Tigers Rally Past Earlham For 8-6 Victory

File Photo | Erin Pence

Jon Ellerbrock tossed a scoreless inning of relief to help the Tigers to an 8-6 win over Earlham.

File Photo | Erin Pence

RICHMOND, Ind. - The clutch hitting and stellar relief pitching that had been absent in recent weeks for the Wittenberg Tigers resurfaced in a non-conference 8-6 victory over the Earlham Quakers.

The win was just the second in 12 games for Wittenberg since returning to Ohio following the team's annual Spring Break trip to Florida. The Tigers improved to 5-15 overall, while Earlham, a former North Coast Athletic Conference rival, dropped to 11-13.

After taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning, the Tigers were forced to come from behind after the Quakers scored four times in the bottom half of the second. Wittenberg got two runs back in the third, tied the game in the fifth and took a 5-4 lead in the seventh, only to see Earlham respond with a two-spot in the bottom of the inning.

In the eighth inning, Wittenberg put together what turned out to be a game-winning rally. THe big hits came from junior Zac Wilson (Eaton, Ohio/Eaton), who tripled to right field to drive in sophomore Will Cousins (Medfield, Mass./Medfield) with the tying run, and senior Tyler Hutchinson (Lebanon, Ohio/Cincinnati Moeller), who followed with the Tigers' first home run of the 2014 season.

Those clutch hits made a winner out of junior Mike Burgher (Birmingham, Mich./Seaholm), who pitched 4.2 innings of relief. He allowed two runs on three hits and two walks before giving way to senior Alex Lochard (Sidney, Ohio/Sidney), who tossed a perfect eighth inning, and freshman Jon Ellerbrock (Tipp City, Ohio/Bethel), who picked up a save with a scoreless ninth.

Junior Aaron Patrick (Eldorado, Ohio/Tri-Valley North) sparked the offense with three hits and three runs batted in , while Cousins and senior David Moore (Tipp City, Ohio/Tippecanoe) added two hits apiece. Moore and Hutchinson each scored two runs in the game.