WOOSTER, Ohio – The second-ranked College of Wooster baseball team's remarkable winning streak came to an end at 20 games, as John Carroll University kept Div. III's highest-scoring offense in check and upended the Fighting Scots 9-6 on Sunday afternoon at Art Murray Field.
Wooster (25-4) did have the tying run on base when the game ended, but John Carroll (17-13) shortstop Aaron Zawadzki flipped a throw over to second baseman Mike McCarty for a force out on a fielder's choice to clinch the game.
Down to its final out, junior Michael Wielansky extended the game for Wooster with a two-out RBI single to center that plated sophomore Dan Gail, who was hit by a pitch to leadoff the inning. Senior Drew Tornow reached on a two-out error to bring the go-ahead run to the plate, but the Scots rally was extinguished with the fielder's choice.
Wooster opened the game with a 1-0 lead thanks to the play of Tornow. The Scots' right fielder's patience at the plate led to a leadoff walk in the second inning, and he moved into scoring position with a stolen base. Sophomore Dan Harwood knocked in Tornow with a single, and the RBI marked the Scots' left fielder's co-team-leading 52nd of the year.
The Scots were forced to play catchup the rest of the way due to a four-run third inning by the Blue Streaks. Wooster did make it a 4-2 game in the bottom of the third inning when senior Jake Fling's RBI base knock drove in junior Chandler Dippman, who laced a sharp single up the middle to start the inning.
Wooster again pulled within two in the fourth inning at 5-3. Harwood was the center of attention with a leadoff double to right center, and he scored on a RBI by junior Harrison Walls, who reached on an error.
Trailing by sixth entering the eighth inning, Wielansky did his part to try to jump-start the offense with a leadoff two-bagger. Two batters later, Crum knocked in the Scots' shortstop with a sacrifice fly, and the RBI moved Wooster's first baseman back into a tie with Harwood for the team lead.
Wielansky went 3-for-5 with a run and a RBI, and his next hit will mark the junior sensation's 200th for his career. Fling chipped in with a pair of hits and a pair of RBI, and he's now sixth all-time in hits at the College with 239.
Defensively, Wooster's third inning double play stood out. On that play, Tornow snared a fast-sinking liner and doubled-up John Carroll's Michael Anderson.
First-year Evan Faxon was saddled with the loss and fell to 0-2. The southpaw allowed five runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Zawadzki paced John Carroll with a 3-for-4 game with three RBI and a run scored. Erich Payne picked up the win, and allowed one run on one hit in three innings of relief.
Wooster's three-game hiatus for North Coast Athletic Conference action continues on Wednesday, April 25 when the Scots head up to Cleveland to take on No. 10 Case Western Reserve University (25-6). The game against the Spartans is the first of two midweek non-conference games against teams ranked in this week's D3baseball.com/National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Top-25 Poll.