PORT CHARLOTTE, Florida – The Baldwin Wallace University baseball team, ranked 17th nationally in the Division III poll conducted by D3Baseball.com, defeated traditional rival Ohio Wesleyan University, 10-5, in its fifth game on its annual spring break trip to Port Charlotte, Florida. The Yellow Jackets (5-0) play three more games during the next two days
The Yellow Jackets opened the scoring in the top of the second inning to take a 1-0 lead, but the Battling Bishops (3-3) were quick to respond with two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame to take a 2-1 lead. Another run in the bottom of the fourth gave OWU a 3-1 lead. BW responded by scoring five runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-3 lead. OWU scored a run in each the sixth and eighth innings to cut into the Yellow Jacket advantage, 6-5. BW added four insurance runs in the top of the ninth to close the scoring, 10-5.
BW gained a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when senior All-Ohio Athletic Conference shortstop Eric Murphy (Brook Park/Midpark) grounded out to the shortstop to bring home junior two-time All-OAC second-baseman Mark Zimmerman (Akron/Green), who led-off the inning with a double and advanced to third on a ground out by junior All-OAC designated hitter Hunter Handel (Akron/Green).
OWU scored two runs in the second and one in the fourth to take a 3-1 lead.
In the five-run fifth, senior All-OAC left fielder Zach Ferster (Olmsted Falls) led-off with a walk. Sophomore third-baseman Cole Nieto (Brunswick/Cleveland St. Ignatius) singled to advance Ferster to second. Senior Division III All-American first-baseman Kyle Chontos welcomed a new OWU pitcher with a single to load the bases. One out later, Handel singled to bring home Ferster and Nieto to tie the game, 3-3. BW retook a 4-3 lead via a Murphy single to score Chontos. Sophomore catcher Alex Marcum (Granville) singled to load the bases for the second time in the inning, and sophomore OF/pitcher Logan Heffernan (Lebanon) delivered a single to score Murphy and Handel and increase the Yellow Jacket advantage to 6-3.
After OWU scored twice to make it 6-5, BW responded in the ninth to secure the victory with four insurance runs. Chontos led off the inning with a double and Zimmerman singled to advance him to third. Handel greeted a new OWU hurler with a double to drive home Chontos and Zimmerman for an 8-5 lead. Junior OF/relief pitcher Jerry Scholle (Hinckley/Medina Highland) pinch ran for Handel and the Bishops made another pitching change. Two outs and a walk later, junior Academic All-OAC OF John Taylor (Stow/Hudson) doubled to score IF Spencer Badia (Bellaire) and Scholle to finalize the scoring at 10-5.
At the plate, BW outhit OWU, 14-9. Five Yellow Jackets each contributed two hits. Chontos, who is batting better than .500, had a double, rwo runs scored and a stolen base. Zimmerman had a double and two runs scored. Nieto also scored a run. Marcum, who is 7-for-11 so far this season, had another multi-hit game and continued his hot-hitting. In addition, Handel led the team with four runs batted-in (RBI).
On the mound, freshman left-hander Evan Lovick (Mentor) made his first career start and earned the win after he delivered five innings of work and allowed three runs (all earned) on six hits, two walks and a strikeout.
In relief, freshman righty Brandon Wysong (Bradford) made his first career appearance. He pitched one inning and allowed one run (earned) on two hits. Scholle started the seventh and pitched for two innings and allowed one run (earned) on no hits and two walks. Senior right-handed pitcher Chuck Jones (Kettering/Fairmont) pitched the final inning of the game and allowed no runs on one hit.
BW is back in action tomorrow, Friday, March 13, when it plays the University of Massachusetts-Boston at 6:00 p.m. The Yellow Jackets end their trip with a doubleheader against Montclair State at 10:00 a.m. and Salem State (Mass.) at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 14.