Fighting Scots Power Past Gators, 9-6 and 15-2

John McLain
John McLain

WOOSTER, Ohio – John McLain accounted for two of The College of Wooster's four home runs, a three-run shot in the opener and a grand slam early in game two, leading the Fighting Scots to 9-6 and 15-2 wins over North Coast Athletic Conference East Division rival Allegheny College Saturday afternoon at Art Murray Field.

The sweep gives Wooster (22-11, 12-2 NCAC East) a two-game advantage over Allegheny (24-10, 10-4 NCAC East) in the divisional standings.

The Scots' powerful offense got started right away, as Jarrod Mancine took one the opposite way, clearing the fence in right to open the bottom of the first, and later in the inning, Zac Mathie hammered a drive well over the right field fence for another solo shot. It was the third homer of the season for each of them.

A two-run third inning, keyed by a Shane Gallagher double inside the third-base line, made it 4-0, and after the Gators got on the board with an unearned run, Gallagher delivered a sacrifice fly for a 5-1 Wooster advantage through four.

Allegheny put another unearned tally on the board in the top of the fifth, only to see McLain break the game open during the bottom of the frame. Frank Vance had drawn a leadoff walk and Cal Thomay executed a hit-and-run, putting runners on the corners with no outs before McLain belted one over the wall in left-center to extend the lead to 8-2.

That was enough for Scot ace Steve Hagen to earn the win (5-4). He threw a second consecutive complete game, overcoming three errors by the defense as only two of the six runs were earned. The senior right-hander also struck out a season-high eight without a walk.

The outcome of the second game was never in doubt following a nine-run second inning by Wooster. The Scots started by loading the bases without an out recorded, as Brendon Taylor poked a single through the right side, Thomay lined a single into left, and Vance turned a sacrifice attempt into a single with a perfectly-placed bunt. Craig Day delivered the initial run via a sacrifice fly.

Back-to-back walks followed, with Mancine's pushing a second run across. Next, McLain cleared the bases, knocking a 1-1 pitch high in the air to right-center and off of the roof of the golf clubhouse beyond the fence for his first career grand slam and a 6-0 lead.

Wooster wasn't done in the inning. Eddie Reese sent a single up the middle, Taylor drove him in via a two-out double to the wall in left-center, and Thomay brought Taylor around on a single into center. Thomay advanced to second on the play via a fielding error by the centerfielder and scored on Vance's single off of the outstretched second baseman's glove for a 9-0 cushion.

Bryan Miller, McLain, and Mathie each doubled during a three-run third inning and the Scots kept scoring with single tallies in the fourth, fifth, and sixth.

On the mound, Matt Felvey went the first seven innings, allowing just one earned run and one unearned en route to upping his record to 6-2.

Wooster's hit leader on the day was Vance, who went 6-for-6 with a double and three RBI while also walking twice, and McLain wound up a combined 4-for-8, seven-RBI.

The teams will play another doubleheader on Sunday, starting at noon, and if the Scots win one game they will be the top seed from the East Division and host the fourth-place team from the West Division in next weekend's NCAC Cross-Over Series.