BEREA, Ohio – With two convincing Ohio Athletic Conference victories over Otterbein University, 7-2 and 13-1 at Fisher Field, the Baldwin Wallace University baseball team has secured its spot in the tournament for the second consecutive season.
In game one, BW (23-10, 12-4) scored seven runs off twelve hits as one came across in the first, three in the third, one in the fourth, and two more insurance runs in the sixth to seal the 7-2 victory. Otterbein (17-15, 7-7 OAC) plated two runs off three hits.
The offense was led by sophomore shortstop Alex Ludwick (Brunswick/Padua Franciscan) as he posted a career-tying four hits in four at-bats with one double, while driving in two runs and scored once. Senior second baseman Kyle Pennington (Wadsworth) had a two-run single in the third, added another run batted-in (RBI) in the sixth off a fielder's choice, and scored run. Junior designated hitter Sam Sustersic (Richfield/Revere) had one hit and added an RBI with his sacrifice fly to center field in the third. Senior catcher Asa Adams (Sarver, Pa./Knoch) and sophomore third baseman Tony LoParo (Avon/Elyria Catholic) each recorded 2-for4 days and scored a run. Senior first baseman Philip Wells (Buffalo, N.Y./Saint Joseph's Collegiate) and junior left fielder Jacob Bonner (Akron/Archbishop Hoban) each tallied one hit, while junior Academic All-OAC center fielder Brandon Dim (Solon) scored three runs.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Nick Smith (Mentor) earned his third win after dealing seven innings where he allowed two runs off three hits and struck out a career-high six. Senior left-handed pitcher Jack Raines (Akron/Archbishop Hoban) pitched two innings of no-run baseball, struck out four and allowed zero hits.
In game two, the Yellow Jackets plated 13 runs off 16 hits as one came in the second, 11 in the third and one in the fifth. The Cardinals plated one run off six hits.
The BW offense was led by Bonner as he went 3-of-5 with two RBI and a run scored. Wells went 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBI and scored a run. Senior two-time Academic All-OAC right fielder Reese Albright (Parma/North Royalton) had a 2-for-4 day with a double, added one RBI and scored twice. Ludwick went 2-of-5 at the dish with one RBI and two runs scored while Pennington also had two hits with one RBI and two runs scored, and stole a base. Dim went 2-for-4 with one RBI and a run scored while Adams had one hit with two runs scored and an RBI. Sustersic marked one hit with one run and an RBI while LoParo also had one hit with an RBI, and scored a run. Senior Academic All-OAC pinch-hitter Lane Niemann (Willowbrook, Ill./Hinsdale South) added an RBI with his sacrifice fly in the fifth.
Holstering his league-leading eighth win was senior American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings All-Mideast Region and All-OAC right-handed pitcher Danny Cody (Medina/ Brecksville-Broadview Hts.). His line included seven innings where he allowed one run off six hits and struck out 10. Junior Academic All-OAC lefty Michael Hubert (Cincinnati/Oak Hills) finished the final two innings by striking out the side twice, for a career-tying six punchouts.
BW will be back in action tomorrow, Sunday, April 28 against No. 7 Denison University at 3 p.m. The Yellow Jackets will then be back on Fisher Field for Seniors' Day against John Carroll University om Friday, May 3. Game one is scheduled for 1 p.m and game two for 4 p.m.