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No.16 BW Baseball Team Splits at Otterbein


BEREA, Ohio  -- The 16th-ranked (March 29 Division III national poll) Baldwin Wallace University baseball team split an Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader at rival Otterbein University at Fishbaugh Field.  The Yellow Jackets (14-5, 2-4 OAC) won the first game, 12-3, and the Cardinals (15-5, 4-2 OAC) captured the nightcap, 7-3.

In the first game, BW grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning, but the Cardinals doubled it in the bottom of the second to lead 2-1. The Yellow Jackets gained control of the game by scoring 11 straight runs, including seven runs in the top of the fourth, two in the sixth, one in the seventh and another in the ninth to lead 12-2. The Cardinals scored the final run in the bottom of the ninth.

At the plate, BW pounded out 15 base hits with junior All-OAC designated hitter Hunter Handel (Akron/ Green) and junior Academic All-OAC center fielder John Taylor (Hudson) leading the way with three hits each. Handel, who hit two home runs and has three homers in his last two games, was 3-for-4 with two runs scored, a walk, two homers and five runs batted-in (RBI). Taylor was 3-for-4 with a run scored and a walk.

In addition, senior All-American first baseman Kyle Chontos (Pickerington/ North), freshman left fielder Spencer Badia (Bellaire) and freshman catcher Trent Kaltenbach (Plain City/ Kettering Alter) each had a pair of hits. Chontos was 2-for-6 with a run scored, his school career-record 49th double, an RBI and a stolen base. Badia was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a double. Kaltenbach was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, a double, two walks and two RBI. Also, lead off hitter, senior All-OAC right fielder Zach Ferster (Olmsted Falls) had three RBI.

On the mound, sophomore right-hander Logan Heffernan (Lebanon) pitched the first eight innings, allowed nine base hits, two runs (none earned), struck out eight Otterbein hitters and walked three. He earned the victory to improve to 3-0 this season. Junior Jerry Scholle (Medina/ Highland) pitched the ninth inning, allowed one hit, one run (earned), struck out one and walked one.

In the second game, Otterbein scored three times in the bottom of the third for a 3-0 lead before BW tallied twice in the fourth to cut the deficit to 3-2. The Cardinals scored single runs in the fourth through seventh innings compared to just one for BW to build its 7-3 lead.

At the plate, Handel stayed hot as he was 2-for-5, including his fourth homer in the last three games, a two-run shot in the fourth. In addition, sophomore 2B Cole Nieto (Brunswick/ Cleveland/ St. Ignatius) was 3-for-5 with a walk and a stolen base, and junior two-time All-OAC pitcher/ infielder Mark Zimmerman (Akron/ Green) was 2-for-3 with a run scored, triple, walk and RBI.

On the mound, Mark started and pitched the first five and one-third innings, allowed seven hits, five runs (four earned), struck out four and walked two as he dropped to 2-2 this season. He was followed by junior Alex Albright (North Royalton) who tossed one and two-third innings, allowed three hits and two runs (both earned), struck out one and walked one. Junior Brandon Cichocki (Walled Lake, Mich./ Central) pitched the eighth inning and allowed one hit and struck out one batter.

The Yellow Jackets play six games next week. BW travels to Hiram on Tuesday, April 7 to play a single non-league game against Hiram College at 4 p.m., hosts OAC and Cleveland cross-town rival John Carroll University on Wednesday, April 8 for an OAC doubleheader at Heritage Field at 1 p.m., hosts Pitt-Greensburg (Pa.) on Thursday, April 9 for a single game at Heritage Field at 4 p.m. and ends the week by travelling to Wilmington to play an OAC twinbill versus Wilmington College on Saturday, April 11 at 1 p.m.