The 2017 NCAC baseball season is now in full swing as several league teams were in action last week on spring break trips in southern states, highlighted by Hiram posting a 7-3 mark at the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic in Fort Myers, Florida. NCAC teams are slated to compete every day this week, with numerous games taking place in Arizona and Florida.
ALLEGHENY was idle last week.
DENISON began its spring break in Port Charlotte, Florida, on Sunday with a pair of narrow losses against Arcadia, 5-4, and Susquehanna, 6-4. Senior second baseman Eric Zmuda (Toledo, OH/St. Francis DeSales) collected three hits and drove in two runs over the two-game stretch.
DEPAUW moved to 7-2 on the season after taking two out of three games against Manchester last weekend at Bishop Chatard H.S. in Indianapolis. The Tigers won the opener, 3-2, before picking up a 3-1 victory in the finale on Sunday. Despite dropping game two in 11 innings by a score of 3-2, senior starter Andrew Quinn (Chesterfield, MO/St. Louis Univ.) was lights out on the mound over the first 7.0 scoreless innings as he struck out five batters and allowed just two hits for a tough luck no-decision.
HIRAM wrapped up play at the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic in Fort Myers, Florida, last week with a 6-2 record, which included a pair of doubleheader sweeps against Lakeland and Merchant Marine. At 7-3 overall, the Terriers are now off to their best start since the 2004 squad also opened the season at 7-3. In eight games last week, sophomore centerfielder Bryan Engdahl (Escondido, CA/San Pasqual) led the offense by going 18-for-35 at the plate with five doubles, eight RBI and 10 runs scored, which included a three-RBI performance in a 13-6 win over Lakeland on March 6th. On the mound, freshman Hank Clegg (Toronto, OH/Toronto) made the most of his two starts in Florida as he struck out 12 and allowed just two earned runs on six hits in 12.1 innings of work, highlighted by tossing the team’s first complete-game of the season in the 6-1 win over Merchant Marine on March 11th.
KENYON posted a 2-4 record on its first full week of spring break action in Fort Pierce, Florida, earning wins over Lebanon Valley, 3-2, and Monmouth (IL), 4-3. At the plate, junior Matt von Roemer (Kendall Park, NJ/Rutgers Prep) led the Lords by going 12-for-26 (.462) with four runs scored and one RBI, while junior Jesse Bogacz (Bayside, NY/Trinity) earned the win on the mound after striking out eight and allowing just two runs on two hits in the 3-2 victory over LV. In addition, junior Luke Calcei (Mantua, OH/Aurora) chalked up the save in both KC victories on the week.
OBERLIN is off to a 4-0 start up north as the Yeomen swept Berea at home on March 8th by scores of 12-1 and 17-0, before following with a pair of neutral site wins over Calvin on March 10 in Westfield, Indiana. Senior rightfielder Brian Carney (Winchester, MA/Winchester) led the Yeomen over the four-game stretch by hitting 8-for-13 (.615) with one homer, two doubles, three runs scored and nine RBI, which included blasting a three-run homer in the season-opening win over Berea. On the mound, a total of 10 Yeomen combined for 29 strikeouts on the opening week of the season.
OHIO WESLEYAN lost a pair of games against OAC opponents last week, dropping a 10-8 decision at home against Capital on Wednesday, before suffering a 9-4 loss at Otterbein on Thursday. The Bishops held a 5-1 lead over Capital after the fourth, but the Crusaders scored the next nine runs of the game to escape with the victory. Four different players had two or more hits against Capital, led by sophomore shortstop John Rings (Centerburg, OH/Centerburg) going 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and an RBI single in the seventh.
WABASH finished its spring break trip in Arizona with a 5-2 record, which included a 4-1 mark last week that saw the Little Giants string together four-straight wins over Bethany Lutheran, 7-4, Simpson, 14-5, North Central (MN), 22-4, and Lewis & Clark, 4-2. In the five games last week, junior outfielder Taylor Canter (Fishers, IN/Fishers) went 11-for-20 at the plate with two doubles, five RBI and eight runs scored, while four different pitchers logged wins for the Little Giants over the five-game stretch, highlighted by senior Jensen Kirch (Indianapolis, IN/North Central) going the distance in the 4-2 win over Lewis & Clark.
WITTENBERG went 2-4 on its spring break trip in Florida, earning wins over Saint Vincent, 5-3, and Emerson, 10-2. Sophomore Jace Barga (Versailles, OH/Versailles) was the winning pitcher against SVC after striking out six and allowing just one earned run on seven hits over the first 7.0 innings of action, while sophomore outfielder Matt Baker (Tucson, AZ/Ironwood Ridge) paced the Tigers’ lineup on the week by hitting 10-for-24 (.417) with two doubles, three RBI and five runs scored.
WOOSTER, ranked 12th in the D3baseball.com Top-25, opened its season with a 3-1 win at Capital last Thursday. Sophomore shortstop Michael Wielansky (St. Louis, MO/Ladue Horton Watkins) set the tone for the Scots by roping a double to left center that moved the eventual first run of the game to third base. He also scored an insurance run in the sixth after leading off the inning with a walk and advancing to second on his first stolen base of the season. Senior lefty Michael Houdek (Cleveland Hts., OH/Cleveland Hts.) earned the win on the hill after striking out six and allowing one unearned run on five hits in 5.0 total innings of work.