WOOSTER, Ohio – Junior Michael Wielansky broke W Association Hall of Famer Jake Frank's program record with his 14th-career triple during the nightcap of the sixth-ranked College of Wooster baseball team's doubleheader sweep over Hiram College, and a plethora of big hits and small-ball execution had the run machine churning all Thursday afternoon with the Fighting Scots erupting for 48 runs over the two games at Art Murray Field. Wooster took game one 28-2 and followed up with a 20-4 win.
Thursday's games were a rare "road doubleheader at home" for Wooster (13-3, 4-0 North Coast Athletic Conference), as inclement weather forced the series from Hiram's (3-13, 0-2 NCAC) Fishel Field at Proverbs Park to Art Murray Field. Wooster felt right at home while playing as the road team, as the Scots scored in 16 of their 18 trips to the plate.
In the nightcap, Wielansky led off the top of the seventh inning with a triple to move past Frank. Earlier in the day, Wielansky matched the hall of famer with his 13th-career three-bagger in the fourth inning of game one. In fact, senior Drew Tornow briefly held a share of the program record, as he also logged his 13th-career triple in the day's opening game. Tornow's was a leadoff base knock in the fifth inning.
At the doubleheader's onset, Wooster's small-ball execution was on point as the Black & Gold trotted four runs across in the first inning despite only having three hits. Two of the runs came in on bases-loaded walks, and the final run of the frame scored on a passed ball.
|Wooster second baseman Jacob Stuursma made several spectacular defensive plays during the doubleheader sweep over Hiram.|
The Scots' big bats came out for the third inning, starting with a two-out three-bagger by junior Jacob Stuursma. Wielansky followed with his third walk in as many innings, and moved up to second on a stolen base. That steal set the stage for the inning capper that came via a two-out, two-run opposite field double off the bat of sophomore Dan Harwood that made it 9-0.
In the fourth inning, senior Jake Fling crushed a three-run homer out to left field for his first round tripper of the season. Later, Wielansky's three-bagger brought Stuursma around, and Harwood banged a single through the right side to make it a 14-0 game.
Wooster's biggest inning in game one was the fifth, when six Scots touched home to make it a 20-0 game. Multi-RBI hits in the frame included a two-run Stuursma single and a two-run Harwood double.
Sophomore Harry Witwer-Dukes stole the headlines in the sixth inning with a three-run homer – the first of his career. In fact, Witwer-Dukes knocked in six runs over the final three innings to finish tied for the team lead in the game, a contest in which he didn't start. The second trio of Witwer-Dukes knocked-in runs scooted in to score on the second baseman's bases-clearing double out to right field in the ninth inning.
Harwood led the Scots' offense with a 3-for-3 game that included a co-game-high six RBI. Stuursma and Wielansky scored five runs each, and in all, 15 Scots scored a run, and 14 different players logged a hit in the opener. Of note, Wielansky's fifth run of the game marked the 150th for his career.
Junior Brian Murray improved to 3-0 on the season. The right-hander allowed three hits in five innings of work before turning the game ball over to a quartet of relievers. First-year Jack Jones worked a one-two-three eighth inning in his collegiate debut.
Similar to the first game, the nightcap opened with Wooster playing small ball and taking advantage of miscues. The Scots were staked to an early 1-0 lead on a Terriers' error on a play that would've went for the third out of the first inning. Instead, Stuursma scored on the play after moving up to third on a wild pitch.
Sophomore Dan Gail's leadoff single in the second inning sparked a two-run rally, and the designated hitter advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches. That eventually paid off when junior Tanner Kaplan laid down a well-placed squeeze bunt. A Hiram passed ball later in the inning extended Wooster's lead to 3-0.
Wooster's big bats emerged once again in the third inning. This time Gail had a RBI double, and junior Chandler Dippman legged out his second career three-bagger.
In the fourth, the Scots mashed a trio of homers as part of a seven-spot that made it 13-1. Junior Garrett Crum and Tornow teed off on back-to-back round trippers. Later in the inning, sophomore Nick Strausbaugh cleared the fence on his first collegiate home run, and fittingly, the two-sport student-athlete's other team, football, was out practicing beyond the left field fence.
Wielansky's record-breaking triple was the first of five extra base hits for the Scots during a five-run seventh inning. Harwood followed Wielansky up with his team-leading seventh home run of the year. Junior Harrison Walls upped the lead to 18-1 with a sacrifice fly for the final run of the inning.
Gail and Harwood each went 3-for-5 with three runs and three RBI in the series' finale, and Wielansky also had three hits in the nightcap.
Senior Alec Hammond improved to 3-0 and allowed a lone infield single in his five innings of work. The left-hander had plenty of help behind him thanks in large part to a series of web gems by Dippman and Stuursma.
Next, Wooster is slated to travel to Ohio Wesleyan University (7-10, 3-1 NCAC) for a noon doubleheader on Saturday, April 7.