MC flat in OAC tourney opener
After both a rain and lightning delay, Otterbein University’s bats boomed like thunder.
The No. 4-seeded Cardinals plated four runs in the sixth and two more in the ninth en route to a 7-1 triumph over host and top-seeded Marietta College in Ohio Athletic Conference baseball tournament action at Don Schaly Stadium Thursday.
“You have to score runs to have a chance – it’s obvious,” said Otterbein skipper George Powell. “We never really let Marietta get on top of us in terms of getting ahead and letting them do their thing.”
Offensively, the Cardinals (25-15) stroked 13 hits, and were led by Tyler Kent and Wes Meadows, who had three hits apiece. Sean Kettering and Meadows each drove in three runs, and Ty Compton had one RBI. Billy Harkenrider added a double and scored a run.
Righty David Cydrus (4-3), who relieved freshman starter Adam Collier after nearly a two hour delay due inclement weather conditions, picked up the win. In 4.2 scoreless innings of work, Cydrus fanned three, walked one, and allowed three hits.
“I thought Adam Collier did a nice job,” Powell said. “Then after the rain delay, we brought a senior (Cydrus) out there who throws a lot of strikes.
“The game played out pretty well for us. Of course, there was a lot of little things we could’ve done better.”
Evan Brockmeier, Mitch Geers, and Bryan Gregorich each had two hits to lead the No. 8 nationally-ranked Pioneers (28-11), who have dropped three of their last four games. Brockmeier (4-4) suffered the mound setback in relief of freshman starter Jason Byers, who struck out seven and walked one in five innings on the hill.
“I’m disappointed more in the energy level,” said MC head coach Brian Brewer. “It was down a little bit. We’ve gone through this at times this year where we’re just on our heels a little bit – and just don’t seem excited to be there.
“They (Otterbein) played well. You have to tip your cap to them. They were more aggressive than us. It felt like they were a little bit more excited to be here than we were.”
Otterbein staked itself to a 1-0 first-inning advantage when Meadows, who is one hit shy of tying Tory Allen (2004) for the most career hits (209) in school history, singled home Kent, who was plunked by Byers to lead off the game.
Marietta tied the score 1-1 in the bottom of the second when Chris Winpigler legged it home on a Collier wild pitch. Winpigler got to third courtesy of Gregorich’s two-basehit.
Then, with one out in the bottom of the fifth, the rain came.
When play was resumed, Cydrus was on the hill. After walking Brockmeier, he retired the next two Pioneer batters to get out of the inning.
In the top of the sixth, Brockmeier toed the rubber, and gave up a single to Kent and a double to Harkenrider.
After Brockmeier walked Meadows intentionally, Kettering cleared the bases with a long double to center to give the Cardinals a 4-1 advantage.
“I think that’s the 12th time Wes Meadows has been intentionally walked, and almost every time, Sean Kettering has come up and done exactly that,” Powell said. “It was obviously a huge hit.”
Later in the inning, Compton singled home Kettering to make it 5-1.
In the ninth inning, Meadows singled home Dylan Holmes and Kent to cap all the scoring in the contest.
“I think that kind of put the nail in the coffin,” Powell said.
Meadows is scheduled to pitch in a winners bracket game at 11 a.m. today, while MC righty Mike Mulvey (7-3, 3.12 ERA is expected to get the nod in an elimination game at 2 p.m. today.
“The things we didn’t bring today are fixable,” Brewer said. “Hopefully, we as a group do what we have to do between today and tomorrow at 2 o’clock to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”
OTTERBEIN 7, MARIETTA 1
at Don Drumm Stadium
Otterbein 100 004 002 – 7 13 1
Marietta 010 000 000 – 1 7 2
WP: David Cydrus (4-3) Ip 4.2, h3, r0, er0, bb1, so3
Adam Collier (starter) Ip 4.1, h4, r1, er1, bb2, so4
LP: Evan Brockmeier Ip3, h7, r4, er4, bb1, so1
Jason Byers (starter) Ip5, h 4, r1, er1, bb1, so7
Jordan Carithers Ip1, h2, r2, er2, bb2, so1
Otterbein (25-15) hitting: Tyler Kent 3-4, 3 runs; Wes Meadows 3-4, 3rbis; Sean Kettering 2-4, 3 rbis, double; Nich Pitzer 2-4; Ty Compton 1-4, rbi
Marietta (28-11) hitting: Brockmeier 2-4; Mitch Geers 2-4; Bryan Gregorich 2-4, double; Chirs Winpigler, run
Next game: Otterbein vs. TBA at 11 a.m. today; Marietta vs. TBA at 2 p.m. today.