Marietta College splits with Otterbein

WESTERVILLE – Junior catcher Eric White drove in the winning run in the top of the eleventh inning of game two as Marietta College salvaged a split Wednesday at Otterbein University.

The Cardinals won the first game 6-2, while the Etta Express took the nitecap 7-6 in extra innings.

Marietta moves to 16-11 overall and 6-2 in the Ohio Athletic Conference. Otterbein is now 17-6 on the season and 3-3 in league play.

Defensive woes plagued both teams late in game two. The Pioneers scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning to go on top 6-4 only to give Otterbein a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the frame.

The Cardinals had scoring opportunities in both the ninth and tenth innings as a result of Marietta errors. But relief ace David Stover worked out of both jams.

In the top of the eleventh, Tim McCoy reached on a one-out walk. He quickly stole second and went to third when the errant throw ended up in centerfield. Following a walk to Mike Hale, White grounded out to short scoring McCoy with the eventual winning run.

Stover (6-0) remained perfect on the season with 4 2/3 innings of strong relief. He allowed two unearned runs on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts. Junior Mitch McNabb picked up his first save of the season when he closed the door on Otterbein in the bottom of the eleventh.

Otterbein jumped on Marietta starter Christian Herstine ,plating one run in the first. After throwing over 100 pitches on Sunday, Herstine was lifted after three innings of work. He gave up just the one run on four hits and struck out four.

Tommy Crowl took over and pitched two shutout innings before turning the ball over to Kordell Antill to start the sixth.

Crowl was in line for the win after the Express scored three runs in the top of the sixth. Greg Peffley knocked in a run with a single to right field. McCoy followed with a sac fly for MC’s second run of the inning and White drove in the third with a single to left.

Otterbein answered right back tallying three in the bottom of the frame off of Antill. Antill was charged with three runs on four hits and one walk in 1/3 of an inning. Stover took over on the mound and got Marietta out of the inning.

Craig Prince started on the mound for Otterbein and threw six innings. He allowed three runs on six hits and struck out seven. Terrell Dorsey tossed 1 1/3 and allowed three runs on a pair of hits. Cardinal closer Caleb Norton (1-1) took over in the seventh and was tagged with the loss. Norton allowed one unearned run on three hits. But he walked five to go along with two strikeouts.

Chris Petrucci, Hale and Tyler Packanik each had two hits in the game for Marietta.

In game one, Marietta took the early lead with a pair of runs in the first inning. Petrucci led off the game with a single up the middle and then stole second. McCoy followed with a single giving the Etta Express runners on the corners.

Joey Begany reached on a fielder’s choice as the Cardinals retired McCoy at second base allowing Petrucci to score the first run of the game. A double from Hale plated Begany for a 2-0 lead.

After throwing 6 2/3 shutout innings to be MC 1-0 a year ago, Robert Kemer found himself in trouble again in the second inning. The Otterbein ace allowed a single and a walk before getting out of the inning with a ground out and a fly ball to keep the Pioneer lead at 2-0.

Otterbein chipped away at the Marietta lead scoring one run in the third, fourth and fifth innings to take a 3-2 lead. Jake Simmerman hit a solo home run in the fourth and Mark Walton added a solo shot in the fifth.

The Cardinals chased Marietta starter Tyler Nieberding in the sixth inning scoring three times. Simmerman got things started with a walk and would later score on a passed ball. Brock Frentzel drove in the second run with a sac fly and then Taylor Hutchinson added an RBI single.

Nieberding (0-1) worked 5-2/3 innings in the losing effort. He allowed six run on eight hits with four walks and two strikeouts. Jacob Baker threw 1 1/3 innings and Austin Eaton retired all three batters he faced in the eighth.

Kemer (4-0) pitched seven strong innings to get the win. He gave up two runs on six hits and struck out four. JC Brown and Caleb Norton each threw one inning of perfect relief for the Cardinals.

The Pioneers play at Heidelberg University on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.