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Turner Hill wears the Marietta College pinstripes well

Turner Hill is good at hitting baseballs.

He’s proven that over the last decade, whether he was playing for the Marietta High Tigers or the NCAA Division II Malone Pioneers. Hill has always known his way around the batter’s box.

When Hill transferred to Marietta College before the 2021 baseball season, it was obviously a good get for head coach Brian Brewer and the Pioneers. However, what Hill has been able to do this spring with a bat in his hands has been nothing short of amazing.

The left-handed swinging Hill leads the Ohio Athletic Conference in four key offensive categories — batting average (.481), on-base percentage (.548), runs scored (41) and stolen bases (23).

He’s started all 24 games for the Pioneers and has played a stellar right field, but his biggest contributions have come at the top of Marietta’s batting order.

He has 50 hits (second in the OAC) in 104 at-bats. He’s walked 12 times and been plunked six more. He’s stepped up to bat 126 times this season, with only four of those plate appearances resulting in a strikeout. Hill has always had incredible plate discipline and a great understanding of the strike zone.

An on-base machine, Hill has also displayed plenty of power. With nine doubles, three triples and a home run, Hill’s slugging percentage sits at .654. His on-base plus slugging (OPS) is a whopping 1.202.

Despite batting first or second in the lineup most of the year, Hill has managed to collect 23 runs-batted-in, just shy of one per game.

Hill is playing at an All-American caliber level, but he’s only part of the equation for the Pioneers. Marietta’s entire starting lineup is batting at least .305 and is getting on base at no worse than a .405 clip.

The pitching has been strong as well as the team’s earned-run average sits at 3.06, 40 points better than next best Mount Union and nearly two whole runs ahead of third best Otterbein.

It all adds up to a sparkling 21-3 overall record for Brewer’s club, which was ranked fifth in the nation in the latest d3baseball.com poll. The Pioneers have a 19-2 OAC record, giving them a 3.5-game lead over Mount Union in the standings.

They’re a near lock to make the OAC Tournament and are in the driver’s seat to earn the regular season title and the tournament’s top seed.

Up next for the Etta Express is a doubleheader Monday at Otterbein. If Hill and company keep up their incredible play, Marietta will continue to be tough to beat.

Jordan Holland can be reached at jholland@mariettatimes.com.

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