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Baseball Tripped Up at Otterbein

Photo by Randy Sarvis
Photo by Randy Sarvis

WESTERVILLE, Ohio – Otterbein University, the defending Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) regular season champions, plated double-digit runs in both games of a conference sweep of the Wilmington College baseball team on Tuesday afternoon. The Cardinals defeated the Fightin' Quakers 11-2 in game one and 10-8 in game two.

In game one, Wilmington opened the scoring in the top of the third inning as Gage Blue doubled to left center that scored Antonio Miller, who had led off the inning with a single up the middle two batters earlier. Lance Fleischman, the Quakers' starter, had kept Otterbein off the scoreboard in the first two innings, but Matthew Gibson changed that in the bottom of the third with a two-run home run to right field.

Leading 2-1, the Cardinals would go on to score a run in each inning for the rest of the game. Fleischman did avoid the big inning, however, pitching around two Wilmington errors. He departed after the seventh inning allow five earned runs on a dozen hits with three strikeouts. His replacement, Jarett Trautman, wasn't able to pitch around a defensive error in the eighth as the hosts tallied four unearned runs on three hits to blow the game open.

Joey Allinder provided the final run of the game with an RBI-single through the right side that scored Dylan Winger. Mason Walker, who was attempting to score on the play, was thrown out at home.

Otterbein's starter, Travis Engard, improved to 3-1 on the season allowing one run on six hits with four strikeouts through seven innings. Fleischman dipped to 2-5 with the loss.

Offensively, Miller and Allinder finished with two hits for Wilmington while Connor Brett tallied a 3-for-5 performance for Otterbein. Gibson and Luke Barber hit long balls for the Cardinals.

In game two, the Quakers' offense struck quickly as Joe Legin walked in the first, and after stealing a base, he advanced to third on a single from Nick Silvis. Bley then stepped up and delivered a three-run home run to left center putting the visitors up 3-0. The next two batters, Walker and Jake Hyatt, both singled for Wilmington and Walker scored on an RBI-single from Aaron Burks two batters later. In total, the Quakers batted around and scored four runs on five hits in the inning.

The lead wouldn't last long, however, as Otterbein also scored four runs on five hits in the first, chasing Wilmington starter Thomas Hueber after two thirds of an inning pitched. Cameron Harbert, his reliever, got recorded the final out of the first, but trouble continued in the second as Bryant McCarty, who began the second, allowed five runs (three earned) on three hits while record one out. Matt Oney relieved McCarty to record the final two outs, but the Cardinals had plated six runs and led 10-4 after two complete.

Oney would go on to pitch two more innings of perfect baseball. Even better for Wilmington, Trautman redeemed his game one performance by not allowing a run over the final four innings. With pitching in order, the Quakers went to work on the deficit as Burns tripled in the third that scored Kasey Bottorff. Three innings later, a Legin RBI-single and a Walker groundout scored two more that got the visitors within 10-7 after six complete.

The seventh and eighth innings didn't result in any offense, but a Shane Hale double with two outs in the ninth scored Allinder, advanced Burns to third and put the tying run in scoring position. A foul out to the catcher that followed would give Otterbein the sweep.

Both teams finished with 13 hits in the game including the top of Wilmington's lineup (Legin, Silvis and Bley) all tallying multi-hit games. Burns and Hale also added 2-for-3 performances.

The Cardinals had five players with two hits each including Tim Snyder's 2-for-4 game with three RBIs and a run scored.

Wilmington will attempt to snap its seven-game losing skid on Saturday when the Quakers travel to Marietta College for an OAC doubleheader slated for 1 p.m.