Big second inning propels Pios

MARIETTA- The Marietta College bats exploded for 22 hits during a 16-7 victory over Ohio Athletic Conference rival Muskingum Saturday afternoon at Don Schaly Stadium.

The deciding inning came early in the game when the visiting Muskies committed five errors and Marietta capitalized by sending 13 batters to the plate and scoring nine runs in the bottom of the second.

The Pioneers’ Michael Barnabel got the party started by beating out the throw on his bunt in MC’s first at-bat.

Barnabel advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Brandon Papp and then came home on a double to left field by shortstop Chris Petrucci. Petrucci found his way to the plate after Greg Peffley sent a flare out to left-center field which was lost in the sun by Muskingum’s Christian Leitenberger.

Peffley went 4-for-5 on the day with a double, two runs scored and a pair of runs batted in.

Leitenberger was under heat again the next at-bat when he lost a Tim McCoy fly ball, which fell in for a single. McCoy advanced to second on the E-8 and Peffley scored to put the lead up to 5-1 five batters into the inning.

The Pios pushed their lead to 11-1 and chased Muskies’ starting pitcher Damian Smith from the game after just 2.1 innings. Reliever Patrick McGinty came on to get the last two outs of the inning, but the damage had already been done.

Muskingum got a run back in the top of the third inning after Joe Shumar hit a sacrifice to first base to plate Matt Lynn, who led of the inning with a double and advanced to third base after a wild pitch earlier in Lynn’s at-bat.

MC answered back in the bottom of the fourth when Tyler Packanick stroked one of his three hits on the day to bring in Mike Hale from third base.

Both teams went down quickly in the fifth inning. No runs scored and the pitchers seemed to finally be gaining control of the game.

Marietta starter Christian Herstine went out for the top of the sixth, but his defense wasn’t as strong behind him as the previous five innings.

The Muskies put a 5-spot on the board to climb back to within five runs, thanks to a number of extra-base hits, including a two-run triple from Leitenberger with two outs gone.

Herstine’s struggles prompted Marietta skipper Brian Brewer to make a call to the bullpen to get 6-foot-8 David Stover up and throwing. Marietta went quietly in the bottom of the sixth, leaving Pacanik stranded after a leadoff single.

Brewer inserted Stover into the game in the top of the seventh and the tall lefty had little problem dispatching the Muskingum hitters with a three-up, three-down inning. The tall submariner’s batting average against is just .182 on the season.

Marietta’s bats again got to work in the bottom of the seventh inning. Peffley lofted a single into right field to begin the inning and advanced to third base on a double from McCoy. Joey Bagany brought Peffley home on a sacrifice fly and Eric White brought home McCoy the next at-bat.

That was the trigger for Muskingum skipper Gregg Thompson to pull the plug on McGinty’s day. The Muskies head man handed the ball to his third pitcher of the afternoon in Jarin McIntosh. Thompson wasn’t the only one to make a substitution as MC’s Brewer pitch-hit Connor Golden for Greg Peffley.

Brewer was rewarded immediately as Golden took the first pitch from McIntosh and deposited it over the right-field fence for a two-run homer. The bomb pushed Marietta’s score up to 16 for the contest.

The final runs on the afternoon came in the bottom of the eighth when McCoy connected on a breaking ball and sent it out right by the scoreboard for the Pioneers’ second two-run shot of the contest.

Game 2

Marietta College 9,

Muskingum 2

The big inning once again came into play during Marietta College’s 9-2 win over Muskingum in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon.

The visiting Muskies managed to keep the potent Pioneers offense under wraps through the first three innings, but the wheels finally fell off in the bottom of the fourth.

The Pioneers’ Packanik singled to right field and advanced to second on a fielding error. The mistake cost Muskingum a run as Hale, who singled earlier in the inning, came into score and put the Etta Express up 3-2.

Papp then doubled down the left-field line on the first pitch he saw to score Packanik and was brought in a batter later when Pelfrey singled through the right side. With two on, McCoy stepped to the plate and smacked a 1-2 fast ball over the right-field fence for a three-run dinger to put the home team up, 8-2.

It was the second long ball hit by the senior in as many games.

MC added an insurance run in the fourth with Pelfrey singled to third base and Petrucci scored on an error from the third baseman.