No. 2 Wooster at 30 Wins on Year After Sweep Over Capital

Evan Faxon
Evan Faxon
Drew Tornow
Drew Tornow

WOOSTER, Ohio – Senior Drew Tornow sparked the second-ranked College of Wooster baseball team with a leadoff triple during a decisive three-run eighth inning in game one, and Fighting Scots' first-year Andrew Hill fired six innings of three-hit shutout baseball in the nightcap of Sunday's sweep over Capital University at Art Murray Field. Wooster opened with a 7-4 win and took game two 11-6, with the latter contest giving the ball club 30 wins on the year.

Tornow's triple marked the right fielder's 15th of his career, and he scored the go-ahead run when junior Tanner Kaplan punched a single through the left side of the infield. Senior Jake Fling made it a two-run game at 6-4 later in the inning with a run-scoring base knock into center field, and sophomore Dan Harwood's RBI groundout gave Wooster (30-5) a three-run cushion.

First-year Jack Jones worked around a pair of singles in the top of the ninth inning to record his first collegiate save.

Earlier in the game, a series of methodically-played baseball staked first-year starter Evan Faxon to a 2-0 lead through three innings.

In the first inning, junior Jacob Stuursma drilled a double to right center, moved up on a Fling grounder, and scored on a ground out by classmate Michael Wielansky.

Two innings later, back-to-back walks issued to junior Chandler Dippman and Stuursma had the offense primed, and Fling sacrificed the duo over to third and second base respectively in advance of Wielansky lifting a sacrifice fly out to center field.

Faxon, who allowed one hit over his first four innings of work, ran into a jam in the fifth inning due to a leadoff single. Kaplan, Faxon's battery mate, bailed the Scots out of the inning by swiping a tag across the plate to nail Shayne Lyons, who was attempting to score all the way from first base on a Drew Ellis two-bagger.

Faxon was the tough-luck recipient of a series of unfortunate breaks in the sixth inning. A high popup was lost in the sun by Wooster's defense, and that resulted in the shutout bid ending, and a two-run Lyons single. Faxon's misfortunes continued against Ellis, who was jammed on a pitch, but had enough muster to get the ball to roll to no-man's land up the third-base line. A RBI single by Travis Gilbert briefly gave Capital a 3-2 lead.

Crum quickly changed the Scots' fortunes in the bottom of the inning with a leadoff single to left center, and was 90-feet away from scoring after a passed ball and wild pitch. Tornow legged out an infield single with the tying run coming in on the play.

Capital countered with a go-ahead run in the top of the seventh inning. The Crusaders tallied three base knocks in the frame, the third of which came in the form of a RBI shot down the right field line by Alexander Smith.

Wooster pulled level again in the bottom of the inning thanks to a RBI single to center by Crum.

Crum and Tornow accounted for six of Wooster's 12 hits in the game, while Fling's RBI single in the eighth inning moved the centerfielder into a tie with former Wooster great Jared Treadway for fifth-place on the College's all-time hits list at 249.

Junior Wyatt Linde improved to 3-0 on the mound. The lefty worked 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, which included an inning-ending around-the-horn double play in the top of the eighth inning.

Lyons led the way for Capital in the day's opener with a 2-for-3 showing with two RBI.

Wooster loaded the bases in the second inning of the nightcap, and over the course of the game, the Scots took full advantage of six Crusader fielding miscues. One of those came during a two-run second inning, a frame in which Harwood scored the game's first run on a wild pitch and Tornow tagged a run-producing single through the right side.

The Scots upped the lead to 6-0 with a four-run third inning, and all of the damage came with two outs. Crum drew a walk on a payoff pitch, and a single by sophomore Dan Gail and a walk to Tornow loaded the bases up. Wooster's keen eye at the plate carried over to junior Harrison Walls' at bat, and a four-pitch free pass to the Scots' catcher made it 3-0. Dippman followed with a two-run single, and Stuursma drove in his first run of the day on a sharp single through the left side.

Wooster scored a run in the fourth inning and tacked on three more in the fifth. During the three-spot, sophomore pinch hitter Harry Witwer-Dukes started the rally with a one-out single, stole second, and came on to score on a RBI pinch-hit poke by sophomore Aaron Spidell. Stuursma scooted home on a passed ball, leaving Spidell on base, but he would've scored easily regardless, as first-year pinch-hitter Noah Clement drilled a triple to dead center field, which brought in Spidell for the Scots' final run.

Hill (2-0) kept the Crusaders off balance, and set down Capital's lineup in order in the third and fourth inning. The Scots' defense helped the rookie out with a 5-4-3 double play to end the second inning after Capital had loaded the bases.

Sophomore Jeremy Parton kept the shutout intact with a scoreless seventh inning, but Capital made things interesting late with a five-run eighth inning.

The Crusaders had the bases loaded with nobody out in the ninth inning, but first-year Zach Schuch fired the ball in quickly on a shallow fly out to keep the Crusaders from tagging up, and senior James Usher took charge from there by inducing a game-ending double play.

Stuursma led the way in the nightcap with a 3-for-4 game with two runs, while Dippman tallied a team-high two RBI.

Beau Otto went 2-for-2 after entering as a pinch hitter with a run and a RBI for Capital.

Next, Wooster plays its final non-conference game of the season at Otterbein University (26-9). First pitch is set for 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1.