WOOSTER, Ohio – Senior Michael Houdek worked a complete game to move into the top 10 in program history in wins, while sophomore Michael Wielansky clubbed a pair of home runs on the day as the fifth-ranked College of Wooster baseball team continued to roll in North Coast Athletic Conference East Division play with an 11-1 and 17-7 sweep over Hiram College on "Senior Day" at Art Murray Field on Sunday afternoon.
In the first game of the day, Wooster (27-6, 12-2 NCAC East) scored in five of its six trips to the plate – including in the first inning – when the Scots took advantage of Hiram (14-17, 4-10 NCAC East) first-year Hank Clegg's wildness as first-year Nick Strausbaugh and junior Jake Fling drew back-to-back walks to start the frame before Wielansky was hit by a pitch. Two batters later, sophomore Garrett Crum brought in Strausbaugh on a ground out, but a spectacular back-handed play on the line by Hiram third baseman Vito Petrillo helped the Terriers escape further damage.
In the second inning, the walk again set up the offense, as this time senior Ryan Ostendorf worked the free pass to lead off the inning. Then, sophomore Jacob Stuursma – who later legged out a triple – roped a double to left center to make it 2-0.
Wooster's bats really found their stride in the third inning as the Scots trotted across four runs on four base knocks in the frame. Wielansky made it 4-1 when he launched his sixth home run of the season out to left center. Then, Crum poked a one-out single to left field and came in on a single to straight away center field off the bat of junior Drew Tornow. Later, sophomore Chandler Dippman laced a single into center field to make it a 6-1 game.
Of note, Wielansky's round-tripper plated Fling, who reached on an error, with the run marking the 150th of the center fielder's career.
Two innings later, Wooster again took advantage of the walk with Ostendorf being the beneficiary for the second time in the game. The Scots' catcher stole second and jogged home on Stuursma's triple to make it 7-1.
In the sixth, Wooster's first three batters reached via hits, including on back-to-back two-baggers by Wielansky and senior Jamie Lackner that made the score 9-1. Later, Tornow hooked a double down the right field line to plate Lackner, and Ostendorf poked a single through the right side for the final run of the game.
Houdek improved to 7-2 with the complete-game win, and the left-hander scattered six hits and struck out a pair. Notable, the win marked Houdek's 26th of his career, and the senior is now tied for ninth in the program annals.
Defensively, Lackner moved past former All-American Chris Cingolani for first on the career putouts list in the top of the first inning, and now has 1,110 for his career. Other defensive highlights included a spectacular caught stealing with Stuursma applying the tag on Ostendorf's throw to end the fourth inning.
Stuursma, Tornow, and Wielansky recorded two hits each in game one, and the trio accounted for seven of Wooster's 11 RBI.
Wooster sent 11 men to the plate in the top of the first inning in the second game of the twin bill as the Scots were all over starter Shawn May from the get-go. Wielansky had the first big hit, and that came from a two-run triple to right field that knocked in the first two of an eventual eight-run first inning. Next, Lackner lifted a sacrifice fly out to right field, and later, Dippman drew a bases-loaded walk. Then, Fling mashed his first home run of the season – a three-run shot – out to right field to cap the scoring frenzy.
In the third inning, Wooster trotted 11 more batters to the plate and scored five runs despite only having three hits in the inning as the Scots drew five walks, including two by Ostendorf. Stuursma continued his monster day with a two-run single, and that was followed up with RBI base knocks from Wielansky and Lackner that made it 12-1. Later in the frame, Tornow lifted a sacrifice fly to left to extend the lead to a dozen.
Hiram pulled within 11 in the top of the sixth inning when a Brandon Chesmar RBI double and a Brian Fryda RBI triple made it 14-3, but Wooster answered right back in the bottom of the frame on a two-run round-tripper by Wielansky. In fact, Wooster went back-to-back in the longball department as first-year Dan Harwood lifted one out to right field in a pinch-hit situation.
Senior Tyler Schuch improved to 4-0 on the year with six innings of six-hit baseball in the nightcap. The left-hander allowed three runs while striking out two.
Offensively, Wielansky went 3-for-5 with five RBI and three runs scored in the second game, while Fling went 1-for-2 with three RBI and three runs scored.
Chesmar led the way offensively for Hiram with a 3-for-6 day, while Clegg May combined to allow 17 runs (nine earned) in 5 1/3 innings over the two starts.
Wooster and Hiram are slated to complete their four-game series on Monday, with first pitch slated for 1 p.m. Fans are encouraged to check the team's Twitter account @WoosterBaseball for any potential weather-related updates.