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Baseball Drops Back-and-Forth Affair with Swarthmore (Pa.) in First NCAA Tournament Game

Senior first baseman Philip Wells drove in three runs in the victory over Oberlin (Photo courtesy of Jesse Kucewicz)
Senior first baseman Philip Wells drove in three runs in the victory over Oberlin (Photo courtesy of Jesse Kucewicz)

AUBURN, N.Y. – In a game that featured a pair of late lead changes, the fourth-seeded Baldwin Wallace University baseball team fell 11-6 to fifth-seeded Swarthmore (Pa.) College in the New York Regional of the 2018 NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament, hosted by the State University of New York at Cortland at Falcon Park.

Senior American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings All-Mideast Region and All-Ohio Athletic Conference pitcher Evan Lovick (Mentor) worked out of a jam in the top of the first inning, leaving two runners stranded and giving his offense a chance to work. With two outs in the bottom of the first, freshman shortstop Alex Ludwick (Brunswick/Padua Franciscan) singled over the second baseman's head to give BW (31-13 overall) a 1-0 lead. However, a solo shot got Swarthmore (34-9) started as the Garnet finally broke through for two runs in the top of the third and added to the lead with two more runs in the fourth.

The Yellow Jackets started to chip away at the 4-1 lead as senior All-OAC catcher Trent Kaltenbach (Plain City/Jonathan Alder) hit a sacrifice fly to score Ludwick. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, sophomore first baseman Jacob Bonner (Akron/Archbishop Hoban) got a rally started with a two-out single to center field while junior designated hitter Philip Wells (Buffalo, N.Y./St. Joseph's Collegiate) followed with a bases-clearing double to regain a 6-4 lead for BW. Swarthmore got the runs back and more with the help of a three-run home run off the left field foul pole and led 9-6 heading into the bottom of the eighth. The Garnet plated two unearned runs in the ninth to finish off the scoring.

Ludwick, Wells and junior third baseman Kyle Pennington (Wadsworth) led the offense with two hits apiece. With his career-high tying two doubles, Wells had a team-high three runs batted in (RBIs) while Ludwick scored a team-best two runs.

Lovick got dusted up in his three-plus innings of work, giving up four earned runs on nine hits with three walks. Junior lefty Jack Raines (Akron/Archbishop Hoban) threw four innings of relief, allowing three earned runs on seven hits and one walk. Sophomore left-hander Michael Hubert (Cincinnati/Oak Hills) finished off the game with two innings and giving up four runs (three unearned) on one hit and three walks.

BW will play for its playoff life against either No. 1 seed SUNY Cortland or No. 8 seed Westfield State (Mass.) University on Friday, May 18, at 10 a.m. as the New York Regional continues at Falcon Park.