WOOSTER, Ohio – The seventh-ranked College of Wooster baseball team took advantage of Marietta College's wildness in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings to reclaim the lead after the Etta Express tied the contest at three in the top of the fifth of an eventual 8-5 win by the Fighting Scots in the Mideast Region rivals' annual tilt on Thursday afternoon at Art Murray Field.
Wooster (23-5), who extended its win streak to seven, only had one hit in the three-run fifth inning, and that came from a leadoff single up the middle by junior Jake Fling, who was thrown out at the plate on a bases-loaded fielder's choice after sophomore Michael Wielansky was hit by a pitch, and senior Jamie Lackner walked to fill the bases. After the fielder's choice, Wielansky scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch, and a second wild pitch was uncorked by Marietta (14-12) reliever Ashton Salyers (0-1) that enabled sophomore Garrett Crum to scamper home to make it 6-3. Junior Drew Tornow sandwiched a RBI ground out in between the two run-scoring wild pitches.
Wooster plated its first run of the contest in the bottom of the third inning with first-year Nick Strausbaugh reaching on a do-or-die slow chopper on the left side of the infield, and moving up to second on a stolen base. Then, Fling smoked a two-bagger off the fence in right field to bring in the game's first run.
|Senior Ryan Ostendorf, pictured here tagging out a Marietta batter on a strikeout, hit his second round-tripper of the year during the game.|
In the next inning, Lackner led off the frame with his team-leading seventh home run of the season, and senior Ryan Ostendorf launched his second round-tripper of the season out down the left field line to make it 3-0 later in the frame.
Junior Nanak Saran (4-0) dealt through four innings without allowing a hit, but Marietta's Michael Barnabei led off the top of the fifth frame with a solo home run to left field to break up the no-no. The Pioneers struck for two to tie the game at three when Eric White slapped a two-run, two-out single through the right side of the infield.
Wooster extended its lead to 8-5 in the sixth, and this time did so by capitalizing on mistakes as Marietta made four errors in the frame – all with two outs – to aid the Scots' cause. Fling delivered the lone base knock of the inning, with his single plating Strausbaugh, who reached on the first error in the frame. Later, a third error allowed Fling to score, and Wielansky advanced all the way to third on a throwing error when he swiped his team-leading 15th base of the season.
Offensively Fling finished with three hits on the afternoon, and was the lone Scot to have a multi-hit contest. The centerfielder knocked in a pair to lead the way in the RBI department.
Of note, Wielansky's hit streak came to an end at 19 in the contest, but he did reach base safely, and has now done so in 24 straight games.
Saran pitched effectively through six innings allowing the three runs on four hits, and he struck out six Etta Express hitters on the day. Senior Michael Whitaker entered in the eighth and worked the final six outs for his fifth save of the year.
White paced Marietta with a 2-for-5 afternoon, and he was responsible for knocking in a pair of runs.
Next, Wooster takes on John Carroll University (11-16) on Sunday with first pitch from University Hts., Ohio slated for 1 p.m.