Categorized | Sports

Baseball loses to conference foe DU

With an unwavering rainfall muddying Art Murray Field, the baseball team was only able to play two of its five scheduled games this past weekend. After defeating non-conference foe Muskingum University (12-20) 5-4 on Thursday, the squad lost 8-3 to Denison University (16-20, 8-7 NCAC) before having to postpone the second game of the day’s doubleheader. Sunday’s doubleheader at Allegheny College (13-14, 5-6 NCAC) was also postponed due to poor weather.

On Thursday, Wooster (19-12, 9-4 NCAC) welcomed Muskingum to Art Murray Field for a one game stand. The match was relatively quiet through the first seven innings. However, with the game tied 2-2 at the bottom of the eighth, leadoff hitter Zac Mathie ’14 crushed the ball to homer over the right fence.

Wooster looked like it would seal the win in the top of the ninth after closer Tyler Fugate ’11 and the Scots’ infield forced two outs. However, Muskingum’s Tyler Hardcastle cranked a two-run home run to put the Muskies up one. After drawing two walks in the bottom of the ninth, Wooster loaded the bases with an excellent bunt by Eddie Reese ’14. With two runners in scoring position, Derek Wyman ’11 drove the ball into left field, allowing Wooster to score the game tying and winning runs and giving him his second career walk off hit.

The next day the Scots welcomed Denison for a crucial late-season match between the two conference rivals. The game seemed within reach through the first three innings. In each of the first two frames, Wooster escaped the inning with bases loaded double plays. Wooster notched its first run at the bottom of the first inning after a Mathie double pushed Wyman across home plate.

With the game tied 1-1 heading into the third inning, the Big Red knocked off three consecutive runs. Denison never looked back as it put two more runs on the board in both the fourth and sixth innings, respectively.

In the sixth inning Wooster tried to inch back up the scoreboard after gaining one unearned tally and subsequently loading the bases. Unfortunately they would leave the runners stranded.

Wooster once again left three runners on the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning. Wooster was able to knock off 11 hits on the day, but unfortunately stranded 12 players on base. Steve Hagen ’14, one of seven Scots pitchers on the day, got the loss and moved his season record to 3-3.

This was Denison’s first win over Wooster since April 12, 2008 and its first win at Art Murray Field since May 4, 2003. Even with the loss, however, Wooster still sits on top of North Coast Athletic Conference standings heading into this week’s conference tournament.

With a few weeks left in the season, Greg Van Horn ’11 leads the Scots with a .416 hitting percentage, followed by Mathie and Zack Vesco ’11, with .350 and .337 respectively. Van Horn and Mathie are tied for the most hits with 42 apiece, followed by Michael Wellstead ’13 and Vesco.

Mathie’s success has helped prove the words of Head Coach Tim Pettorini earlier this season to be true, in which he explained his optimism for the crop of very young talent coming into the program.

Wooster traveled to Chillicothe, Ohio, to play Wittenberg University in the conference tournament first round Thursday after press time. They hope to continue their action through the weekend.

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