DELAWARE – The Ohio Wesleyan baseball team spent the first half of the game working its way back from a 3-run deficit, only to have its defense falter.
John Carroll plated two runs in the sixth and used a 3-run eighth to pull away with an 11-6 win in eight innings over the host Battling Bishops in non-conference play Wednesday evening at Littick Field.
“They’re a good-hitting team – we knew that coming in,” OWU coach Tyler Mott said. “We just gave them too many walks, hit batsmen, boots in the field – way too many free bases. Against a good-hitting team, you’re going to give up some runs. Unfortunately, we gave up too many.”
Austin Harper had 2 hits, a pair of walks and a run; Davis Graham added a couple of hits and a pair of runs and Eric Edman scored three times to lead the Bishops (5-5) on offense.
OWU scored a run in each of its first four innings before plating a pair of runs in the fifth to overcome deficits of 3-0 and 6-3.
“It wasn’t the start that we wanted … but I thought we battled back,” Mott said. “I thought we had chances to tie or take the lead early.
Edman and Eric Pulliam worked back-to-back walks with two outs to load the bases in the fifth. C.J. Colson was hit by a pitch to drive in a run and Austin Harper worked a walk to tie the game 6-6.
“We were a big hit away from playing with the lead,” Mott said. “It seemed like every time we answered and we needed a zero (defensively) – we just didn’t get it.”
JCU plated three runs in the first and used a 2-run homer by Aaron Zawadzki in the fourth to regain its 3-run advantage.
“We tell our guys all the time that the team across the field doesn’t matter,” JCU assistant coach Ryan Nordquist said. “We have our own goals – we have our own things that we have to do as a team. So, we’re telling our guys to compete against the game … compete against yourself. Win or lose – if we can do that the best that we can – we can be happy.”
The Blue Streaks took the lead again in the sixth thanks to a pair of errors at second. Sam Heaton reached on an error, stole second and ended up scoring on another error at second to give JCU a 7-6 lead with one out.
“We told them that nobody has to be Superman,” Nordquist said. “Just be Clark Kent, show up and do your job. We need nine of those and if we do that – we’ll come out with the win we need.”
Justin Hanley drove in the second run with a walk after a hit and a walk loaded the bases.
The Blue Streaks added three runs in the eighth, highlighted by a David Ferguson triple and Derek Penman double back-to-back.
Duncan Cappar (1-1) entered the game to get the final out in the fifth and set the side down in order in back-to-back innings before closing it out in the eighth before darkness set in.
He struck out four over the final 3.1 innings to get the win.
Linden Hoover (0-1) allowed 2 unearned runs on a hit and a couple of walks and took the loss in relief for the Bishops.
“We like our pitching depth,” Mott said. “But, unfortunately, we didn’t pitch it or play good enough defense to win it today.”
Patrick Keohane had 3 hits, Heaton scored 3 runs and Zawadzki drove in 3 runs to lead the Blue Streaks (11-4) in the win.
Next up, OWU visits Manchester for a doubleheader Saturday afternoon. The non-conference matchup is slated to start at 1 p.m.
Ohio Wesleyan 21, John Carroll 9
Muskingum 9, Ohio Wesleyan 1; Muskingum 11, Ohio Wesleyan 6
Ohio Wesleyan 6, Wittenberg 3
Ohio Wesleyan 5, Wittenberg 4
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