The real McCoy steps up at the plate

WESTERVILLE – If Marietta College senior Tim McCoy’s back was a little sore Sunday morning after a cold, rainy, damp day in Westerville Saturday, it’s understandable.

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound slugger swung a hot bat in helping carry the Pioneers to a 6-5 triumph over Baldwin Wallace University in an Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament baseball showdown at Otterbein University’s Fishbaugh Field.

McCoy was being modest when he said in a postgame interview that he had “not a whole lot” of similar games during his four-year career on the diamond at MC. Almost one year ago at Heidelberg University in a do-or-die OAC tourney game for the Pioneers, he went 4-for-6 with a two-run homer in an 18-11 victory. (MC went on to claim the OAC tourney title with a 7-4 win against the Student Princes.)

But no question about it, going 4-for-5 with two home runs, a double, and five ribbies against the Yellow Jackets and then sharing Dick Fishbaugh Most Valuable Player honors with teammate Christian Herstine was very special.

“I mean, I’ve had a lot of good games,” McCoy said. “But this one (vs. BW) was probably the most memorable one.”

McCoy, a petroleum engineering major at MC, paused.

“As of right now,” he continued, “we have a lot more (games) ahead of us – but right now, this is at the top.”

With Saturday’s win, MC (28-15) extended its season and received an automatic berth in an NCAA D3 regional tournament this week.

Currently, McCoy is batting .353 with a team-high five home runs and 34 RBIs.

“Timmy hasn’t had maybe statistically the year that he would’ve liked, but he’s been our best player all year,” said Marietta skipper Brian Brewer. “Great player, great teammate, great leader, and really deserving of the awards he got today.”

McCoy’s only “blemish” on the day was a groundout to second in the sixth inning. He faced BW reliever Connor Murphy then. In his next at-bat in the bottom of the eighth, he swung against Tom Loeffler with two Pioneers on base, two outs, and the score tied at 3-all.

Earlier, in the bottom of the third inning, McCoy’s two-run shot to right off Yellow Jacket starter Alex Albright helped stake Marietta to a 3-0 advantage.

Interestingly, the right-handed-throwing Loeffler had thrown 146 pitches the day before in his team’s elimination game and 7-6 extra inning win against Otterbein.

Well, McCoy promptly greeted Loeffler with a towering, three-run blast to right-center to put the Pioneers back on top, 6-3.

“Big time,” Brewer said. “That’s a big knock, and he had some situations in the middle part of the year and throughout the year where he didn’t come through as much as he liked.

“But again, very deserving of everything that comes his way as far as postseason, post tournament recognition.”

Indeed, and hopefully, there will be many more memories before all is said and done.

Ron Johnston is a Marietta Times sports writer, and can be reached at (740)373-2121, x534, or at rjohnston@mariettatimes.com