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No.12 Baldwin Wallace Baseball Team Sweeps Muskingum

No.12 Baldwin Wallace Baseball Team Sweeps Muskingum
BEREA, Ohio  -- The 12th-ranked (April 21 Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Division III national poll) Baldwin Wallace University baseball team swept an Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader against Muskingum University at Heritage Field.  The Yellow Jackets (26-8, 10-6 OAC) won the first game, 5-2, and captured the nightcap, 11-1. BW has now won five straight games and nine of its last 10. The Fighting Muskies (10-24, 4-12 OAC) has lost seven straight.

In the first game, BW gained a 3-0 lead with two runs in the bottom of the first inning and one in the second. The lead increased to 5-0 with two more runs in the seventh. Muskingum scored its only run in the top of the eighth.
At the plate, junior right-hander Mark Zimmerman (Akron/ Green) and sophomore second baseman Cole Nieto (Brunswick/ Cleveland St. Ignatius) led the way as each player had a pair of base hits. Zimmerman was 2-for-4 with a run scored, his third home run this season -- a two-run shot and a pair of runs batted-in (RBI). Nieto was 2-for-4, scored on Zimmerman's homer and drove in another run.
On the mound, Zimmerman pitched seven-plus innings and earned the victory to improve to 4-2. He allowed six base hits and one run (earned), struck out three and walked one. Junior Alex Albright (North Royalton) replaced Zimmerman in the eighth and did not allow a hit or run, struck out one and walked one. Junior Brandon Cichocki (Walled Lake, Mich./ Central) started the ninth and got one out, gave up one hit and one run (earned) walked two. He was replaced by junior Connor Murphy (Westford, Mass./ Northeast) who entered the game with bases loaded and one out and got the final two outs for his first career save.

In the second game, BW jumped out to a 5-0 lead with one run in the bottom of the first, three more in the second and one in the third. The Yellow Jackets added another run in the fourth and two in the fifth to lead 8-0 before the Fighting Muskies made it 8-1 with a run in the top of the sixth. BW added a run in the seventh and two more in the eighth to end its scoring.

At the plate, junior All-OAC designated hitter Hunter Handel (Akron/ Green) led the way with four hits. He was 4-for-5 with one run scored and three RBI. In addition, senior All-American first baseman Kyle Chontos (Pickerington/ North), senior All-OAC shortstop Eric Murphy (Brook Park/ Midpark), sophomore catcher Alex Marcum (Granville) and senior All-OAC outfielder Zach Ferster (Olmsted Falls) each had a pair of base hits. One of Chontos' hits was his third homer this season, both of Murphy's hits were doubles and Marcum reached base all five times he batted (two hits, two walks and a hit-by-pitch).

On the mound, freshman left-hander Evan Lovick (Mentor) started and pitched the first eight innings as he improved his record to a perfect 4-0. He allowed four base hits and one run (earned), struck out a career-high nine and did not walk a batter. In the fourth, Lovick allowed a double and the first hit in his previous nine-plus innings pitched. In the sixth, the Fighting Muskies scored the firsr run off of Lovick in his last 15 innings.

Lovick was followed to the mound by senior righty Chuck Jones (Kettering/ Fairmont) in the ninth inning. He pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.

The Yellow Jackets are back in action tomorrow, Sunday, April 26 when it hosts a single, nine-inning game against traditional rival Hiram College at Heritage Field at 1 p.m. Next week, BW hosts No.11-ranked The College of Wooster on Wednesday, April 29 at 4 p.m. and Pitt-Bradford (Pa.) on Thursday, April 30 in a twinbill at 1:30 p.m. on Seniors' & Parents' Day.