Finch's Six Hits, Sebastian's Solid Start Help Owens Baseball Split With Cuyahoga
13abc.com Joe Nugent, Sports Anchor/Reporter - email
Michael Finch (Norwalk/Norwalk, Ohio) had six hits today, including a walk-off game-winner, while Dru Sebastian (Blackhawk Christian/Fort Wayne, Ind.) had a solid start to help the Owens Community College baseball team split a conference doubleheader vs Cuyahoga Community College today.
Game 1: Cuyahoga 14 Owens 6
Six players picked up two hits apiece for Owens, but it wasn't enough as the pitching trio of Matthew Zitny (Oxford/Oxford, Mich.), Joseph Slivik (Mott/Warren, Mich.) and Dustin Osborne (Barberton/Barberton, Ohio) gave up 14 runs.
The Challengers opened the game with four runs in the first off Zitny. The Express offense was then held scoreless by Dylan Danko until the third when Anthony Perez(Orrville/Orrville, Ohio) roped a two-run double to cut the deficit in half.
Zitny, however, couldn't make it out of the next half inning as he allowed a walk, a two-run homer and a double before being replaced by Slivik, who struck out two of the three batters he faced in the inning to minimize the damage to three runs in the inning.
With their team down 7-2, Charlie Sipe (Northrop/Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Zach Kazmierski (Whitmer/Toledo, Ohio) each hit RBI triples in the fourth to pull the Express within three after four.
Slivik allowed an RBI double in the fifth, before the Express were held scoreless in the bottom half.
Up four, the Challengers broke the game open with a six-run sixth inning. Casey Roch led off the inning with a solo homer to left, Wes Allen had an RBI single and Shawn Gaydos had a two-run double to chase Slivik.
Osborne entered and allowed two singles and a walk before retiring the next three Tri-C hitters.
With his team down 10, Sipe's sixth inning RBI double to left center scored Alec Skender (Metamora/Metamora, Ill.) to extend the game.
After Osborne produced a 1-2-3 seventh, which was the first 1-2-3 half inning for either team in the two and a half hour game, Perez hit a solo homer in the seventh to finish the game's scoring.
Tiger Jaso (Lakota/Kansas, Ohio), Skender, Sipe, Kazmierski, Perez and Finch all picked up two hits apiece, while Perez (3) and Sipe (2) led the team in RBIs. Kazmierski had the team's sixth and final RBI. Skender led the team with two runs, while four others had one run apiece.
Danko allowed 14 hits, six runs (four earned) and two walks while striking out six over seven innings to pick up the win, while Zitny (1-1) took the loss. He allowed seven hits, seven runs (five earned) and three walks while striking out three over 3.1 innings.
Slivik allowed five hits, six runs and three walks while striking out three over 1.2 innings, while Osborne allowed two hits, one run and one walk in two innings. He struck out one.
Allen went 2-for-4 with three RBIs to lead the Challengers offensively.
Game 2: Owens 13 Cuyahoga 3 (Six Innings)
The Express scored seven times in the first, while Finch had four hits and Sebastian tossed five solid innings, in a second game victory.
Sebastian allowed a one-out single in the first, but struck out the side to set up a big offensive output for the Express in the bottom half.
Jaso walked and Skender singled to lead off the inning. Sipe then had an RBI single, followed by a run scoring on a fielding error. After that, Perez had an RBI single before Finch produced a two-run double and later scored on a wild pitch.
Sebastian allowed a run in the next half inning on a freak base hit. Cairee Tekra hit a soft chopper down the first base line that caromed off the grass into fair territory, where Sebastian fielded it and attempted in vain to get Tekra at first. On the play, Pat Eedy didn't stop running from second and scored.
In the bottom half of the second, Kazmierski's one-out, RBI single up the middle gave the Express their seven run lead back at 8-1.
Both teams were then held scoreless until the fourth when the Express scored four times with two outs. Marcus Rozsa (All Saints Secondary/Whitby, Ontario, Canada) lined a two-run double down the right field line for the first two runs. In the next at bat, Finch took a 3-2 pitch deep to left for a two-run homer - putting the Express up 12-1 through four.
Needing to hold the Challengers to one run or less in the fifth to end the game, Sebastian couldn't get it done as Cory Hall's two-run single to right made it 12-3.
After the Express were held scoreless in the bottom half, Finch relieved Sebastian and held the Challengers scoreless in the sixth. He then grabbed a bat and ended the game with his fourth hit of the game, a walk-off RBI single to left center that scored Perez, who had singled to third base with one out earlier in the inning.
Finch finished 4-for-4 with two runs and five RBIs in the second game. Of his five hits, he had a double and a homer. It was his season-high in hits and RBIs, while his homer was the first of his collegiate career.
Rozsa (3-for-4, two RBIs), Perez (2-for-4, two runs, RBI) and Sipe (2-for-3, two runs, RBI, BB) assisted Finch in leading the Express offense.
Rozsa's three hits was also a season-high, while he nearly had four hits, but Tri-C's pitcher deflected a line drive up the middle in the second that was grabbed by the shortstop, who threw to first in time for the out.
Sebastian's (4-3) final line over his five innings included four hits, three runs, two walks and eight strikeouts. Finch didn't allow a walk or a hit while striking out one in his one inning.
Chad Ludrowski took the loss for Tri-C. He allowed five hits, seven runs (six earned) and one walk in 0.1 innings. Kyle Friel (3.2 innings, five runs ) and Paul Joynt (1.1 innings, one run) saw time in relief.