WOOSTER, Ohio – The eighth-ranked College of Wooster baseball team had the tying run at the plate, but Thiel College right fielder Nick Fowkes tracked down the ensuing fly ball to give the Tomcats an 11-8 win over the Fighting Scots on Tuesday afternoon at Art Murray Field.
|Senior Ryan Ostendorf applies the tag on a play at the plate after a perfect throw from sophomore Michael Wielansky to save a run in the top of the second inning during Tuesday's game.|
Wooster (16-5) overcame an early Thiel (13-9) run and took a brief lead in the bottom of the second inning, thanks to a big defensive play in the top of the frame. Thiel's Alex Lam hooked a single down the third-base line, with the ball hitting the base and ricocheting towards sophomore shortstop Michael Wielansky, who fired in a strike to senior catcher Ryan Ostendorf for the third out of the inning, keeping Wooster's deficit to 1-0 at the time.
In the bottom of the frame, senior Jamie Lackner and sophomore Garrett Crum drew back-to-back walks to start the inning, and then junior Drew Tornow hit a laser into right field for a two-bagger to plate Lackner. Later in the inning, sophomore Jeremy Fernando knocked in the go-ahead run with a RBI ground out.
Wooster's lead didn't hold as Thiel responded with a five-run third inning to make it 6-2 as the Tomcats cashed in with a three-run homer by Nick Fowkes and a two-run shot off the bat of Lam.
Wooster clubbed a pair of round-trippers of its own as Fernando turned on an inside pitch in the fourth inning and lifted it out over the fence in left field for his first collegiate home run. In the next inning, Lackner hit his team-leading fifth homer of the year – and 30th for his career – to make it a 10-6 game.
Thiel plated an insurance run in the ninth inning on a RBI single by Jake Marino, but the Scots defense came through again to minimize the damage with sophomore Conner Thomson throwing out a would-be base-stealer to end the frame.
In the bottom of the ninth, Lackner clanged a double off of the fence in left-center to make it 11-8 and put two runners in scoring position prior to the game-ending fly out.
Lackner led the way offensively with a 2-for-3 afternoon that included a home run, three RBI, two runs scores, and two walks. Tornow and senior Jake Kail recorded two hits each on the afternoon.
Matt Gayda picked up the win for Thiel to move to 1-2 on the year, while sophomore Alec Hammond fell to 1-1 on the season for Wooster.
Notable, senior Michael Whitaker made his 84th career relief appearance in the eighth inning and now ranks in the top 15 all-time in Div. III in that stat.
Fowkes went 4-for-4 at the plate and knocked in four runs in the contest to headline the Tomcats' offense.
Next, Wooster hosts the University of Pittsburgh Greensburg (10-8) at 4 p.m. on Thursday.