May 10, 2014
MARIETTA, Ohio -- The Baldwin Wallace University baseball team lost to Ohio Athletic Conference and Cleveland cross-town rival John Carroll University, 6-3, today in the second and final championship game at the 2014 OAC Tournament on Don Schaly Field at Pioneer Park. BW beat JCU, 10-9, in the first game to force the final contest.
With its loss, BW, ranked fourth in the Mideast Region of Division III, is 25-18 overall and will now have to await the NCAA Division III National Selection Committee's decision and hope it receives one of the eight at-large bids given on Monday. With its win, JCU, ranked seventh in the Mideast Region, is 24-15 overall and won its first-ever OAC baseball crown. With it, the Blue Streaks receive the OAC's automatic berth in the national tourney.
Despite its loss, BW placed five players on the OAC all-tournament team. They are senior All-OAC and Academic All-OAC third baseman Brad Gugliotta (Twinsburg), junior shortstop Eric Murphy (Brook Park/Middleburg Heights Midpark), junior All-OAC right fielder Alex Green (Pickerington/North) and sophomore All-OAC designated hitter Hunter Handel (Akron/Green) in the field and freshman pitcher Logan Heffernan (Lebanon).
BW jumped out to a 2-0 lead with two unearned runs in the top of the second inning with three base hits, including a pair of bunt singles, a JCU error and a sacrifice fly. JCU took the lead with a three-run bottom of the fourth on five base hits.
The Blue Streaks increased their lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning with an unearned run on a base hit, a walk and a Yellow Jacket error. BW closed the gap to 4-3 in the top of the seventh when junior All-OAC first baseman Kyle Chontos (Pickerington/North) doubled with two outs and Handel singled him home.
JCU countered BW's run in the top half of the frame when it scored twice in the bottom of the seventh inning to take a 6-3 lead. In the top of the eighth, BW's first two batters reached on base hits, but two outstanding defensive plays by JCU, including a double play, ended the threat.
At the plate, BW was led by Chontos who was 3-for-4 with a run scored, including a double. In addition, sophomore center fielder John Taylor (Stow/Hudson), senior left fielder Kory Gillissie (Parma/Cleveland St. Ignatius) and Murphy each had two hits.
On the mound, senior All-OAC right-hander Cory Waite (Willoughby/South) started and pitched three strong innings before running out of gas in the fourth. He allowed six base hits and three earned runs and struck out three JCU batters. He took the loss and fell to 6-2 this season. Waite was replaced by sophomore righty Alex Albright (North Royalton) who pitched two and two-third innings, allowed three hits, three runs (two earned), struck out one and walked one. He was replaced by sophomore Brandon Cichocki (Walled Lake, Mich./Central) who allowed two hits in two-thirds of an inning of work. Senior lefty Cory Durbin (Canton/GlenOak) pitched a scoreless eighth inning.
The NCAA Division III National Tournament begins with the Mideast Regional at Marietta on Wednesday. To date, BW has the credentials to receive a berth in the regional. Against ranked teams in the Mideast Region, BW is 2-2 versus No. 1 Marietta, 2-1 versus No. 2 Heidelberg, 1-1 versus No. 3 Case Western Reserve University, BW is No. 4, 1-0 versus No. 5 The College of Wooster, 2-0 versus No. 6 LaRoche (Pa.) College, 1-3 versus No. 7 JCU and 1-1 versus No. 9 Ohio Northern University.
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