Frostburg stymies Pioneers

MARIETTA – For seven innings the Marietta College offense was rather silent in Tuesday’s home opener at Don Schaly Stadium against 22nd-ranked Frostburg State.

By the time the Pioneer offense decided to make some noise it proved to be too little too late as the Bobcats survived a late rally to down Marietta College, 8-5.

“I was really disappointed in our effort quite frankly, I just didn’t feel we came out with any energy today,” said MC head coach Brian Brewer.

“We didn’t create any energy offensively and it looked like we were swinging weighted bats in there for awhile.”

Frostburg starting pitcher Anderson Burgess handcuffed the Pioneers in his five innings of work as he blanked them on just five hits while the Bobcat offense jumped all over Marietta College freshman starting pitcher Jacob Baker.

Jamaal Windom singled to open the game for Frostburg State and one out later back-to-back singles by K.J. Hockabay and Brad Garrant plated the first run.

Right fielder Connor Cooper walked to load the bases and designated hitter Zach Keeler followed with a two-run double to make it a 3-0 game.

The Bobcats added a solo run in a second inning that proved to be the final frame for Baker when Windom doubled, stole second and came into score on a groundout off the bat of Hockaday.

Brewer elected to replace Baker on the mound in the third inning with right-hander Scott Oberhelman and the sophomore gave the Pioneers 5 1-3 strong innings of relief, allowing six hits and three runs.

“Scott did a good job out of the pen especially since we didn’t get a quality start,” said Brewer, who also used Mitch McNabb to close out the game. “It’s hard to get behind the eight ball that early on because it allows an aggressive baseball team to become even more aggressive.”

Frostburg State added single runs in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings and carried what appeared to be a comfortable 7-0 lead into the eighth inning.

The Pios finally got on the board in the eighth without the benefit of a base hit as they loaded the bases on a hit batsman and a pair of walks before Connor Golden drew another walk to force in a run.

Frostburg got that run back in the top of the ninth off of McNabb on a run-scoring double by Cooper to once again increase its lead to seven before the Pioneers put together their biggest threat of the game in their final at-bat.

With one out, catcher Eric White singled and Joey Begany followed with a walk.

Chris Petrucci singled through the left side to load the bases before Pioneer senior Tim McCoy drove a Tyler Hoffman delivery over the right-field fence for a grand slam to cut the lead to 8-5.

After Greg Peffley continued the Pioneer rally with a single, Frostburg State head coach Guy Robertson elected to bring in his closer Nick Huff, but Golden legged out an infield single to bring the tying run to the dish.

Huff rebounded nicely however as he retired the next two Pioneer hitters on infield groundouts to end the game and secure his fourth save of the young season.

Both starting pitchers were the pitchers of record as Burgess improved to 2-0 with the win, while Baker’s first decision of the season was a losing one.

Frostburg State improved to 12-7 with the win while the 10-7 Pioneers will get a quick chance at redemption as they remain home today to play host to Ohio Wesleyan at 4 p.m..

“That’s the beauty of baseball,” said Brewer. “We get the chance to get right back out here right away and get this bad taste out of our mouths.”