UU Sweeps NDC, Keeps OIC Hopes Alive
URBANA, Ohio (May 3, 2012) - The Urbana University baseball team kept its regular season D-II Ohio Independent Championship hopes alive with a doubleheader sweep of visiting Notre Dame College on Thursday afternoon. The Blue Knights took both games by a score of 12-5, completing the 4-game season sweep of the Falcons.
Urbana improves to 21-24 overall and 8-6 against OIC opponents with the sweep. In order to claim the regular season OIC crown, the Blue Knights need to sweep Cedarville on Saturday and receive some help in the Walsh/Malone season-ending series. Notre Dame ends its season 17-31-1 and 4-12 in the OIC.
Drew Ryan's bases-clearing, 3-run double put the home team on top 3-0 in the bottom of the second inning of Game 1. With one swing of the bat, the Falcons erased the deficit and surged into the lead in the top of the third. Bryan Blondeaux's grand slam over the left field fence was the highlight of a 5-run inning that gave the visitors their first lead of the day.
The Falcons maintained their lead until the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out and runners at second and third, senior Matt Mays sent an Andrew Hyde offering to the parking lot behind the left field fence. The 456-foot blast put the Blue Knights back on top 6-5.
Urbana added to its lead in the sixth inning. After Josh Gratsch pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the the top of the inning, Ryan stepped to the plate with the bases loaded again in the bottom of the sixth. Like he did in the second, Ryan doubled, driving in his fourth and fifth runs of the game. Jordan Pergrem, Matt Mays and Cody Ridinger followed with RBI base hits to put the game out of reach. Gratsch finished the game to earn his fourth save of the season. Urbana starter, junior Tom Piatt, scattered 7 hits and 3 earned runs over 5.2 innings to pick up his team-leading fifth win of the season.
The Blue Knights used the longball to make another comeback in Game 2. Trailing 4-2 in the third inning, junior Greg Liming lifted his team-leading sixth home run over the fence in right field. Four runs scored on the grand slam, turning a 2-run deficit into a 2-run lead. Urbana tacked on two more unearned insurance runs in the fourth and fifth innings before erupting for 4 more runs in the sixth. Repeat offenders Pergrem, Mays, Liming and Ridinger ran off four straight run-scoring base hits in the big inning.
Urbana ends its season on Saturday afternoon. The Blue Knights will travel to OIC opponent Cedarville for a 1:30 p.m. game before returning to Urbana for Game 2 of the doubleheader. First pitch in Urbana is set for approximately 4:30 p.m. The Blue Knights and Yellow Jackets split a doubleheader last Friday in Cedarville. Saturday is Graduation Day and Senior Day for both ball clubs. [Game 1 Box Score][Game 2 Box Score]