ADRIAN, Mich. – The Baldwin Wallace University baseball team finished off the regular season with a sweep of two seven-inning, non-conference games with 16th-ranked Adrian (Mich.) College at Nicolay Field.
BW (28-12 overall) survived a late inning push by Adrian (30-10) to take game one by a score of 7-5 and completed the sweep with a 9-4 victory in the second game.
A two-run home run off the bat of senior All-Ohio Athletic Conference right fielder Alex Marcum (Granville) gave the Yellow Jackets a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Five more runs would come around to score in the fourth inning, one when senior All-OAC catcher Trent Kaltenbach (Plain City/Jonathan Alder) hit a deep fly ball dropped by the right fielder and another by senior center fielder Chase Knodle (Poland/Seminary) ripped a single past the diving shortstop. Marcum really blew the game open, however, when he hit a three-run double to cap off the inning.
Adrian finally got on the scoreboard with a two-run homer of its own in the fifth inning and continued to rack up the runs in the sixth, cutting the Yellow Jacket lead down to 7-5. The Bulldogs threatened to walk off in the bottom of the seventh when the first two runners reached base and a sacrifice put them in scoring position but sophomore lefty Spencer Berg (New Albany) recorded the final two outs to lock down the win.
Knodle and Marcum combined for four of BW's five hits in the first game while Marcum had a career-high tying five runs batted in (RBIs).
On the mound, senior right-hander Brandon Wysong (Bradford) notched his second consecutive win after going four scoreless innings, only allowing three hits and four walks with three strikeouts. Berg gets his first save of the season with 0.2 innings of work in the bottom of the seventh, recording one strikeout.
While game one featured a lot of offense, the second game started as more of a pitchers' duel until the top of the fourth inning. With two outs, back-to-back base hits and a walk loaded the bases for junior designated hitter Reese Albright (Parma/North Royalton). The junior sent a ground-rule double over the right field fence for the first runs of the game as BW led 2-0. Knodle and sophomore left fielder Dudley Taw (Sheffield Lake/Brookside) each followed with two-run singles to open up a 6-0 advantage. The Bulldogs were able to answer, however, with a four spot in the bottom half of the inning.
BW gave itself a little bit of breathing room when Taw singled through the right side to bring home a run in the top of the seventh and then senior All-OAC Spencer Badia (Bellaire) added two more runs with a ground-rule double for a comfortable 9-4 lead.
Knodle, Taw and Badia each had two base hits in the second game while Taw had a team-leading three RBIs. Knodle, Badia and Albright all recorded two additional RBIs as well. With his two steals in the nightcap, Knodle also broke the school record for stolen bases in a season with 30, which also leads the OAC. The school record previously stood at 29 by Bill Snyder from 1981.
Freshman righty Nick Smith (Mentor) got the nod in game two and threw 3.1 innings, allowing four earned runs on four hits and five walks. Berg and sophomore right-hander Spencer Aukerman (Medina) combined for 3.2 innings of scoreless relief, giving up just one hit apiece. Berg earns the win while Aukerman picks up his first save of the season after his three-inning performance.
The Yellow Jackets will open up the 2018 OAC Tournament as the No. 3 seed, taking on second-seeded Marietta College on Thursday, May 10, at 3 p.m. at Fishbaugh Field on the campus of Otterbein University.