Perez Hits Grand Slam As Owens Baseball Routs Lakeland To Close Regular Season
13abc.com Joe Nugent, Sports Anchor/Reporter - email
Anthony Perez (Orrville/Orrville, Ohio) hit a grand slam as the Owens Community College baseball team scored 18 runs in two innings to defeat Lakeland Community College 18-7 today.
The game was supposed to be the first of two, but the second game was rained out after one inning. Additionally, the win means the Express will finish in second place in the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC).
Today's game saw the Lakers strike first with an Anthony Strnad solo homer to left center of Express starter Matthew Zitny (Oxford/Oxford, Mich.).
Neither team would put together a scoring rally until the fourth when the Express exploded for 10 runs.
After Taran Temple (Delta/Muncie, Ind.) doubled, Zach Kazmierski (Whitmer/Toledo, Ohio) singled on a bunt and Perez walked to load the bases, Chad Lupher (East Knox/Bladensburg, Ohio) reached on an error to score Temple and tie the game at 1-all.
Michael Finch (Norwalk/Norwalk, Ohio) followed with an RBI single through the right side to make it 2-1. Tyler Byerly (Washington Township/Crown Point, Ind.) made it a three-run lead with a two-run single to right in the next at bat. On the play, Finch was thrown out at second.
After a Tiger Jaso (Lakota/Kansas, Ohio) single put runners on first and second, Alec Skender's (Metamora/Metamora, Ill.) RBI single to right scored Byerly and made it 5-1.
Later in the inning, Temple was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Jaso. Perez then closed the inning's scoring with a two-out grand slam to left field that scored Temple, Skender and Charlie Sipe (Northrop/Fort Wayne, Ind.), who walked prior to Temple's HBP.
In the bottom half of the fourth, Zitny allowed a two-run single by AJ Buis and a run scoring wild pitch to help the home team pull within six.
The Express offense, unrelentingly, poured it on again in the fifth with eight more runs.
Byerly, Jaso and Skender opened with three straight singles to load the bases. Sipe then produced a two-run single, followed by a two-run double from Temple down the left field line that made it 14-4.
After a groundout by Kazmierski and a HBP to Perez, Lupher roped a two-run double to left center, followed by a Finch RBI double to right field.
Two batters later, pinch hitter Adrian Selmani (Southview/Sylvania, Ohio) closed the inning's scoring with an RBI single to third base.
Joseph Slivik (Warren Mott/Warren, Mich.) relieved Zitny to begin the home half of the fifth, but couldn't finish the game after allowing three runs via three walks, a hit batter and a double. Dru Sebastian (Blackhawk Christian/Fort Wayne, Ind.) relieved him and struck out the only batter he faced to end the game.
Byerly (3-for-4, two runs, two RBIs) was the lone Express player with three hits, although five others had at least two hits. They were Jaso (2-for-3, two runs, walk), Skender (2-for-3, two runs, walk, RBI), Temple (2-for-3, three runs, three RBIs), Lupher (2-for-4, two RBIs) and Finch (2-for-4, run, two RBIs).
Overall, the Express offense was 17-for-32 at the plate today with five walks and 17 RBIs).
Zitny (2-1) picked up the win. He went four innings and allowed seven hits, four runs and zero walks while striking out one. Slivik went 0.2 innings and allowed one hit, three runs and three walks, while Sebastian's line included just the 1/3 of an inning with his strikeout.
On the other side, Kyle Tucker (0-5) took the loss. He allowed seven hits, seven runs (four earned) and four walks while striking out three over 3.1 innings. Tyler Chattin pitched the final 1.2 innings and allowed 10 hits, 11 runs (eight earned) and one walk, along with one strikeout.