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Dowling's Walk Off Single Gives No.18 Baseball Team Split With No.23 Ohio Northern

Neal Dowling
Neal Dowling

BEREA, Ohio  -- Sophomore pinch-hitter Neal Dowling (South Bend, Ind./ St. Joseph) hit a walk off single in the bottom of the 12th inning to give the 18th-ranked Baldwin Wallace University baseball team an Ohio Athletic Conference doublheader split with No. 23-ranked Ohio Northern University at Heritage Field. 

Ohio Northern (21-6, 8-4 OAC) scored five runs in the eighth inning to earn a 10-8 win in the first game.  BW (18-7, 6-6 OAC) scored the games final runs in the seventh and 12th innings to secure the 4-3 extra inning afair win.

In game one, the Polar Bears jumped out to a 3-0 lead with two runs in the top of the first inning and another in the second. The Yellow Jackets came back to score three runs in the bottom of the fourth and four more in the fifth to take a 7-3 lead. After each team scored once in the sixth to make it 8-4, Ohio Northern scored another run in the seventh and five in the eighth to retake a 10-8 advantage.

At the plate, junior second baseman Cole Nieto (Brunswick/St. Ignatius) and senior All-American first baseman Kyle Chontos (Pickerington/North) led the way as each player was 2-for-4 and scored a run. Nieto also had a double and a run batted-in. In addition, junior All-OAC designated hitter Hunter Handel (Akron/ Green) scored twice and junior two-time All-OAC third baseman Mark Zimmerman (Akron/ Green) had two RBIs.

On the mound, senior two-time All-OAC and Academic All-OAC right-hander Cory Waite (Willoughby/ South) started and pitched the first four-plus innings and received a no-fdecision. He allowed three ONU base hits, three runs (two earned), struck out two and walked five. He was followed by junior Alex Albright (North Royalton) in the fifth, junior Brandon Cichocki (Walled Lake, Mich./ Central) in the seventh and freshman Evan Lovick (Mentor) in the eighth. Cichocki was saddled with the loss to even his record at 1-1 this season.

In the nightcap, the Polar Bears again grabbed an early, 2-0 lead with a run in each of the first two frames. BW tied it at 2-2 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second. Ohio Northern regained the lead with a run in the third to take a 3-2 advantage. BW tied it at 3-3 in the seventh.

The Yellow Jackets had a great opportunity to take the lead in the eighth when they had bases loaded and no outs but did not score. In the 11th inning, BW had a runner at third base and one out and again did not score. The Yellow Jackets won it in the 12th on Dowling's base knock which scored senior All-OAC shortstop Eric Murphy (Brook Park/ Midpark) from second base.

At the plate, Chontos, Murphy, senior designated hitter/catcher Anthony Eder (Cuyahoga Heights) and sophomore catcher Alex Marcum (Granville) each had two base hits to lead the way.

On the mound, Lovick started and pitched the first seven innings and received a no-decision. He allowed eight hits and three runs (all earned), struck out five and did not walk a batter. Albright replaced him on the hill and pitched five strong innings to improve to 3-0 this season. He allowed two hits and no runs and struck out six and did not walk a batter.

BW is back in action on Thursday, April 16, when it travels to Springfield  for a non-conference game against Wittenberg University in a rare evening game at 6 p.m. This Saturday, April 18, the Yellow Jackets travel to Alliance to play an OAC twinbill versus the University of Mount Union at 1 p.m.