PORT CHARLOTTE, Florida – The Baldwin Wallace University baseball team, ranked 17th nationally in the Division III poll conducted by D3Baseball.com, defeated UMass-Boston, 4-0, on its annual spring break trip to Port Charlotte, Florida. The Yellow Jackets (6-0) were led by junior two-time All-Ohio Athletic Conference right-handed pitcher and second-baseman Mark Zimmerman (Akron/Green) who pitched more than seven scoreless innings to help give BW its sixth straight win to begin the season.
The Yellow Jackets scored all the runs that Zimmerman and a pair of relievers would need with four runs in the third inning to take a 4-0 lead.
In the third inning, after two BW outs, senior All-OAC left fielder Zach Ferster (Olmsted Falls) singled up the middle and then advanced to second via a stolen base. Sophomore third-baseman Cole Nieto (Brunswick/Cleveland St. Ignatius) followed with a double to plate Ferster for a 1-0 lead. Following a walk to senior Division III All-American right-fielder/first-baseman Kyle Chontos (Pickerington/North), Zimmerman tripled down the right-field line to score Nieto and Chontos for a 3-0 lead. Junior All-OAC 1B/designated hitter Hunter Handel (Akron/Green) brought home Zimmerman with a single to increase the Yellow Jacket advantage and finalize the scoring at 4-0.
At the plate, BW outhit UMass-Boston, 9-5. Nieto led the Yellow Jacket offense as he went 3-for-4 with a run scored and a run batted-in (RBI). Ferster and Zimmerman each went 2-for-4 with a run scored, and Zimmerman had two RBI.
On the mound, Zimmerman made his first career start and earned the win after he delivered seven and two-thirds innings of scoreless pitching. He allowed no runs on four hits with nine strikeouts and three walks.
In relief, junior righty Connor Murphy (Westford, Mass./Northeast) finished off the eighth inning as he threw for one-third of an inning and allowed no hits or runs. Junior All-OAC right-handed stopper Brandon Cichocki (Walled Lake, Mich./Central) pitched the final inning and allowed one hit and no runs and struck out one UMass-Boston batter.
BW ends its spring break trip tomorrow, Saturday, March 14, as it plays a doubleheader against Montclair State (N.J.) at 10:00 a.m. and Salem State (Mass.) at 1:00 p.m.
After coming home, the Yellow Jackets are back in action on Saturday, March 21, when they travel to Tiffin, Ohio to play OAC rival Heidelberg University, also listed among the "Others Receiving Votes" in the D3baseball.com national poll. Baldwin Wallace's first home game is on Tuesday, March 24 versus Allegheny (Pa.) College at 4:00 p.m.