WESTERVILLE, Ohio – Baldwin Wallace University senior American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings All-Mideast Region and All-Ohio Athletic Conference pitcher Evan Lovick (Mentor) set a school record for career victories as the third-seeded Yellow Jackets dominated second-seeded and nationally-ranked Marietta College 19-5 in the teams' opening OAC Tournament game, hosted by Otterbein University at Fishbaugh Field.
BW (29-12 overall) scored a season-high 19 runs on a season-high tying 22 hits to defeat the 25th-ranked team in NCAA Division III and set a good tone to start the tournament.
The Yellow Jackets jumped on Marietta's ace early, starting off the game with five consecutive hits to take a 3-0 lead which was highlighted by a two-run double off the bat of senior All-OAC second baseman Spencer Badia (Bellaire). One more run would come around to score in the top of the first on a double play ball. BW really blew the game open, however, in the top of the second with a seven-run inning thanks to home runs from sophomore left fielder Dudley Taw (Sheffield Lake/Brookside) and senior All-OAC catcher Trent Kaltenbach (Plain City/Jonathan Alder).
Marietta (26-15) would get on the scoreboard with two runs in the bottom of the second and one in the fourth, bringing the score to 11-3. BW would get the run back and more in the top of the fifth as five different Yellow Jackets recorded RBI hits to take a 16-3 lead. Senior All-OAC right fielder Alex Marcum (Granville) extended the lead with a two-run home run to left center in the top of the sixth. Senior center fielder Chase Knodle (Poland/Seminary) plated the team's 19th run as he doubled to right center in the top of the eighth. The Pioneers homered in each of the eighth and ninth innings but could not come any closer to the big Yellow Jacket lead.
Knodle led the offensive brigade with a career-high four hits, including two doubles, with two runs batted in and three runs scored. Four other Yellow Jackets in Marcum, Badia, freshman shortstop Alex Ludwick (Brunswick/Padua Franciscan) and junior third baseman Kyle Pennington (Wadsworth) had three base hits apiece. Marcum had a game-high four RBIs while Pennington scored a career-high four runs.
On the mound, Lovick recorded the 24th win of his stellar career, breaking the previous record of 23 wins set by BW Hall of Famer Dale Koler from 2001-04. The senior went five solid innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and three walks with one strikeout. Junior left-hander Jack Raines (Akron/Archbishop Hoban) and senior righty Nick Patrone (Bellaire) combined for four innings of relief, giving up two total runs on three hits and three combined strikeouts.
BW continues into the winners' bracket and will take on top-seeded Otterbein on Friday, May 11, at 9:30 a.m. at Fishbaugh Field. The winner of that game advances to the Championship on Saturday, May 12, while the loser will play a second game later on Friday to stay alive in the OAC Tournament.