We are starting to see some separation at the top of the NCAC Baseball standings with Wooster owning a 10-2 record in the East and DePauw holding a 9-3 mark at the top of the West standings. There are several key matchups on the league slate this weekend, highlighted by second-place battle in the East as Oberlin (7-5) will be hosting Allegheny (6-6) for a four-game set in Ohio.
ALLEGHENY went 5-2 on a busy week, sweeping a DH at PSU-Behrend on Tuesday and throttling Thiel, 16-3, on Wednesday, before splitting its NCAC East series at Hiram with the Gators winning game two, 11-8, and game four, 13-6. Sophomore Ethan Pawlak (Chardon, OH/Gilmour Acad.) hit safely in all seven games last week, batting .423 (11-for-26) with five doubles, while senior Jacob Shick (Shaker Hts., OH/Shaker Hts.) hit four homers on the week, which included a two-homer game in the Gators’ 11-8 win over Hiram on Saturday. Senior Robert Julian (Pittsburgh, PA/Montour) led the pitching staff on the week by going 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA and limiting opponents to a .244 batting average.
DENISON, ranked 25th in the ABCA Top-30 and receiving votes in the D3baseball.com Top-25, posted a 4-2 record last week, highlighted by winning three of four in its NCAC West series against Wittenberg by scores of 12-2, 20-7 and 9-3. The Big Red offense outscored the Tigers, 44-19, over the weekend, which included Sunday’s DH sweep in which they batted .500 as a team and piled up 29 runs on 35 total hits. In the six games combined last week, junior Tanner Johnson (Jefferson, WI/Jefferson) hit .471 (8-for-17) with three doubles, one homer, 10 runs scored and six RBI, highlighted by a 3-for-3 performance at the plate in the 20-7 win over Wittenberg.
DEPAUW, ranked 23rd in the ABCA Top-30 and receiving votes in the D3baseball.com Top-25, won its third-straight NCAC West series of the season by taking three of four against Ohio Wesleyan, which included overcoming a 12-3 deficit in game four to post a 16-13 victory over the Bishops. Junior Collin Einertson (Ballwin, MO/Westminster Christian) hit .471 (8-for-17) on the weekend with one double, two triples, one homer and 10 RBI, while senior Jack Thompson (Carmel, IN/Carmel) blasted two homers in the series to join classmate Mike Hammel (Westfield, IN/Westfield) atop the program’s single-season home run list with 11 bombs each this year.
HIRAM split its NCAC East series with Allegheny, with the Terriers posting a 7-6 win in game one and an 8-7 victory in game three. Sophomore outfielder Bryan Engdahl (Escondido, CA/San Pasqual) helped lift the Terriers to the win in game three by blasting a solo homer to left field that broke a 6-6 tie in the bottom of the sixth. Engdahl finished the series by hitting .313 (5-for-16) with one double, the homer, four runs scored and seven RBI. Junior Tyler Carcioppolo (Seven Hills, OH/Normandy) became the program’s single-season leader in saves after closing the door on his fifth save of the season in game one.
KENYON went 0-6 in NCAC East action last week, losing both ends of a makeup DH against Wooster on Monday, before dropping all four games against Oberlin over the weekend. Junior catcher Max Warren (San Marino, CA/San Marino) remained the Lords’ hottest hitter after hitting .429 (6-for-14) in the six-game stretch.
OBERLIN moved into sole possession of second place in the NCAC East standings after sweeping Kenyon last weekend. Senior Brian Carney (Winchester, MA/Winchester) hit .500 (8-for-16) for the series with one triple, one homer, five runs scored and seven RBI, while junior Sean Kiley (Studio City, CA/Harvard Westlake) set the tone on the mound in game one by striking out a career-high 13 in the 6-2 complete-game victory. In addition, junior Jack Brewster (Ridgefield, CT/Ridgefield) hit his first-career homer in game three, a grand slam in the bottom of the fourth that proved to be the difference in the Yeomen’s 6-2 victory.
OHIO WESLEYAN dropped three of four in its NCAC West series at DePauw, with the Bishops winning game three by a 9-6 margin. OWU also played a non-conference game against Otterbein last Thursday that was halted in the sixth inning with the Cardinals leading 3-2. The game will be continued this Thursday. Junior Mitchell Johnson (Columbus, OH/Hamilton Twp.) hit .706 (12-for-17) with one triple, seven runs scored and four RBI, which included a 3-for-5 effort in the 9-7 win over the Tigers on Sunday.
WABASH extended its winning streak to five-straight with four non-conference wins last week, first topping Earlham, 11-5, on Wednesday, before going 3-0 in its weekend series against Berea. Sophomore outfielder Jared Wolfe (Terre Haute, IN/South Vigo) hit .600 (9-for-15) on the week with three doubles, one triple, nine runs scored and five RBI, while sophomore right-hander Luke Dant (Indianapolis, IN/Warren Central) went 2-0 on the mound last week after striking out four and allowing just two runs (both unearned) on four hits in 8.0 total innings of work.
WITTENBERG suffered a 14-8 non-conference loss against Capital on Tuesday, before salvaging a 1-3 record in its NCAC West series against Denison with a 7-3 win in game two. In the game two win, freshman left-hander Joshua Darang (Tucson, AZ/Ironwood Ridge) earned the win after striking out four and allowing two earned runs on six hits in 6.0 innings of work, while sophomore Brandon Beegle (Springfield, OH/Springfield) earned the rare three-inning save after striking out four and allowing just one hit over the final nine outs of the game.
WOOSTER, ranked seventh in the D3baseball.com Top-25 and 10th in the ABCA Top-30, won all five of its games last week to extend its winning streak to eight-straight. The Scots opened the week by sweeping an NCAC East DH against Kenyon on Monday, before logging non-conference wins over Denison, 19-3, Marietta, 8-5, and John Carroll, 4-3. Junior outfielder Jake Fling (Norton, OH/Norton) hit .522 (12-for-23) on the week with three doubles, one triple, nine runs scored and 12 RBI, which included a two-run single in the top of the ninth against JCU that lifted the Scots to the one-run victory. On the mound, senior left-hander Michael Houdek (Cleveland Hts., OH/Cleveland Hts.) was credited with the win against Denison after striking out five and allowing just two hits in 5.0 innings of shutout work.