Big day for Etta Express

By Ron Johnston

The Marietta Times

rjohnston@mariettatimes.com

Christian Herstine pitched four scoreless innings and got the win in Marietta College’s 13-4 triumph over No. 21-ranked College of Wooster at Don Schaly Stadium Wednesday night.

So, there’s a good possibility that the 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior right-hander might be on the bump again when the Brian Brewer-coached and OAC first-place Pioneers (14-8 overall, 4-0 Ohio Athletic Conference) host Baldwin Wallace University (8-14, 2-2) in the 18th annual Community Baseball Day Saturday. Weather permitting, the opening game of the twinbill is scheduled for 1 p.m.; the nightcap, 4 p.m.

The entire Marietta Community is invited, and all activities are free of charge.

The annual event, which is organized and executed by the Sports Marketing class, will once again feature a Community Day t-shirt, hot dogs, Pepsi products and plenty of games and activities for fans of all ages.

Against Wooster, Herstine (3-2, 2.89 ERA) never looked sharper, fanning four and allowing just one single.

“He did look good (Wednesday),” said Marietta College junior catcher Eric White after the contest.

“His fastball was working well. His off-speed was very good. He kept it down, and he was hitting spots. He has the ability to miss his spots and still get guys out. But he was hitting them today.”

If Herstine gets the nod to toe the rubber in one of the games, then Brewer has all kinds of options for his second starting hurler. It could be Tommy Crowl (1-2, 6.60), Tyler Nieberding (0-0, 5.17 ERA), Austin Easton (0-0, 3.68, ERA), or Scott Oberhelman (2-0, 2.61 ERA).

Coming out of the Etta Express bullpen, look for David Stover (5-0, 1.87 ERA), Mitch McNabb (1-1, 5.93) and Kordell Antill (2-0, 1.46 ERA).

Going around the horn, the rest of the MC line-up is expected to include White (.451) at catch; Joe Gardner or Joey Begany, first; Mike Hale (.390), second; Tyler Packanik (team-high 17 ribbies), third; Chris Petrucci (.344), short; Michael Barnabei (.338), left; Tim McCoy (.419), center; and Brandon Papp, right.

Baldwin Wallace’s probable position starters may be Trent Kaltenbach (catcher), Hunter Handel (1b), Cole Nieto (2b), Spencer Badia (3b), Steve Montgomery or Mark Zimmerman (ss), Alex Marcum or Jerry Scholle or John Taylor (lf), Chase Knodle or Taylor (cf) and Reese Albright (rf).

Look for Zimmerman (4-2) and Alex Albright (3-2) to be on the hill.

Last year, the Yellow Jackets were 1-2 versus the Pioneers, dropping an 11-1 decision at Fisher Field in Berea and falling 7-5 in the OAC Tournament in Tiffin. They also beat MC, 9-5, in Berea.

NOTES: The eighth-annual Softball Community Day is scheduled for April 16 when the Jeanne Arbuckle-led Pioneers host Heidelberg University in a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Marietta Field…Adding a home game to its schedule, MC is slated to play La Roche College today (Friday) at 2 p.m. The Redhawks (19-7) defeated the Pioneers 6-1 March 19 in Pittsburgh, Pa.