Hofacre, Hunt Guide Panthers in Doubleheader Split with Ky. Wesleyan

Columbus, Ohio- Ohio Dominican Senior Baseball Brendan Hofacre (Thistle, Ohio) kicked off its first full game as a Panther in Friday’s home double-split with Kentucky Wesleyan.

ODU’s split moves them to 9-15 overall and 3-7 in Great Midwest play. KWC rode a five-game winning streak late in the night and will enter Saturday’s doubles 9-19 overall and 7-7 in G-MAC competition.

SECOND GAME

Hofacre was efficient in his seven innings of work, facing just 25 batters, throwing 61 of 96 pitches for a strike. The elder struck out seven batters while allowing four hits and a run.

Brennen Hunt (Ashland, Ohio) went 2-for-3 in Game 2, including a home run to cap a four-hit day. Michael McFadden (Brunswick, Ohio) went deep for the first time in his college career.

McFadden homered in the second inning, with Michael Knapp (Elyria, Ohio) hitting a sack fly in the first to give ODU an early 2-0 advantage. Hofacre retired the first eight batters he faced and allowed only one shot in the fifth inning, which cut ODU’s lead to 2-1.

Hunt led in the top of the sixth with a home run to left field to make it 3-1. Despite loading the bases in the inning with just one out, the Panthers couldn’t tack on additional insurance runs.

Hofacre conceded a brace in the final quarter, but retired the next two batters. The senior then caused a ground out for Devan Nail (Elyria, Ohio) on third base to seal the victory for the Panthers.

FIRST GAME

Defensive mistakes cost the Panthers dearly early in the series. The Ohio Dominican recorded four on-court errors through the first three innings and trailed KWC, 4-0.

Scott Rouse (Hinckley, Ohio) kept the Purple Panthers off the scoreboard over the next three frames, and a two-out homer from Zac Wilson (Hamilton, Ohio) late in the sixth inning, ODU’s deficit grew to 4-3. The bomb to left field was the first of the spring for Wilson.

Kentucky Wesleyan tagged Rouse for a run at the top of the next half, but Marshall Flynn (Heath, Ohio) managed to come out of a jam in the seventh to keep ODU within two points, 5-3. Hunt started the bottom of the seventh with a brace and then scored from a groundout to close the gap at 5-4.

The Purple Panthers went deep with two outs in the top of the eighth inning, giving them two runs for insurance and a 7-4 advantage. ODU went in order in the eighth, but brought the tying run to the plate down in the ninth. However, consecutive strikeouts ended the Panther threat and secured the 7-4 victory for KWC.

Hunt reached base safely in all five plate appearances, including a single, a double and three walks. David Silva (Tonotgany, Ohio) went 1 for 2 with a trio of rides as well.

Max Whitesell (Dayton, Ohio) pitched a clean ninth inning, his first Panther Valley appearance.

FOLLOWING

ODU and KWC will wrap up their four-game conference series with a noon doubleheader at Panther Valley on Saturday, April 2.

Contact: tyler jester

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