Pioneers OAC regular-season champs
WILMINGTON – The No. 23 ranked Marietta College Pioneers dominated Wilmington College Saturday afternoon posting a pair of lopsided victories. The Etta Express blanked the Quakers 10-0 in the first game and then completed the Ohio Athletic Conference sweep with a 16-3 win in game two. Marietta improved to 27-11 overall and 15-3 in the OAC. Wilmington finished the season 4-30 overall and 2-16 in the OAC.
Saturday’s sweep of Wilmington, coupled with Ohio Northern University’s sweep of Heidelberg University, clinched the OAC regular season title and the No. 1 seed in this week’s OAC Tournament for the Pioneers. Marietta is scheduled to host the OAC Tournament for the fourth year in a row and 21st time since the format changed to a four-team double-elimination tournament in 1985. Tournament action begins on Thursday at Don Schaly Stadium.
The Pioneers dominated the overmatched Quakers in all phases of the game. Sophomore pitchers Christian Herstine and Jason Byers combined to strikeout 24, while the Etta Express banged out 29 hits on offense.
Herstine (8-1) and junior Mike Fulton combined on the game one shutout. Herstine started and worked eight innings. He allowed five hits and struck out 11, while walking one. Fulton threw the ninth inning and gave up one hit.
It took the Etta Express a little while to get rolling in the first game. Tyler Packanik delivered an RBI single in the second inning giving MC a 1-0. The score remained 1-0 through the fourth. Marietta plated nine runs over the final five innings to put the game away.
Packanik and Tim McCoy each collected three hits in the game.
McCoy finished 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles. Mitch Geers, Josh Ungerbuehler, Kevin Johnston and Zach Bukiewicz all had two hits for the Pioneers.
In the nitecap, the Pioneers jumped on Wilmington for four runs in the top of the first inning.
Marietta added one in the fifth and then blew the game open with seven runs in the sixth for a 12-0 lead. The Quakers got to Byers in the home half of the sixth scoring three times.
Byers (9-0) started and pitched six innings to get the win. He gave up three runs on six hits.
Byers struck out 13 Quaker batters without issuing a walk. A trio of freshmen finished the game for the Pioneers. Zak Janus,
Mitch McNabb and Ray Sowinski each threw an inning of shutout relief.
Packanik had three more hits in the second game, while Chris Winpigler went 2-for-5 with four runs scored, a grand slam and five runs batted in. Christian Demko also had two hits in the game for the Etta Express.