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BW Baseball Team Scores Six in Ninth to Beat Montclair State (N.J.)

Eric Murphy
Eric Murphy
PORT CHARLOTTE, Florida  -- Sophomore Steve Montgomery (Canton/ Central Catholic) had the game-winning hit as the Baldwin Wallace University baseball team scored six runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat Montclair State (N.J.) University, 9-8, in its third game on its annual spring break trip to Port Charlotte, Florida.  The Yellow Jackets (3-0) play five more games during the next four days before returning north.

Montclair State (0-3) grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, and BW halved the Red Hawks lead in the bottom of the frame and tied it at 2-2 with another run in the fourth. MSU scored once in the top of the sixth and twice in the seventh to build a 5-2 advantage. The Yellow Jackets threatened in the bottom of the seventh but did not score. BW scored once in the eighth to make it 5-3, but the Red Hawks scored three times in the top of the ninth to build an 8-3 lead.  That set the stage for the six-run ninth.

After the Red Hawks grabbed a 2-0 lead, BW scored its run in the bottom of the first when sophomore third baseman Cole Nieto (Brunswick/ Cleveland St. Ignatius) singled and moved to third when senior Division III All-American first baseman Kyle Chontos (Pickerington/ North) singled. Nieto scored when junior two-time All-Ohio Athletic Conference second baseman Mark Zimmerman (Akron/ Green) hit a sacrifice fly.

The Jackets tied it at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth when junior All-OAC designated hitter Hunter Handel (Akron/ Green) reached on an error and scored when senior All-OAC shortstop Eric Murphy (Brook Park/ Midpark) doubled him home.

After Montclair State grabbed its 5-2 lead, BW scored a run in the bottom of the eighth to make it 5-3 when Murphy tripled and scored on a groundout.

In the ninth, senior All-OAC outfielder Zach Ferster (Olmsted Falls) led off with a double. After a fly out, Chontos singled to move Ferster to third, Zimmerman singled to score Ferster and make it 8-4. Handel singled to score Chontos to make it 8-5. After senior OF Colin Mayda (Brooklyn) pinch ran for Handel, Murphy singled for his fourth hit of the game to score Zimmerman and close the gap to 8-6. Freshman infielder Spencer Badia (Bellaire) pinch hit and was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Sophomore utility player Alex Marcum (Granville) singled to score Mayda and make it 8-7. That set the stage for Montgomery. He entered the game as a pinch-hitter and singled to score Murphy. Badia scored the winning run when Montclair State threw the ball away.

At the plate, Murphy paced the BW attack by going 4-for-5 with a double, a triple, two runs scored and two runs batted-in. Ferster, Nieto, Chontos and Marcum each had two base hits, including Marcum, who was 2-for-2 after coming off the bench.

On the mound, sophomore right-hander Logan Heffernan (Lebanon) started and pitched the first six and one-third innings. He allowed five base hits, five runs (three earned), struck out three Montclair State hitters and walked two others. He was followed to the mound by junior righty Connor Murphy (Westford, Mass./ Northeast) who threw two and one-thirds innings, allowed two base hits, one run (earned), struck out two and walked one. Junior Tom Loeffler (Shaker Heights) pitched one-third of an inning and allowed three hits and two runs (both earned) and struck out one. He picked up the win and is 1-0 this season.

BW is back in action tomorrow, Wednesday, March 11 when it faces Wabash (Ind.) College in Port Charlotte at 3:30 p.m. BW also plays Ohio Wesleyan University on Thursday at 11:30 a.m., the University of Massachusetts-Boston on Friday at 5:30 p.m. and both Montclair State at 10:00 a.m. and Salem State (Mass.) at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.