Looking at the surface of the four-game series Shawnee State had with Ohio Dominican the past two days, it would seem the 13-ranked Panthers handled the Bears easily. Looks, however, can be deceiving.
The Bears outscored ODU in the four games, but only came up with one win, in the final game. SSU split with ODU in Columbus, dropping the first game 3-0 before routing the home team 14-4 in five innings. The Bears improved to 16-14 (5-9 AMC)
Although the Bears dropped three games to Ohio Dominican, Shawnee outscored their opponents 20-16 in the four games and came a few hit short of shocking the ranked squad. SSU coach Tom Bergan was pleased with the way his team ended the series.
“We were able to put together the type of offensive display we're capable of,” he said. “I don't know where it has been all year. I don't know if the guys were just relaxed or if they turned the page.”
The Bears jumped on ODU early in the second game, busting out to a 5-3 lead after three innings. But a six-run fourth, highlighted by a grand slam by Drew Howard, put the game out of reach. Howard scored four runs as well.
“That's the type of production we were expecting from Drew,” Bergan said. “That was one of the sweetest sounds I've ever heard in a long time.”
Philip Holt got the win for the Bears. Zac Shoaf scored twice and Bryan Doberdruk drove in two in the win.
In the first game, Justin Craft pitched a three-hitter, but the Bears were stymied in the shutout loss. Doberdruk hit a triple and Brian Ramey, Zac Alexander and Jeremy Blackston had singles.
The team's confidence should be high after run-ruling a ranked team, Bergan said, but the coach also noted that the Bears still have a tough road ahead if they want to be in the playoffs.
“We have to be a bit more consistent from game-to-game,” Bergan said.
SSU 000 000 0 - 0 4 3
ODU 010 110 X - 3 3 0
WP: Koontis. LP: Craft.
SSU - Doberdruk 1-3, 3B, Ramey 1-2, Alexander 1-2, Blackston 1-3.
ODU - Foster 2-4, RBI, Avila 1-2.
SSU 212 63 - 14 11 4
ODU 021 10 - 4 2 1
WP: Holt. LP: Armbrewster
SSU - Shoaf 1-1,2R,2 RBI, Doberdruk 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R; Craft 3-4, 3R, 2 2B, RBI, Alexander 1-3, 2R, Howard 2-3 GS, 4R, 4 RBI, Niemer 1-2.
Record - SSU 16-14 (5-9 AMC).