WESTERVILLE, Ohio – The third-seeded Baldwin Wallace University baseball team advanced to the 2018 Ohio Athletic Conference Championship game with a 22-8 victory over No. 1 seed and host Otterbein University at Fishbaugh Field.
BW (30-12 overall) defeated second-seeded Marietta College 19-5 in the opening game while the Cardinals (29-13) beat the No. 4 seed Ohio Northern University in walk-off fashion to meet in the morning's winners' game.
The Yellow Jackets have now scored a total of 41 runs in the tournament on 43 hits and topped Thursday's previous season-high of 19 runs in a game.
Much like Thursday's game against the No. 2 seed Marietta College, BW started off its second game of the OAC Tournament with four straight base hits. With the bases loaded, senior All-OAC second baseman Spencer Badia (Bellaire) hit a two-run single to center field and then freshman shortstop Alex Ludwick (Brunswick/Padua Franciscan) hit a sacrifice fly to give the Yellow Jackets an early 3-0 lead. Otterbein, however, would answer for one run in the bottom of the first. Badia added to the BW lead in the third when he clobbered a two-run home run down the right field line, already tallying three runs batted in (RBIs) through the early innings.
The Cardinals displayed why they earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament and used a four-run third inning to tie the game at 5-5. BW threatened in each of the fourth and fifth innings but was finally able to retake a lead with RBI singles from senior All-OAC catcher Trent Kaltenbach (Plain City/Jonathan Alder) and junior third baseman Kyle Pennington (Wadsworth). An RBI hit by pitch and a walk plated the third and fourth runs of the inning as the Yellow Jackets led 9-5. A six-run sixth inning really broke the game open as sophomore first baseman Jacob Bonner (Akron/Archbishop Hoban) and senior All-OAC right fielder Alex Marcum (Granville) each clobbered home runs to right field for a 15-5 advantage. Otterbein got a three runs back in the bottom of the sixth to come within seven runs of the lead at 15-8.
BW capped off the afternoon's scoring with a four-spot in the eighth inning and a monster three-run home run from sophomore left fielder Dudley Taw (Sheffield Lake/Brookside) in the top of the ninth.
Marcum and Ludwick led the offense with four hits apiece while Marcum tied the single-season school record for RBIs at 58 with his five runs batted in this afternoon. With his 13th home run of the season, Taw put up a game-high six RBIs as well.
Junior right-handed pitcher Danny Cody (Medina/Brecksville-Broadview Heights) picked up his sixth win of the season as he went six innings, giving up eight runs on 11 hits and two walks with six strikeouts. The hard-throwing junior also broke the single-season strikeout record with 93 punchouts. Sophomore lefty Spencer Berg (New Albany) and sophomore right-hander Max Adams (Massillon/Washington) combined for three scoreless innings of relief.
BW will take on Otterbein again in the 2018 OAC Championship Game on Saturday, May 12, at 10 a.m. As the tournament is double elimination, the Yellow Jackets enter the championship with a 2-0 record and can suffer one loss and still win the championship.