WOOSTER, Ohio – Junior Jake Fling finished a triple shy of the cycle as the fifth-ranked College of Wooster baseball team jumped out to a big lead and withstood a seventh-inning Ohio Wesleyan University rally to cap the North Coast Athletic Conference Crossover Series with a 6-5 win on Sunday afternoon at Art Murray Field.
Wooster (32-8, 17-2 NCAC East Division) tied the game in the bottom of the second as Ohio Wesleyan (14-26, 6-13 NCAC West Division) snuck a run in during the top of the first inning. In the second, Ohio Wesleyan appeared to have sophomore Jacob Stuursma picked off at first base, but he stayed in the rundown long enough for junior Drew Tornow to touch home, and then even eluded the tag enabling the inning to continue.
Fling pushed Wooster ahead in the bottom of the third inning when he launched a first-pitch round-tripper out to left field for his second home run of the year. Then, senior Jake Kail legged out an infield single and moved up 90 feet on a line-drive single into left field by sophomore Michael Wielansky. Next, senior Jamie Lackner made it 3-1 with a RBI single into center field, and later sophomore Garrett Crum lofted his ninth sacrifice fly into center that made it 4-1. Notable, Crum's now two ahead of the old mark for single-season sacrifice flies at Wooster, as former great Stu Beath held the pervious record with seven in 2009.
Wooster tacked on a pair of runs to make it 6-1 through four innings. Kail delivered the big blow via a two-run single to left field to plate Stuursma and Fling who walked earlier in the inning.
Ohio Wesleyan climbed back into the picture with a three-run seventh inning, and those runs made it 6-5. Tim Robinson led off the frame with a three-bagger, and later in the inning, Devin Van Winkle pegged his second home run of the series out to left center.
Senior Tyler Schuch improved to 5-0 on the season on the bump. The left-hander allowed two runs on six hits in five innings of work before giving way to a quartet of relievers, including senior Michael Whitaker, who worked the ninth for his seventh save of the season.
Fling, Kail, and Lackner accounted for seven of Wooster's 11 hits in the game, while Fling moved into a tie with Lackner for 10th on the program's all-time runs list with 160.
Michael Blatchford and John Rings had three hits each for the Battling Bishops.
Next, Wooster opens play in the NCAC Tournament on Thursday at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio. Official pairings will be announced by the conference office at the conclusion of the NCAC Crossover Series across the league.