PORT CHARLOTTE, Florida -- The 19th-ranked Baldwin Wallace University baseball team (March 1, 2015 D3baseball.com national Division III poll) defeated Moravian (Pa.) College, 6-2, in its second game on its annual spring break trip to Port Charlotte, Florida. The Yellow Jackets play six more games during the next five days. Highlighting today's game was one career pitching record set and another tied.
The Yellow Jackets (2-0) and Greyhounds (2-1) are familiar foes as BW defeated Moravian at last spring's NCAA Division III Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and both BW (19th) and Moravian (listed among the "Others Receiving Votes") are listed in the initial 2015 D3baseball.com national poll.
Both teams also began their spring trips successfully. BW beat Hampden-Sydney (Va.) College, 7-1, in its opener yesterday, and in its first two games in the Sunshine State, Moravian beat 18th-ranked Webster (Mo.), 5-2, and 12th-ranked and Ohio Athletic Conference rival Marietta College, 8-5.
After seven scoreless innings, BW opened the scoring in the top of the eighth when sophomore third baseman Cole Nieto (Brunswick/ Cleveland St. Ignatius) walked with one out. After a pitching change for Moravian, Nieto advanced to second when senior All-American first baseman Kyle Chontos (Pickerington/ North) was hit by a pitch. Nieto scored an unearned run to make it 1-0 when the Greyhounds tried to turn an inning-ending double play but threw the ball away. A wild pitch advanced Chontos to third and junior two-time All-OAC second baeman Mark Zimmerman (Akron/ Green) to second. After a walk, Chontos scored the second run to make it 2-0 when senior All-OAC shortstop Eric Murphy (Brook Park/ Midpark) hit a sacrifice fly.
Moravian drew closer at 2-1 with a run in the bottom of the eighth on a double, wild pitch and run-scoring single.
BW broke the game open in the top of the ninth. With one out, senior All-OAC right fielder Alex Green (Pickerington/ North) singled and moved to second when senior All-OAC left fielder Zach Ferster (Olmsted Falls) was hit by a pitch. After a wild pitch and an intentional walk to sophomore 2B Steve Montgomery (Canton/ Central Catholic), Chontos singled to score Green to make it 3-0 and Zimmerman doubled home Ferster, Montgomery and Chontos for a 6-1 advantage.
At the plate, BW was led by Chontos who was 2-for-3 with a run scored and a run batted-in.
On the mound, senior staff ace and two-time All-Ohio Athletic Conference right-hander Cory Waite (Willoughby/ South) started and made his school-record 55th career appearance, including 39 in relief. He pitched the first seven innings to gain the win and improve to 1-0 this season and 9-5 for his career. Waite allowed six base hits, no runs and struck out four Moravian hitters.
Junior All-OAC reliever Brandon Cichocki (Walled Lake, Mich./ Central) followed Waite to the mound and pitched the eighth and ninth innings to gain his first save this season and tied Jon Tenley with a school-record 11th of his career. He allowed two hits, two runs (both earned), struck out one Greyhound and walked two.
BW is back in action tomorrow, Tuesday, March 10 when it faces Montclair State (N.J.) University in Port Charlotte at 3 p.m.