounded out on a slow roller to second, which allowed Skender to score from third.
The Express struck again in the third. Tiger Jaso (Lakota/Kansas, Ohio) singled to left field, followed by a long at bat from Skender that resulted in an infield single. Sipe then looked to drop a sacrifice but reached first base with a bunt single. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Temple grounded into a fielder's choice to bring Jaso home from third. On the following play, Kazmierski hit a fly ball to centerfield that was dropped, allowing Skender to score his second run of the game.
In the top of the fifth, Sinclair plated their first runs of the game off of an RBI double by Mitch Roman and an RBI single by Taylor Huebner. The Express then went down 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the fifth but carried a 3-2 lead into the sixth.
Dru Sebastian (Blackhawk Christian/Fort Wayne, Ind.) started the sixth inning for the Express in relief. Titus Montgomery was able to reach for Sinclair with a leadoff walk. After a sacrifice bunt from Andrew Holderman, Pete Ballard laced a double into the left center gap that brought in Montgomery and tied the game at three. The Tartan Pride took the lead after a hard hit ball skipped off of Temple's forearm at first and caromed into right field. Ballard scored on the play to give Sinclair the lead.
The Express weren't able to rally in the seventh despite a one-out single by Skender, who led the way offensively for Owens by going 2-for-4 at the dish with two runs scored.
Blake Kuszmaul (Bryan/Bryan, Ohio) pitched five innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He struck out five batters. He took a no decision in the game, keeping his record at 0-3.
Sebastian, who took the loss, pitched two innings and allowed two runs, one earned, while striking out one batter. Sebastian is now 1-3 on the season.
Pat Boyle (7-0) pitched well for the Tartan Pride, going six innings and striking out six batters while allowing three runs and only one earned. Nathan Helke notched his 10th save for Sinclair after pitching to only four batters in the seventh inning to wrap up the game.
Game 2: Sinclair 3 Owens 0
Game two of the doubleheader featured a pitching duel between Carlos Pena and Kyle Bennett (Grove City/Grove City, Ohio). Pena no-hit the Express a few weeks ago and Bennett has had a stellar season so far in his freshman campaign with the Express.
Bennett did not allow a hit until the top of the sixth when Roman hit an excruciatingly slow-roller down the left field line that Jaso wasn't able to pick up and throw in time to get the runner.
The next batter, Quentin Urban was able to reach on a bunt single. Huebner then sacrificed both runners ahead. With two men in scoring position, Eric Hansman hit a seeing-eye single up the middle, which plated both men.
The rally continued for the Tartan Pride as Montgomery hit a single to left field to bring Hansman home for the third run of the inning. Bennett was able to pitch out of the jam after that by retiring the next two batters.
In the bottom half of the sixth, Jaso led the Express off with a single. After Skender reached on a fielder's choice, Charlie Sipe grounded to the first baseman who stepped on the bag for one and eventually tagged Skender after a short rundown.
Trailing 3-0, the Express entered the home half of the seventh looking to rally to salvage a split with Sinclair. Temple led off with a single but Owens would then go down 1-2-3 to end the game.
Bennett (3-1) allowed three runs on four hits while striking out five and walking two.
Pena (7-1) allowed four hits and two walks while striking out six over seven innings.