BW Baseball Team Beats Misericordia in First NCAA Game

Mark Zimmerman | Photo Courtesy of Ken Gillissie

MOOSIC, Pennsylvania  -- The fourth-seeded Baldwin Wallace University baseball team defeated host and fifth-seeded Misericordia (Pa.) University, 8-4, in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Division III Mid-Atlantic Regional Game at PNC Field (The home field of the Class AAA New York Yankees affiliate the Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre Railriders) . 

The Yellow Jackets advance to play the winner of top-seeded Moravian (Pa.) College and No.8-seed Haverford (Pa.) tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. in a winner's bracket game while the Cougars play the loser of that game at 10:00 a.m. in an elimination contest.

With its win, BW, one of four Ohio Athletic Conference teams in the NCAA tourney, is 26-18 overall. In addition to BW from the OAC, regular season champion Marietta College is the No.1 seed and is hosting the Mideast Region and is joined by OAC Tournament champ John Carroll University, and Heidelberg University is the No.2 seed in the Midwest Regional at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. The four OAC teams mark the first time it has ever happened in the NCAA Division III baseball tourney.
 
With its loss, Misericordia is 29-14-1 overall.
 
Misericordia jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a run in the top of the first inning when its leadoff hitter singled, moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt, to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch by BW sophomore starting pitcher Alex Albright (North Royalton).
 
The Yellow Jackets came right back and took a 3-1 lead with a three runs in the bottom of the first frame. Senior All-OAC and Academic All-OAC third baseman Brad Gugliotta (Twinsburg) led off with a double and scored on a single by sophomore All-OAC second baseman Mark Zimmerman (Akron/ Green) to tie the game at 1-1. Zimmerman advanced to second on a single by junior All-OAC first baseman Kyle Chontos (Pickerington/ North). After a strikeout and a fielder's choice that eliminated Chontos, put senior catcher Joe Hiller (Twinsburg) on first base and moved Zimmerman to third, junior shortstop Eric Murphy (Brook Park/ Middleburg Heights Midpark) tripled home Zimmerman and Chontos for a 3-1 lead.
 
The Yellow Jackets increased their advantage to 5-1 with two runs in the bottom of the second. After one out, junior All-OAC right fielder Alex Green (Pickerington/ North) singled, stole second and scored on a single by Gugliotta to make it 4-1. Gugliotta stole second and after the second out of the frame, he scored on a single by Chontos for a 5-1 lead.
 
BW's lead grew to 6-1 with a run in the bottom of the fourth when Gugliotta doubled for his third hit of the game and scored on a Chontos two-bagger.
 
In the fifth, the Cougars countered and scored a pair of runs on three base hits to cut their deficit to 6-3. After there was one out in the top of the sixth, a Misericordia batter reached base on an error, advanced to second on a ground out and to third on another error and scored via a base hit to make it 6-4.
 
The Yellow Jackets gained a little breathing room with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth to make it 8-4. The inning featured the fourth hit by each Gugliotta and Chontos.
 
At the plate, BW was led Gugliotta and Chontos. Gugliotta was 4-for-5 with four runs scored, two doubles, one run batted-in (RBI) and a stolen base. Chontos was 4-for-5 with a double and three RBI. In addition, Zimmerman had a pair of hits and earned the victory on the mound. He was 2-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI.
 
On the mound, Albright started and pitched the first four innings, allowed four Cougar hits, three runs (all earned), struck out four and walked three. He left with a lead and received a no-decision He was followed by Zimmerman who pitched four and one-third innings, his longest outing of the season, allowed three hits, one unearned run, struck out six and walked three to earn his first career victory. Sophomore "Stopper" Brandon Cichocki (Walled Lake, Mich./ Central) pitched the final two thirds of an inning to secure the win.
 
The winner of each of the eight NCAA Division III regional tournaments (six eight-team and two six-team regionals) advance to the 2014 NCAA Division III World Series in Appleton, Wisconsin from May 23-27.
 
BW advanced to its fifth NCAA Division III national event by placing fourth durin g the OAC regular season and second at the OAC tourney. The Yellow Jackets played 10 teams in this year's 56-team national tourney field and compiled a 11-9 record.
 
FOR MORE BW SPORTS INFORMATION, please contact Sports Information Director Kevin Ruple by telephone at 440-826-2327 and e-mail at kruple@bw.edu or Assistant SID Jeff Miller by phone at 440-826-2780 and email at jefmille@bw.edu. Fans can access the latest BW athletics information at www.bwyellowjackets.com and we invite you to join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bwyellowjackets and Twitter at http://twitter.com/bwathletics.

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