North Central Takes Season Series from Wheaton

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

May 4, 2019 – Wrapping up the season series with Wheaton College, the North Central College baseball team split Saturday's doubleheader to take two of the three games in the series, cruising to a 11-1 win in the opener before suffering a 7-2 defeat in the nightcap at Zimmerman Stadium, while the Cardinals were presented with the CCIW Championship trophy in front of the home crowd.

North Central (27-10, 17-5 CCIW) opened the scoring in game one with a three-run bottom of the third, as Jared Wojcik walked and Michael Stoltz singled to begin the rally.  Following a Jeremy Quade base hit to load the bases, Rob Marinec drove home Wojcik with a RBI-fielder's choice, before Marinec and Stoltz pulled off a double steal with Stoltz swiping home to plate the second run of the frame.  John Carmody then followed with a triple over the center fielder's head, plating Marincec to push the lead 3-0.

Carrying that momentum into the next inning, Joe Rizzo walked to lead off the fourth and was promptly sent home by Ryan Scott, lining a double to left center.  After Wojcik advanced Scott to third with a sacrifice bunt, Stoltz lofted a sacrifice fly to center to drive home Scott.  Generating another two-out run, Sutherland singled to center, stole second and scored on a base hit off the bat of Quade to increase the lead 6-0.

After Wheaton (24-14, 14-11 CCIW) got on the board with a run in the top of the sixth, the offense added two more in the bottom half as a Thunder error led to a pair of unearned runs.  North Central then closed out the game with a three-run bottom of the eighth to take the opener 11-1.

Charlie Klemm was superb on the mound, improving to a CCIW-best 7-0 with the victory, allowing just the one run over his seven innings of work with eight strikeouts to just one walk.

Quade finished 4-for-4 from the plate to lead the offense in the opener, while Stoltz added a 3-for-3 performance with three runs scored and Sutherland finished 2-for-4 with a walk and three runs scored.  Marinec drove in a game-high three runs, while Carmody and Weilbacher each added two hits.

The Thunder took an early 3-0 lead after the third inning of game two and never looked back, holding the lead from that point forward.

North Central cut the lead 4-1 with a run on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Rizzo in the bottom of the fourth, but Wheaton added two runs in the top of the seventh to extend their lead 6-2 with just two innings to play.

In the top of the eighth, Sutherland led off with a double to left and scored on a RBI-single from Quade the following batter, but that proved to be all the runs the offense would muster in the nightcap, eventually falling 7-2.

Kevin Champlin earned the win for Wheaton, tossing seven innings of one-run ball with four strikeouts, while Luke Lamm suffered his first loss of the season, giving up four runs, three earned, on six hits over his four innings.

Rizzo was the lone Cardinal with multiple hits in the nightcap, finishing 2-for-3 with a RBI.  Carmody was 1-for-3 with a walk, while Quade finished 1-for-4 with the other RBI.

Eight of the nine batters in the Thunder lineup recorded a hit, as Jacob Garrity finished 2-for-4, while Mathias Haggerty and Ben Brittain each added two hits and two runs scored.

North Central closes out the regular season tomorrow, hosting Millikin University in a doubleheader at Zimmerman Stadium with first pitch scheduled for 12 p.m.