|Eddie Reese deposited this ball over the left-center fence for a first-inning home run, one of four on the day for the Fighting Scots.|
WOOSTER, Ohio – The College of Wooster hit four home runs, two by Frank Vance, and turned a triple play, but it was not enough to overcome Baldwin Wallace University as the Yellow Jackets "walked" away from Art Murray Field with a 16-12 win in the northeast Ohio teams' meeting on Thursday.
Wooster (13-8) was ultimately done in by the 16 free passes – 14 walks and two hit by pitches – it issued. The Fighting Scots walked the bases loaded for the first time during the fourth inning and Kyle Chontos made them pay with a grand slam to give Baldwin Wallace (15-10) the lead for the first time at 6-4.
After the offense tied the game at six with a two-run bottom of the fourth, featuring an Ian Vernier RBI double into the right-field corner, Wooster's pitchers combined to walk five-straight batters in the top of the fifth. That stretch led to another four-run inning, which included a two-run base knock by Mark Zimmerman.
The Scots again answered, as Vance's two-run shot out to right-center pulled them within 10-8 through five innings.
The Yellow Jackets kept scoring, though, this time putting up a five-spot in the sixth. They used some clutch two-out hitting that frame, with Brad Gugliotta driving in two on a single and Zimmerman following with a three-run homer just right of straightaway center.
That made it a seven-run cushion (15-8), which was enough to hold off Wooster. The Scots rallied for one in the seventh and three in the eighth, highlighted by Shane Gallagher's double and Eddie Reese and Cal Thomay RBI singles, but could not get any closer than four (16-12).
Also late in the game, the Scots turned a triple play. In the top of the eighth, Baldwin Wallace sent runners on first and second in motion and Zimmerman ripped a liner to the left side. Vance gloved it, threw to second baseman Kenny Reckart, who completed the rare feat by tossing it over to Thomay on the first base bag.
Reese, who hit the first of back-to-back homers in the first inning (freshman Jamie Lackner had the other), and Vance, who put Wooster on top 4-1 in the second with his initial two-run shot, each recorded two hits, as did Thomay and Vernier to pace Wooster's bats. Vance totaled five RBI.
Gugliotta and Zimmerman combined to go 4-for-9 with eight RBI at the top of the Yellow Jackets' lineup.
The Scots will look to end their current skid this weekend when they play a four-game series with North Coast Athletic Conference East Division foe Hiram College (6-12, 3-5 NCAC East) in the Youngstown area. Saturday's doubleheader will be at Bob Cene Park in Struthers, Ohio, and Sunday's at Eastwood Field in Niles, Ohio.