White, Pioneers down No. 21 Wooster, 13-4

Eric White has blossomed into a tough out for the Pioneers.

The 6-foot, 190-pound junior catcher was 4-for-4 with two doubles and four runs-batted-in as Marietta College drilled No. 21-ranked College of Wooster, 13-4, in non-conference baseball action at Don Schaly Stadium Wednesday night.

“It just feels good at the plate right now,” said White, who now shares the team RBI lead (16) with center fielder Tim McCoy. “I’m seeing the ball really well. I’m just trying to get fastballs to hit.”

Ohio Athletic Conference first-place MC (4-0) improved its overall record to 13-8 on the season. The Pioneers were coming off a 3-2 extra-inning setback at Denison University Sunday.

“It was really nice to bounce back,” White said. “We had a tough loss at Denison on Sunday, so we really needed to come out and bounce back – and put a good game together.”

Mike Hale, Michael Barnabei, and McCoy each added two hits for the pinstripe winners, who roughed up six Fighting Scot hurlers. One of Hale’s hits was a solo home run in the fifth.

MC ace right-hander Christian Herstein (3-2) started on the hill and allowed just one hit in four innings pitched. Kordell Antill, Scott Oberhelman, and David Stover also threw for the Pioneers.

“He (Herstein) did look good today,” White said. “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.”

D3 nationally-ranked Wooster fell to 11-5 on the season. The Fighting Scots had no muliple-hit batters and only six hits in the game. They also committed three errors.

Freshman southpaw Wyatt Linde, who was pitching for the first time this season, suffered the mound setback.

“Wooster’s a very good team, and our pitching staff did a really good job of keeping them without many runs,” White said. “They came out and competed, and we just played better with our pitching staff.”

Early on, Herstine and Linde were hooked up in a pitching duel. But in the bottom of the fourth, the Pioneer bats came alive. Getting things started, Hale lined a double off the fence in left. McCoy then sacrificed bunted and was safe on fielder’s choice. Tyler Packanik followed with a run-scoring single to right, and Barabei bunted home McCoy to make it 2-0.

White was then safe on a hard hit ball to short to load the bases. His hit also knocked Linde out of the game.

Wooster reliever Hank Schlueter struck out the first batter that he faced, but Joe Gardner’s groundout plated Packanik. Brandon Papp followed with a single to right to drive in Barnabei, making it 4-0.

The following inning, Marietta stretched its lead to 8-0 with another four-run outburst. Leading off Hale lined his first home run as a Pioneer over the left field fence. Before the frame was over, White would clear the bases with a double down the right field line.

Wooster finally got some offense going in the top of the sixth. Highlighting the inning, Michael Wielansky singled home one run, Jamie Lackner doubled home two, and then scored himself on Ryan Ostendorf’s triple to right center.

Capitalizing on a costly Wooster throwing error and without the benefit of a hit, MC scored two runs in the bottom half of the frame to make it 10-4.

Capping all the scoring in the bottom of the eighth, Barnabei tripled home two runs, and legged it home himself on White’s fourth hit of the contest.

“Everyone came in and played hard,” White said. “And we got out of here with a ‘W’ today.”

Marietta is scheduled to host Baldwin Wallace University in an OAC doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday. In the OAC standings as of Tuesday, the Yellow Jackets were 2-0.