Six-Run Fifth Inning, Murray's Eight Innings of Two-Hit Baseball Lead No. 3 Wooster to Sweep at Wabash

Garrett Crum
Garrett Crum
Brian Murray
Brian Murray

The third-ranked College of Wooster baseball team turned in a six-run, two-out rally in the top of the fifth inning in game one, and scored plenty of runs in the nightcap to back junior Brian Murray's eight innings of two-hit baseball, as the Fighting Scots upped their winning streak to 14 games with a 9-4, 9-1 sweep over host Wabash College at Goodrich Ballpark in Crawfordsville, Ind. on Saturday afternoon.

Murray retired the first 11 Little Giants (18-8, 5-3 North Coast Athletic Conference) he faced in game two before Jackson Blevins reached with a two-out single in the bottom of the fourth inning. The junior right-hander turned in an efficient performance, as he needed 87 pitches to get through his eight innings of work. Murray recorded a pair of strikeouts, and had plenty of help behind him defensively, including from sophomore catcher Dan Gail, who mowed down a base stealer in the fifth inning.

Murray pitched with a lead from the get-go as the junior was spotted three runs in the top of the first inning. Similar to game one, Wooster (19-3, 8-0 NCAC) struck with two outs. This time, junior Michael Wielansky and sophomore Dan Harwood drew back-to-back walks, and junior Garrett Crum knocked both in with a two-run double to left field. Senior Drew Tornow kept the rally going with a RBI opposite-field base knock.

In the second inning, junior Jacob Stuursma lifted a sacrifice fly out to right field to bring in senior Jake Fling, who reached on an error earlier in the frame.

Crum led off the third inning with a solo homer, and the first baseman now has four round trippers over Wooster's last seven games.

The score stayed at 5-0 until the sixth inning. Dippman poked a leadoff single through the left side to start the inning, and the Scots caught a break when Wielansky reached on a third-strike wild pitch. Harwood made the Little Giants pay with a two-run gap-finding double to up the lead to 7-0.

Two innings later, Wielansky made it a 9-1 affair with a two-run homer.

In the nightcap, Wooster's two-through-five hitters combined to go 9-for-17 with eight RBI and seven runs.

Earlier in the day, Wielansky punched a single up the middle to start a six-run, two-out, fifth-inning rally in the 9-4 contest. The shortstop scored the game-tying run on Crum's RBI single that marked the first baseman's third RBI in game one. Next, Harwood sped home to score on a wild pitch for the go-ahead run. Then, Tornow smashed a RBI two-bagger down the right-field line that made it a 5-3 contest. Of note, Tornow's double marked the 44th of his career, and the right fielder is now tied for 10th all-time in program history. Two batters later, junior Conner Thomson laced a single into right field to make it 6-3, and a Wabash error and RBI base knock by Dippman rounded out the scoring in the inning.

Two innings later, Wooster bumped its lead back up to five when Dippman stayed on a pitch and sent it back up the middle for a run-scoring double. Prior to Dippman's two-bagger, Thomson legged out a one-out triple.

Earlier in the game, Wooster jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to a two-run, two-out Crum single in the first inning.

Wabash halved Wooster's lead with a run in the bottom of the first inning, and the Little Giants took a 3-2 lead in the third inning on a two-run double off the bat of Bryce Aldridge.

Senior Nanak Saran improved to 5-1 on the year with the win, and the victory marked the right-hander's 20th of his career. Saran wasn't his typical sharp self, but he only allowed four base hits over five innings of work.

Crum and Dippman combined to go 5-for-9 with five RBI to pace Wooster's offense.

Noteworthy, Fling's second-inning single marked the centerfielder's 226th career hit, and after the twin bill, Fling's now ninth on the program's all-time hits list.

Aldridge was the lone Little Giant to log a multi-hit game in the day's opener.

Wooster's three-game Indiana swing concludes with a single-game non-conference tilt at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (10-16) at 1 p.m. on Sunday.