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BW Baseball Team Loses 7-5 to Old Westbury in First NCAA Tourney Game

Hunter Handel
Hunter Handel

AUBURN, N.Y. – The second-seeded Baldwin Wallace University baseball team lost to SUNY Old Westbury (NY), 7-5, in its first NCAA Division III East Region Game at Falcon Field. The Yellow Jackets now play Keystone (Pa.) College in an elimination game tomorrow at 1:15 p.m.

A win tomorrow versus Keystone would move BW into another elimination game on Friday at 10:00 a.m. A loss eliminates the Jackets from tourney play.

The Panthers (26-11) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning on two walks, an opposite-field single, a bloop single and a wild pitch. Old Westbury's lead grew to 6-0 in the fifth on a hit batsman, triple, wild pitch, walk, stolen base and another single.

The Yellow Jackets  (31-11) got back in the game and cut Old Westbury's lead to 6-3 in the bottom of the seventh on two singles, a walk, an error and a double by junior two-time All-Ohio Athletic Conference designated hitter Hunter Handel (Akron/Green) that plated a pair of runners.

The Panthers got one run in the top of the eighth to make it 7-3. BW came back in the bottom of the half of the frame with a pair of runs to make it 7-5 on a single, run-scoring triple by sophomore catcher Alex Marcum (Granville) and a ground out that scored Marcum.

At the plate, Handel led the way with a pair of base hits, including a double and two runs batted-in (RBI).

On the mound, sophomore right-hander Logan Heffernan (Lebanon) started and pitched the first four and two-third innings and took the loss to drop to 4-3 this season. He allowed six base hits and six runs (all earned) and tied a career-high with nine strikeouts and walked two batters.

He was followed to the mound by juniors Connor Murphy (Westford, Mass./Northeast), Tom Loeffler (Shaker Heights) and Brandon Cichocki (Walled Lake, Mich./Central), senior Chuck Jones (Kettering Fairmont) and junior Alex Albright (North Royalton). Cichocki struck out five batters in two innings of work. Overall, the six BW hurlers combined to whiff 17 Panther hitters.