By Blake Moore
DEFIANCE — The Ohio Northern baseball program started a five-game road stretch over a six-day span with a 4-0 loss to area-rival Defiance at Defiance High School on Thursday evening.
With the loss, the Polar Bears fall to 7-4 overall on the season. Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets improve to 8-3-1 in the 2019 campaign.
Seniors Luke Klinehoffer (Zanesville/John Glenn) and Caleb Thomas (Strongsville), sophomore Michael Rocco (Orlando, Fla./Zionsville, Ind.), and freshman Corey McMann (Flower Mound, Tex./Liberty Christian) each recorded a hit in the nonconference affair to guide the Northern offense.
On the mound, junior right-hander Troy Wagner (Liberty Township/Lakota West) received the start, surrendering just two earned runs and four hits in five innings. In addition, the Liberty Township product struck out two.
Junior pitchers Sean Sweeney (Morrow/Little Miami) and Scott Beaton (Novi, Mich.) provided solid relief from the ONU bullpen, tossing three hitless innings combined. The former recorded three strikeouts in the sixth while the latter added one in the seventh and eighth innings.
DC pitcher Cohen Nies guided the home side to victory after tossing a complete game, surrendering just four hits and one walk. He would also strike out 13 batters to secure his third victory this season.
The Yellow Jackets scored one run in the second and fourth innings before tacking on two in the fifth, securing the nonconference victory over Ohio Northern.
The Polar Bears will return to action on Saturday, March 23 with a doubleheader at Heidelberg. First pitches are set for 1 and 4 p.m.