First-year Andrew Hill turned in five strong innings in his first collegiate start, and the third-ranked College of Wooster baseball team received support from a multitude of players during a 9-4 win over regional-rival, and 14th-ranked, Marietta College on Thursday evening at Don Schaly Stadium in Marietta, Ohio.
Hill worked around a two-out base runner in the bottom of the first inning, and was then staked to a 2-0 lead. Similar to last year's game, a contest won by Wooster (16-3) 8-5, a series of miscues by Marietta (18-5) led to the Etta Express playing catch-up. This year, two second-inning errors after junior Garrett Crum reached on a leadoff double put Marietta in the 2-0 hole.
Geoff Snyder tied the game at two with a two-run round tripper in the bottom of the third inning, but Wooster answered right back in the top of the fourth inning to take a 4-3 lead. The Scots' bottom of the order came through with the run. Sophomore Dan Gail drew a two-out walk and touched home when junior Chandler Dippman slapped an opposite-field two-bagger down the left-field line.
Marietta again tied the score, this time on a seeing-eye single by Chris Petrucci in the bottom of the fifth inning. Hill worked out of the inning by getting Shane Fetsko to swing through a 1-2 pitch with a runner in scoring position.
Wooster took charge on the scoreboard in the sixth inning, and kept building the lead behind a pair of runs in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings.
In the sixth inning, Crum hammered a 3-1 offering down the left-field line for the go-ahead home run, and the mash marked the first baseman's fifth of the year. Sophomore Nick Strausbaugh was the third Scot to make a big play down the left-field line, and the speedy left fielder hustled in to second base with a one-out double. Strausbaugh came in to score on a RBI base knock to center field by Dippman that made it a 5-3 game.
Wooster's team speed proved to be too much for Marietta to overcome in the seventh inning. Junior Jacob Stuursma legged out a one-out infield single, and was off to the races on a single by junior Michael Wielansky. With runners on the corners, sophomore Dan Harwood lofted a sacrifice fly out to left field for the first run of the frame. Crum followed with a double to the gap in left-center, and Wielansky scored easily from first base to make it a 7-3 contest.
Strausbaugh sparked Wooster with a leadoff single in the eighth inning, and advanced to third on a base knock by junior Conner Thomson. Dippman hit a sacrifice fly deep enough to bring in Strausbaugh and give the Scots' third baseman his third RBI in the game. Two batters later, Stuursma smoked a two-base knock out to the left-center gap to bring Thomson around for the Scots' ninth run of the night.
Dippman led the way with a 2-for-4 night that featured three RBI, while Crum and Strausbaugh were each 3-for-5 with two runs and two doubles. Crum backed Dippman up in the RBI department with two while Stuursma rounded out the Scots with three-hit games.
Hill picked up his first collegiate win. The right-hander allowed three runs on five hits with three strikeouts in five innings of work. A quartet of relievers combined to allow one run while striking out five over the final four innings of the game.
Petrucci recorded a game-high four hits for Marietta.
Notable, the win marked Wooster's 12th straight.
Next, Wooster (6-0 North Coast Athletic Conference) takes on Wabash College (18-6, 5-1 NCAC) at noon on Saturday at Goodrich Ballpark in Crawfordsville, Ind.