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NCAC Weekly Release (4-17-17) - Baseball

Hiram freshman Hank Clegg
Hiram freshman Hank Clegg

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Following the first three weekends of league play in NCAC Baseball, Wooster has built a lead in the East over Allegheny, while DePauw holds a one-game lead over Denison in the West after the Tigers took three of four from the Big Red last weekend in Indiana. League play continues this weekend with four total series on the slate, led by Oberlin hosting Kenyon in the East and Wittenberg traveling to Denison in the West. 

ALLEGHENY split an NCAC cross-divisional DH against Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday, with OWU winning game one, 4-2, and the Gators taking game two by a 3-0 margin. In game one, the Gators were hamstrung by six errors, as just two of the Bishops’ four runs were earned. In game two, senior Chase Boyer (Sandusky, OH/Perkins) led a group of four Allegheny hurlers to combine for a six-hit shutout, as the reigning NCAC Pitcher of the Year struck out five and allowed just four hits in the first 5.1 innings of action. Offensively, sophomore Ethan Pawlak (Chardon, OH/Gilmour Acad.) had two hits in each game for the Gators.

DENISON, ranked 17th in the ABCA Top-30 and 20th in the Top-25, saw its program-record 12-game winning streak snapped by DePauw last weekend as the Tigers took three out of four in a key NCAC West matchup. DU dropped a 4-3 heartbreaker in game one on a walk-off single and salvaged a 1-3 record in Indiana on Saturday with a 14-12 win over DePauw in the series finale. Senior Eric Zmuda (Toledo, OH/St. Francis de Sales) led the Bid Red on the weekend by hitting .438 (7-for-16) with two doubles, two homers, five runs scored and four RBI.

DEPAUW, which is receiving votes in both the ABCA Top-30 and the Top-25, saw its recent winning streak reach seven-straight last week, before dropping a 14-12 decision in its NCAC West series finale with Denison on Saturday. Prior to that loss, the Tigers knocked off Rose-Hulman, 10-3, on Wednesday and won the first three games of its series against DU by scores of 4-3, 13-6 and 15-5. Senior outfielder Jack Thompson (Carmel, IN/Carmel) drove in the game-winning run in the 4-3 victory over the Big Red on walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth that scored freshman pinch runner CJ Yoannou (Ontario, Canada/Crescent School). Through 29 games this season, the Tigers have already smacked 36 homers which is five better than the program’s previous single season high water mark. In addition, senior Mike Hammel (Westfield, IN/Cathedral) tied the program’s single season record with his 11th homer of the season in the 15-5 win over Denison on Saturday.

HIRAM split its NCAC East series with Oberlin last weekend, with the Terriers sweeping Friday’s DH by scores of 6-1 and 6-5. Freshman right-hander Hank Clegg (Toronto, OH/Toronto) was lights out on the hill in the 6-1 victory as he struck out a career-high 10 batters and allowed just one earned run on five hits in 8.0 innings of work for his third win of the season in the 6-1 victory, while junior Tyler Carcioppolo (Seven Hills, OH/Normandy) hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth that proved to be the game-winner in the 6-5 victory.

KENYON was swept by NCAC East foe Wooster in a Saturday twinbill by scores of 15-1 and 18-6. The final two games of the series will be played this afternoon (4/17) in Gambier. Freshman Patrick O’Leary (Killingworth, CT/Choate) went 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBI in the game-two loss.

OBERLIN salvaged an NCAC East series split at Hiram on Saturday by winning the final two games of the series by scores of 14-4 and 13-4. Freshman Parker Goldstein (Bedford Hills, NY/Choate Rosemary Hall) went 6-for-10 in the series with three runs scored, while senior Brian Carney (Winchester, MA/Winchester) launched a three-run homer in each game on Saturday.

OHIO WESLEYAN junior Michael Blatchford (Shaker Hts., OH/Shaker Hts.) put the Bishops ahead for good on an RBI double in the fourth in the 4-2 win over Allegheny on Saturday, but the Gators forced a split in the NCAC cross-divisional DH with a 3-0 win in the nightcap. Junior right-hander Kevin Zullo (Hudson, OH/Hudson) evened his pitching record to 3-3 after striking out five and allowing two earned runs on four hits in the first 5.0 innings of the win, while Blatchford went 3-for-8 at the plate in the DH with one run scored and one RBI.

WABASH won three of four in its NCAC West home series against Wittenberg, opening the four-game set with a 13-1 victory on Friday and closing out the series with a 10-2 win on Saturday. The Little Giants pounded out 27 hits in the series, which included five doubles, two triples and two home runs. Sophomore Erich Lange (Hamilton, OH/Fairfield) collected five hits and had four RBI in three starts in the series, which included driving in the eventual game-winning run in game four on a triple down the right field line in the sixth inning. Senior right-hander Jensen Kirch (Indianapolis, IN/North Central) improved to 4-2 on the year after limiting Wittenberg to just one earned run on eight hits with five strikeouts in his 13-1 complete-game victory in the series opener on Friday.

WITTENBERG opened the week with a 9-7 extra-inning loss against Thomas More in non-conference action, before dropping three of four at Wabash in an NCAC West series over the weekend. In the Tigers’ 2-1 win over Wabash on Saturday, sophomore Jace Barga (Versailles, OH/Versailles) scored the game-winning run in the seventh inning on a throwing error by the Wabash pitcher, while sophomore Noble Moore (Delaware, OH/Hayes) earned his second pitching win of the season after holding the Little Giants to just one run on seven hits in the first 6.0 innings of action.

WOOSTER, ranked eighth in the Top-25 and ninth in the ABCA Top-30, split a pair of midweek non-conference home games, which included a 14-4 win over Pitt.-Greensburg, before opening its NCAC East series at Kenyon on Saturday with a pair of run-rule victories by scores of 15-1 and 18-6. Senior first baseman Jamie Lackner (Westlake, OH/Westlake) moved into the top-10 in program history in career RBI with 168 after blasting a leadoff homer in the top of the seventh in the 18-6 win over Kenyon. Freshman outfielder Nick Strausbaugh (Fredericksburg, OH/Waynedale) had a breakout week at the plate for the Scots, hitting .700 (7-for-10) with one double, nine runs scored and six RBI, highlighted by a 4-for-6 performance in the 18-6 win over the Lords.