Offense Scores 33 as No. 8 Wooster Takes First Two From Kenyon 15-1, 18-6

Jamie Lackner
Nick Strausbaugh

Senior Jamie Lackner moved into The College of Wooster baseball team's top-10 list in career RBI with a seventh-inning home run in the second game of Saturday's sweep, and the eighth-ranked Fighting Scots continued to roll with a pair of double-digit wins during a 15-1 and 18-6 twin bill against Kenyon College at McCloskey Field in Gambier, Ohio.

Wooster (19-5, 8-2 North Coast Athletic Conference East Division) dominated the middle three innings offensively as that's when the Scots scored 24 of their 33 runs on the afternoon.

In the series-opener, senior Michael Houdek (4-2) went the distance allowing five hits while striking out seven. The left-hander navigated out of a bases-loaded jam in the third inning, and Wooster's offense picked up its ace from there.

Sophomore Garrett Crum came through for the first runs of the game with a two-run home run in the top of the fourth inning with the round-tripper marking the first of the designated hitter's collegiate career.

In the next inning, a throwing error by Kenyon (13-14, 5-5 NCAC East) starter Patrick O'Leary (0-3) paved the way for a six-run inning. Junior Drew Tornow, who hit two home runs in Thursday's win, continued his hot week at the plate with a three-run round-tripper that made it 8-0. Earlier in the frame, sophomore Chandler Dippman came in to score on the error, Lackner drew a bases-loaded walk, and Crum knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly.

An inning later, Wooster continued to apply non-stop pressure as the Scots added five more runs to push the lead to 13-0. First-year Nick Strausbaugh kept the offense rolling with a one-out double, and eventually came in to score on a wild pitch. Later, Crum legged out a triple that plated sophomore Michael Wielansky, and he too came across to score on a wild pitch. Then, senior Ryan Ostendorf laced a RBI single to left field and sophomore Jacob Stuursma roped a run-scoring two-bagger to round out the inning.

Wooster went on to plate two more runs in the seventh with Wielansky's double putting the Scots in good shape with two runners in scoring position to start the inning.

Ten different Scots recorded a hit in the first game with Crum and Tornow headlining the offense with a combined 4-for-9 mark with seven RBI and four runs scored.

In the nightcap, Wooster fell behind 1-0 in the first inning, but never looked back after an eight-run fourth frame. Ostendorf tied the game at one with a triple that brought in Tornow, who was plunked by a pitch to lead off the frame. Then, two-run base knocks were turned in by Strausbaugh and Wielansky, with the latter coming from a round-tripper by the Scots' shortstop. In fact, Wooster had three extra-base hits in the frame with the third coming from first-year Dan Harwood, who legged out a one-out triple prior to scoring on a wild pitch for the final run of the frame.

While Wooster did plate a run in the fifth on a Strausbaugh single, the Scots really strung together a fine inning in the sixth frame to double up on Kenyon 12-6. Sturrsma played a big factor in that with his second home run of the season, this one a two-run shot to left field that brought in Ostendorf. Later in the inning, junior Jake Fling legged out a two-out triple and was knocked in by Strausbaugh.

In the seventh, Lackner led off the inning with a home run and tied alumnus Travis Snyder for the 10th-most RBI (168) and 13th-most home runs (31) in program history.

Wooster capped the game offensively with a five-spot in the eighth with Fling, Strausbaugh, Wielansky, and Crum all knocking in runs with base hits prior to senior Jake Kail's sacrifice fly.

On the mound, junior James Usher came on in the fifth in relief of classmate Nanak Saran, and helped the Scots navigate out of a tricky inning that saw the Lords pull within 8-5. The right-hander went on to record 2 2/3 innings of hitless relief to move to 3-0 on the year.

Offensively, Strausbaugh led the way with a 4-for-6 game two that featured a season-high five RBI to pair with two runs. Further down the lineup, Stuursma turned in a 3-for-5 game with a trio of RBI and runs scored.

O'Leary led the way at the plate as well for the Lords with a 3-for-6 doubleheader that included two of the Lords' seven RBI.

Wooster and Kenyon close out their four-game series with a doubleheader on Monday. As the game is a weekday make-up, the game format reverts to a seven-inning game, followed by a nine-inning game, with the second game becoming a seven-inning affair if the first game of the twin bill goes to extra innings.