By Caleb Scott
ADA — The Ohio Northern baseball team swept Mt. St. Joseph 4-2, 6-5 in its final two contests of the RussMatt Invitational on Sunday afternoon in Auburndale, Florida.
The Polar Bears improve to 7-3 overall, while the Lions fall to 6-3.
Junior pitcher Austin Frey (Peoria, Az./Sunrise Mountain) led Northern in the game one victory, pitching a complete game and striking out five batters in the victory.
Frey improved to 1-0 on the season.
At the plate in game one, six different Polar Bears recorded a hit, while four Northern players recorded an RBI.
Mt. St. Joseph tallied the first two runs of the contest, jumping out to a 2-0 lead after the top half of the first inning.
ONU answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning, as seniors Hayden Shenefield (Powell/Worthington Kilbourne) and Brandon Kasberg (Mentor) laid down a pair of RBI singles to knot the game at 2-2.
With senior Jason Burkett (Maumee) in scoring position in the bottom of the fourth inning, senior Dan Barna (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley) singled to center field to plate Burkett and give ONU a 3-2 lead.
Junior Caleb Thomas (Strongsville) sealed the victory with a fifth inning RBI single to help ONU claim the 4-2 victory.
In the second contest, Northern got off to a quick start, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning.
Senior Jordan Bostater (Bryan), Burkett and Shenfield all drove runs home to give ONU an early 3-0 lead.
After two scoreless innings, ONU tallied another run in the top of the fourth inning as junior Luke Klinehoffer (Zanesville/John Glenn) hit an RBI single to center field to and scored Barna to extend the lead to 4-0.
MSJ would plate four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to knot the game at 4-all, before scored twice in the top of the sixth inning as Thomas and Kasberg scored to put ONU back on top, 6-4.
The Lions added one more run in the bottom of the seventh but, senior closer T.J. Storer (Loveland/Moeller) slammed the door to help seal that 6-5 victory with his team-leading third save of the season.
Burkett went 3-for-4 at the plate and added an RBI, while Kasberg, Bostater and Klinehoffer each added a pair of hits each.
Northern will return home and open the northern portion of their schedule on Mar. 13 as they travel to area-rival Bluffton to take on the Beavers at 4 p.m.