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Baseball Sweeps Muskingum in Marathon OAC Doubleheader

Sophomore Nick Smith (Photo Courtesy of Alec Palmer)
Sophomore Nick Smith (Photo Courtesy of Alec Palmer)

NEW CONCORD, Ohio –  In an Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader that featured 21 innings and six hours and 15 minutes of action, the Baldwin Wallace University baseball team earned its second OAC sweep of the season as it defeated Muskingum University at Mose-Morehead Field.

BW (19-9, 5-5 OAC) needed extra innings to win the first game over Muskingum (11-15, 4-6 OAC) by a final score of 6-5 in 13 innings as the Yellow Jackets scored three runs in the eighth inning to force the extra action.  BW won the nightcap in eight innings by a final score of 9-1 as the game was called heading into the ninth due to darkness.

Early errors plagued the Yellow Jackets once again as Muskingum plated two unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning. BW was able to halve the deficit in the top of the second when an RBI groundout from freshman shortstop Alex Ludwick (Brunswick/Padua Franciscan) scored senior All-OAC infielder Spencer Badia (Bellaire). The Fighting Muskies would hold a 2-1 lead until the top of the fifth when sophomore left fielder Dudley Taw (Sheffield Lake/Brookside) doubled to right field, scoring junior first baseman Philip Wells (Buffalo, N.Y./St. Joseph's Collegiate) to tie the game.

Muskingum would get the run back and more in the bottom of the fifth with a two-run single, taking a 4-2 lead. Another run would come around to score in the sixth but the Yellow Jackets weren't going down without a fight. In the top of the eighth, Ludwick brought home two runs with a triple to right center and then came around to score himself with a double by senior All-OAC catcher Trent Kaltenbach (Plain City/Jonathan Alder), tying the game at 5-5 and eventually forcing extra innings. The Fighting Muskies loaded the bases in each of the 10th and 11th innings but could not complete the walk off. Meanwhile, a pair of Muskingum errors in the top of the 13th put senior center fielder Chase Knodle (Poland/Seminary) on third with one out. Sophomore outfielder Brandon Dim (Solon) was able to deliver Knodle with an RBI single to left field, giving BW its first and only lead of the game at 6-5.

Taw, Ludwick, Kaltenbach and Wells each had two hits for the Yellow Jackets while Ludwick had a team-high three RBIs. However, it was Dim's second hit of the season that proved timely and put BW in the win column.

In his first start of the season, sophomore left-handed pitcher Michael Hubert (Cincinnati/Oak Hills) threw five innings of work, giving up four runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks. Junior lefty Jack Raines (Akron/Archbishop Hoban), senior American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings All-Mideast Region and All-OAC pitcher Evan Lovick (Mentor) and junior right-handed pitcher Danny Cody (Medina/Brecksville-Broadview Heights) each threw in relief but sophomore lefty Spencer Berg (New Albany) earns his first career win with two innings of hitless and scoreless relief.

Kaltenbach and junior first baseman Kyle Pennington (Wadsworth) got the Yellow Jackets off and running in game two as each delivered RBI singles in the top of the second with Pennington driving in two give BW the 3-0 lead.  The Yellow Jackets scored a run in the third inning on a Fighting Muskie error.  BW erupted for four runs in the top half of the fourth inning on a couple of Muskingum errors along with timely RBI singles from Taw and senior All-OAC right fielder Alex Marcum (Granville).  The Fighting Muskies got on the board as it scored one run but trailed 8-1 after four innings.  The Yellow Jackets closed out the scoring when Marcum knocked in the final run on an RBI double in the sixth inning.

Taw led the game two offense as he went 3-for-5 with a double, RBI and two runs scored. Kaltenbach was 2-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored.  Knodle was 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored.  Badia, Marcum and Pennington each had a base knock.   Marcum had a double and three RBIs while Pennington had a career-high three RBIs and a career-best 11 putouts.

On the mound, freshman Nick Smith (Mentor) won his second career game as he allowed one run on two hits with three strikeouts in a career-high eight innings pitched.

With Monday's non-conference road game at La Roche (Pa.) College being postponed, BW will return to the friendly confines of Fisher Field on Wednesday, April 18, when the Yellow Jackets host Heidelberg University for an OAC doubleheader. First pitch is at 1 p.m. while the second game will follow at approximately 4 p.m.