In need of a quality start, Delta senior Austin Michael gave his team a great one, tossing 6 2/3 innings of four-hit baseball in a 10-2 Panther win over the Swanton Bulldogs in non-league baseball Thursday.
Michael was in total control before tiring in the seventh when he walked a pair and hit a batter, as he surpassed the 100 pitch mark for the day.
Chase Stickley came on to record the final out on a fly ball.
Previous to that, Michael struck out seven, walked just one and recorded a trio of three-up, three-down innings.
“This is the first day he really started a game,” longtime Delta coach Damon Mattimore said. “He’s been used in relief so far this year but he’s a gutty kid. He threw 100 plus pitches tonight and we had to go get him at the end but it was a great start for him and a great team win.”
The Panthers got all the runs they needed in the bottom of the first.
Hunter Hamilton walked and Stickley executed a hit-and-run single to right to place runners at the corners against Bulldog starter Trent Weigel.
Stickley went to second on a catcher’s indifference before Bryce Gillen also drew a base on balls.
Two wild pitches plated two Panther runs and Michael brought home a third with a sacrifice fly that gave Delta a 3-0 lead.
The Panthers added a big inning in the third — thanks in part to some Bulldog fielding miscues.
Stickley singled to center to open the inning and stole second.
Gillen’s single to right center marked a run, and after the sophomore outfielder stole second and Michael walked, Max Hoffman doubled over the head of the right fielder to score another run.
When the ensuing throw from the outfield was wild, Michael scored and when the throw to attempt to gun down Michael at the plate went awry, Hoffman ended up at third.
After yet another walk to Bryce Reeves and a catcher’s indifference that allowed him to go to second, Landon Greisinger’s grounder was booted to allow two more runs to score.
“Yes we took advantage of opportunity but we put eight hits on the board and scored 10 runs and we ran the bases well tonight,” explained Mattimore. “And you put that on top of a solid pitching performance and good defense, hopefully we get wins with that.”
Ryan O’Shea took over on the mound and gave the Bulldogs two plus innings of one-hit relief, walking two and striking out three.
Swanton got one back in the fourth when Blake Szalapski looped a single to right, Weigel doubled into the gap and O’Shea punched a single to right to put the Bulldogs on the board.
The Bulldogs got their second run in the seventh off a pair of walks, an error and a wild pitch.
The Panthers got their last pair of runs in the sixth on a throwing error and base hits from Gillen and Michael.
It was the Panthers’ second win of the week as Delta took a 5-3 decision over Woodmore Tuesday, April 6. They were in action again Saturday where they fell 12-6 at Springfield.
Swanton traveled to North Central Saturday and picked up a 12-8 win. The Dogs (2-5) host Bryan Monday in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League opener, they visit Start Tuesday and Delta Thursday in the league matchup.
The Panthers welcome Wauseon Monday.