By Blake Moore
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - The Ohio Northern baseball program recorded a two-game series sweep over Pitt.-Greensburg Saturday afternoon, defeating the Bobcats 5-1 and 12-2 in a pair of seven-inning contests at the All Saints Academy in Winter Haven, Florida.
With the victories, the Polar Bears improve to 6-2 overall this season. Meanwhile, the Bobcats fall to 0-6 in the 2019 campaign.
In game one, junior right-handed hurler Nate Bye (Thorntown, Ind./Western Boone) tossed a one-hitter for his first win this season. He allowed just one unearned run to cross the plate, issued only two walks, and struck out nine batsmen during the nonconference affair.
The strong pitching continued in game two when junior Jack Schaller (Bowling Green) took the mound. The Bowling Green product threw five innings, conceded just one unearned run, and struck out two to record his second victory in 2019.
Offensively, senior Luke Klinehoffer (Zanesville/John Glenn) and freshman Corey McMann (Flower Mound, Tex./Liberty Christian) guided the Polar Bears with five hits each in Saturday's doubleheader. Klinehoffer finished the day five-for-seven with three runs scored and four RBI while McMann went five-for-six with a run and two RBI.
In the opener, the Polar Bears got out to an early 1-0 lead in the second frame when junior Phil Buckingham (Wayne/Elmwood) and McMann successfully executed a double steal with the latter scoring on the play.
Northern struck again in the fifth when Klinehoffer smacked an RBI double into left field.
The Bobcats produced their only run in the home half of the sixth inning. Third baseman Mikey Sullivan brought home centerfielder Ben Green with a ground out to second base.
ONU concluded the scoring with a three-spot in the seventh, which included a sacrifice fly from sophomore Michael Rocco (Orlando, Fla./Zionsville, Ind.) and a two-run blast from senior Caleb Thomas (Strongsville).
UPG took an early one-run advantage during the second contest when Green scored on a fielder's choice.
However, Ohio Northern rattled off 12 consecutive runs over the first four innings that included six scores in the first, four in the third, and two more in the fourth frame. The spurt would be enough as the Bobcats could muster just one more run in the contest, sealing the Polar Bear sweep.
Ohio Northern will return to action tomorrow morning with a showdown against No. 15-ranked Webster (Mo.) at 9 a.m. inside Osceola Heritage Park #1 in Kissimmee, Florida. They will then conclude their 2019 Spring Break trip with a contest against Medaille (N.Y.) at 12:30 p.m.