(NORTH CANTON, Ohio) – With a walk-off hit in the nightcap, Walsh was able to split a doubleheader with rival Malone at Biery Stadium Saturday afternoon. The Pioneers (25-14, 14-7) took game one 6-4 before the Cavaliers (20-16, 13-8) prevailed in the second 5-4 in 11 innings.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Avery Janning hit a bloop shot to right center to score Alec Graves easily from third. Graves was pinch running for Spencer Helwig who led off the frame with a single through the left side.
Walsh initially took a 4-0 lead into the ninth before the Pioneers rallied to tie the game. Andrew Czech and Cobe Hutchison both hit sacrifice flies to score Marcus Bobb and Joey Holiga in the third and fourth, respectively. Janning then made it 3-0 with a solo home run in the fifth. In the eighth, Holiga brought in Jared Houser for what proved to be a crucial fourth run.
Justin Hovorka picked up the win in relief work to improve to 3-2 on the season. He pitched the final 2.1 innings and struck out two against two walks. Overall, the Walsh pitching staff put together a solid game and allowed only three Pioneer hits.
Game one also saw Walsh take a small lead only to see Malone rally, but that time the Cavaliers were unable to come back after the visitors took sixth in the sixth.
Janning brought in the first run on a sacrifice fly in the fourth that scored Eric Conner. Hutchison followed with an RBI single in the fifth to score Alec Debruler. In an attempt to rally in the seventh, Hutchison singled home Debruler again before Conner singled in Houser for the game's final run.
Joey Beals was charged with the loss to fall to 1-1.
The Cavaliers now begin a six-game road trek that starts this Wednesday at Division I power Kent State. First pitch with the Golden Flashes is set for 6 p.m.