Wooster, Ohio – With postseason aspirations still on the line, the Wittenberg University Baseball team picked up another key North Coast Athletic Conference series split on Wednesday (5/1) as the Tigers earned their first victory over No. 10 Wooster since the 2011 season with an 8-7 win over the Scots in game two from Art Murray Field in Wooster. Wittenberg did drop a 14-4 decision against Wooster in the opener, but with the Tigers now sitting at 8-8 on the year in league play, they are still very much in the mix for one of the final two spots in the upcoming NCAC Baseball Tournament, set for May 9-11 at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio. The final seeds and pairing for the conference tournament will be announced later in the weekend once the full conference schedule has been completed.
After falling 14-4 in the opener, the Wittenberg bats came to life early in game one as the Tigers pushed across three runs to take the early lead over the Scots. Sophomore Hayden Knox got things going for the Tigers in the top of the first with a one-out double to right center, while classmate Jack Siefert drove him home two batters later with a homer over the left field wall. The Tigers weren't done in the first as sophomore Mason Davis laced a single down the right field line in the very next at bat and was driven home immediately on a double to center field off the bat of junior Patrick Kenny. Wooster got one run back in the bottom of the third off Wittenberg sophomore starter Rusty Hayhurst, before the Tigers once again posted a three-spot in the top of the fifth to build a 6-1 lead. The Tigers got an unconventional run to open the fifth as Davis drew a two-out bases loaded walk, while Kenny drove home the final two runs on a sharp single up the middle that plated sophomore Jack Hollinshead and senior Matt Baker. Wooster got another run back in the bottom of the fifth on a solo homer, but Wittenberg was able to push the eventual game-winning runs across in the top of the sixth inning. Sophomore David Hamrick drove home the Tigers seventh run on a single to right field that brought home classmate Tanner Boros, before Hamrick eventually came around to score later in the inning on a single to third off the bat of junior Justin Bargar. Wooster did threaten with two runs in the sixth, two runs in the seventh and another in the ninth, but masterful relief work by senior right-hander Brandon Beegle and junior right-hander Adam Mays helped preserve the historic one-run victory for the Tigers over the Scots. Beegle entered the game in the fifth inning, striking out four and allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits in 2.1 innings of work to pick up his second win of the season on the mound, while Mays earned his fourth save of the season after striking out three and allowing just one earned run on two hits over the final 2.2 innings of play. Kenny led the Tigers at the dish in game two by going 3-for-5 with three RBI, while Hamrick finished the game going 2-for-3 at the plate with one RBI and two runs scored.
Wittenberg will now wrap up the 2019 regular season campaign this Saturday with another crucial NCAC DH at home against Ohio Wesleyan. First pitch from Carleton Davidson Stadium in game one is set for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. In addition, the Tigers will celebrate the careers of the four graduating players with a program Senior Day Ceremony.