Scots, Up to Fifth in National Poll, Double-Up Spartans 10-5 to Extend Win Streak to Nine

Garrett Crum
James Usher

WOOSTER, Ohio – The College of Wooster baseball team, up to fifth in this week's Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Top 25 poll, scored in six of its eight trips to the plate, and the Fighting Scots' pitching and defense were equally as impressive with four innings of one-hit baseball by the bullpen, and two around-the-horn double plays during a 10-5 win over Case Western Reserve University on Tuesday afternoon at Art Murray Field.

Wooster (25-5) fell behind 2-0 after Case Western Reserve (21-15) plated a run in the top of the first and second innings, and that's where the score stood until Wooster knotted the game at two on a two-run, two-out single by sophomore Michael Wielansky in the bottom of the third. Wooster's top of the order sparked the two-out rally when first-year Nick Strausbaugh laced a single up the middle prior to junior Jake Fling's opposite-field base knock. Then, a passed ball moved the speedy duo up to second and third, setting the stage for Wielansky.

The Scots wasted no time taking the lead in the fourth inning as senior Jamie Lackner poked a single into center field to lead things off prior to a walk drawn by sophomore Garrett Crum. After a sacrifice bunt by junior Drew Tornow, senior Ryan Ostendorf plated the go-ahead run with a RBI ground out, and sophomore Chandler Dippman followed with a single up the middle to make it 4-2.

In the fifth inning, Crum made it a 6-2 game on a two-run, two-out single, and he later turned it into a three-RBI day with a solo home run to left center in the bottom of the seventh to push Wooster's lead out to 8-5.

The Spartans struck for three runs in the top of the sixth inning, with two runs coming in on a triple by Casey McConihe. Later, a hit by pitch loaded the bases but junior James Usher promptly induced an inning-ending double play to get the Scots out of the jam.

In the bottom of the frame, Fling poked a one-out single out to right field to bring in Ostendorf, who led off the inning with a hit by pitch to push Wooster's lead back to two at 7-5.

Wooster's other two runs came on a Fling triple in the bottom of the eighth inning that knocked in Strausbaugh, and Fling later darted home on a passed ball to make it 10-5.

Senior Michael Houdek picked up his 25th career win with five-plus innings of work, becoming the 13th Scot to reach the quarter-century mark in the win column. The senior struck out three while allowing five runs on five hits. Usher and senior Michael Whitaker combined to work four innings of one-hit baseball in support of Houdek.

Offensively, Fling led the way with a 4-for-5 afternoon with three runs scored and two RBI. Notable, his eighth-inning triple marked the 10th of the junior's career, and he's now tied for fourth in program history in that category.

Crum and Strausbaugh recorded two hits and two runs each in the game.

Jacob Kucia and Josh Neal each had two hits for CWRU, while Ben Murphy took the loss to fall to 4-1 on the year.

Notable, the win marked Wooster's ninth in a row, and the Scots snapped a six-game series skid against the Spartans.

Next, Wooster travels to Berea, Ohio for a 4 p.m. contest at Baldwin Wallace University (19-13) on Wednesday.