UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University baseball team finished off the Ohio Athletic Conference portion of the regular season with a sweep of crosstown rival John Carroll University at Schweickert Field and earns the No. 3 seed in the 2018 OAC Tournament.
BW (26-12, 11-7 OAC) won the first game with a dominant 8-2 score and then followed it up with a 6-4 win in the second game. The two teams were originally supposed to play on Friday but the doubleheader was postponed due to weather.
The Yellow Jackets struck first when senior center fielder Chase Knodle (Poland/Seminary) and sophomore left fielder Dudley Taw (Sheffield Lake/Brookside) got the game started off with back-to-back hits for an early 1-0 lead. BW would add another run in the fourth as sophomore first baseman Jacob Bonner (Akron/Archbishop Hoban) scored on a wild pitch.
Senior All-OAC right fielder Alex Marcum (Granville) kick-started a four-run sixth inning when he blasted a solo home run to right center field. A few batters later, Bonner brought home two more runs with a single to right field and then came around to score again on a wild pitch to give the Yellow Jackets a 6-0 lead. The BW offense was not done yet, however, as Taw added to his OAC-leading home run total with a solo shot to right center to lead off the ninth inning. Marcum followed with a single through the left side, took second on a passed ball, stole third and scored on an RBI groundout from senior All-OAC second baseman Spencer Badia (Bellaire). Meanwhile, senior American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings All-Mideast Region and All-OAC right hander Evan Lovick (Mentor) was on his way to a complete game shutout but John Carroll (20-17, 8-10 OAC) was able to plate two runs in the ninth inning.
At the plate, Bonner had a career 4-for-5 performance with two runs batted in (RBIs) and two runs scored. Taw, Marcum, Badia and freshman shortstop Alex Ludwick (Brunswick/ Parma Padua Franciscan) each knocked in two hits.
On the mound, Lovick moves to 7-2 on the year with the win, throwing a full nine innings and only allowing two earned runs on eight hits with a career-high tying nine strikeouts. The victory also was the 23rd of his career (23-6 overall record) and tied BW Hall of Famer Dale Koler (2001-04) for the most career wins in school history.
The Yellow Jackets carried over the momentum from the game one win, striking for three runs in the top of the second. Senior All-OAC catcher Trent Kaltenbach (Plain City/Jonathan Alder) doubled home a pair of runs while Knodle hit a sacrifice fly for the third run. The Blue Streaks scored an unearned run in the fourth inning. BW was able to add to its lead in the seventh with two unearned runs off a Marcum single but John Carroll answered with one run in the bottom of the seventh and two runs in the eighth, making the score 6-4.
Kaltenbach led the offensive effort in the second game with a three-hit performance with one double, two RBIs and two runs scored. Taw was the only other Yellow Jacket with multiple hits in game two.
Junior right-handed pitcher Danny Cody (Medina/Brecksville-Broadview Heights) earned the win with an eight inning performance, giving up four runs (three earned) on seven hits and one walk with one strikeout. Sophomore lefty Michael Hubert (Cincinnati/Oak Hills) notched his second save of the season with a scoreless and hitless inning of relief.
With the sweep, the Yellow Jackets finish in a three-way tie for third place with Heidelberg University and Ohio Northern University. Using run differential as the tiebreaker, BW receives the third seed in the tournament while Ohio Northern will be the fourth seed.
BW will head north for its final games of the regular season, a doubleheader with 16th-ranked Adrian (Mich.) College at Nicolay Field. First pitch will be at 2 p.m. while the second game will follow at approximately 4:30 p.m. The 2018 OAC Tournament begins on Thursday, May 10, and runs through Saturday, May 12, hosted by top seeded Otterbein University.