MARIETTA, Ohio – In a battle of top 25 teams, the 15th-ranked Baldwin Wallace University baseball team earned a split in the opening Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader against 21st-ranked Marietta College inside Don Schaly Stadium.
Marietta (10-3, 1-1 OAC) took a close first game by a score of 4-3 while BW (14-4, 1-1 OAC) bounced right back with a 9-2 win in the second game, marking the fifth straight year BW and Marietta have split the season series.
BW struck first in the top of the second inning when junior first baseman Philip Wells (Buffalo, N.Y./St. Joseph's Collegiate) singled to right center to score sophomore outfielder Dudley Taw (Sheffield Lake/Brookside). Marietta finally got on the scoreboard with an unearned run in the bottom of the third but the Yellow Jackets were able to answer in the fourth when Wells hit a solo home run to right field to retake a 2-1 lead.
After surrendering two runs in the bottom of the fourth, BW found itself trailing 3-2 until the eighth inning when Wells got the inning started off with the single to center field. With freshman outfielder Jack Lehew (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny) pinch-running, Lehew advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and came around to score on a single by senior outfielder Chase Knodle (Poland/Seminary). Senior American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings All-Mideast Region and All-OAC pitcher Evan Lovick (Mentor) could not hold on to the tie as he gave up one run in the bottom of the eighth while the Pioneers set down the side in the ninth for the 4-3 victory. BW was not without opportunities, however, as the Yellow Jackets left the bases loaded twice in the first game.
Wells led the way with a 4-for-4 performance, including the solo home run and two runs batted in. Knodle and Taw each chipped in two hits apiece.
Lovick suffers his first loss of the season as he threw all eight innings, giving up four runs with only two earned on five hits and four walks.
In the second game, the Yellow Jackets were finally able to score with the bases loaded. A wild pitch and an RBI groundout with the bases juiced gave BW a 2-0 lead in the top of the second while senior All-OAC catcher Trent Kaltenbach (Plain City/Jonathan Alder) singled home two runs in the fourth, once again with the bases loaded. BW plated a total of three runs in the fourth and then added one run each in the fifth, seventh and two in the eighth, which was more than enough with the reigning OAC Pitcher of the Week on the mound in junior right-hander Danny Cody (Medina/Brecksville-Broadview Heights).
Kaltenbach led the offensive effort in game two with three hits, including a double and three RBIs. Taw and sophomore infielder Jacob Bonner (Akron/Archbishop Hoban) each recorded two knocks.
Cody picks up his second straight win after an eight inning effort, giving up two runs with only one earned run on five hits and one walk while recording nine strikeouts.
BW will hit the road for a single non-conference game against Allegheny (Pa.) College on Wednesday, March 28, at 4 p.m. at the Robertson Baseball Field.