The College of Wooster’s baseball team dominated the Lords of Kenyon College on Saturday, winning by scores of 15-1 and 18-6 at McCloskey Field. “I think the key for this weekend was the amount of offense we brought to the table,” said Tanner Kaplan ’19. “Our hitters were consistently squaring balls up and providing key hits when we needed them.”
The opener was scoreless through three innings before Garrett Crum ’19 hit a two-run shot in the fourth to give Wooster the lead. The Scots broke it open with six runs in the fifth. Chandler Dippman ’19 and Jake Fling ’18 singled to start the rally, then Kenyon pitcher Patrick O’Leary ’20 threw away Dan Harwood ’20’s sacrifice bunt to make it 3-0. After Michael Wielansky ’19 walked to load the bases, Jamie Lackner ’17 drew another walk to drive in a run. Nick Strausbaugh ’20 scored on Crum’s sacrifice fly and Drew Tornow ’18 unloaded a three-run bomb to right, bringing the lead to 8-0.
The Scots continued to pile on in the sixth, tacking on five more runs. They would eventually win 15-1, as the game ended after seven innings due to the mercy rule. Starting pitcher Michael Houdek ’17 tossed a complete-game gem, allowing just five hits and striking out seven. “I think Michael Houdek set the tone for us early by throwing a few shutout innings,” remarked his catcher, Ryan Ostendorf ’17. “He kept the momentum on our side until we were able to break it open offensively.”
The second contest yielded a similar result, as Wooster’s offense was again quiet at the start before breaking out in the middle innings. The Lords took an early 1-0 lead, but it didn’t last as the Scots rocked Kenyon’s pitching staff for eight runs in the fourth inning. Ostendorf drove in the first run with a triple and scored on an infield single by Jacob Stuursma ’19. Strausbaugh later singled for two of his five RBIs and Wielansky crushed a two-run dinger. Trailing 8-1, the Lords didn’t go down quietly, answering with four runs in the bottom of the inning to make it 8-5. After both sides added a run in the fifth, Wooster broke it back open in the following frames. Stuursma and Lackner went deep as the Scots scored nine unanswered runs, again invoking the mercy rule for an 18-6 win.
It was a terrific day for Wooster in all aspects of the game, as the defense also shined. “I know our outfield was a big key this weekend, with Drew Tornow’s great catch in left the first game and Jake Fling’s running catch in center in the second game,” said Kaplan. Wooster has won five straight and will try to continue its hot streak on April 19 at Denison. The Big Red are having a strong season, having previously been ranked 17th in the nation. Denison is 19-6 on the season, with a 5-3 record in conference play. Despite the prospect of a tough opponent, Strausbaugh thinks the team is up to the challenge of facing off against a strong conference rival.