WOOSTER, Ohio – Two-run triples from Frank Vance and Jarrod Mancine helped stake The College of Wooster to a 5-3 lead, then Matt Felvey and Steve Hagen limited John Carroll University to a single unearned run over the last five innings as the Fighting Scots prevailed 9-4 in a non-conference affair Tuesday at Art Murray Field.
It took just three pitches for Wooster (20-11) to put two runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second. The initial pitch of the inning hit Brendan Taylor, Zac Mathie hit a grounder to second that was mishandled on the next offering, and Vance drove the first pitch he saw into the right-center gap to give the hosts a 2-0 advantage. Craig Day followed with a grounder to the right side to plate Vance.
John Carroll (18-11) scored three of its own during the top of the fourth, thanks in part to three Scot errors.
Wooster bounced right back in the bottom of the frame, starting with a sharply-hit single up the middle by Mathie. After two outs, Bryan Miller snuck a single through the right side to keep the inning alive and then Mancine drove one the opposite way that found the right-field corner for his first triple of the season and a 5-3 lead.
Scot starter Hank Schlueter, who was effective with just one earned run allowed on two hits through four innings, handed the ball over to Felvey and the senior right-hander faced just one batter over the minimum during the next three innings.
In the bottom of the seventh, back-to-back one-out singles from Mancine and Kenny Reckart helped lead to an insurance run. With two outs, pinch hitter Cal Thomay gained a two-out walk to load the bases and pinch hitter Billy Farrow was plunked on a 3-2 pitch, which brought Mancine the final 90 feet for a 6-3 cushion.
Two more Wooster errors helped lead to a Blue Streaks' run off of Hagen in the eighth, trimming the margin to two (6-4).
Again, the Scots answered, and this time put the game away via a three-run bottom of the eighth. Vance drew a leadoff walk, advanced to third on a stolen base and throwing error, and Day walked. Miller laid down a safety squeeze bunt in front of the mound and the pitcher went home, with Vance beating the tag. Mancine also recorded a sacrifice bunt, sending Day to third base and Miller to second, and a third consecutive sacrifice was delivered by Reckart, a fly ball that resulted in Day tagging up.
An Eddie Reese single gave Wooster its ninth and final run.
Hagen pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save of the season and seventh of his career. Felvey improved to 5-2 with the win.
Mancine went 2-for-3 with the triple and a walk and Mathie went 2-for-4 with his 11th double of the year in pacing the Scots' offense.
Wooster will now gear up for a home North Coast Athletic Conference East Division series this weekend against Allegheny College (23-8, 10-2 NCAC East).