April 22, 2012
Junior catcher James Toland (Stow/Walsh Jesuit) smashed 3 home runs and senior first baseman Nathan Strome (Sidney) crushed a timely 3-run homer to power Ohio Wesleyan to a doubleheader sweep of Wittenberg in North Coast Athletic Conference West Division play on Sunday at Littick Field.
OWU won the opener with a 5-2 win before taking the nightcap by a 9-2 margin.
The Bishop sweep, combined with Wabash’s split against Denison, clinches a spot for Ohio Wesleyan in the NCAC tournament to be held May 3-5 in Chillicothe. Ohio Wesleyan finished its NCAC divisional slate with a 9-7 record and will be the No. 2 seed from the West Division, with the Bishops scheduled to face the No. 1 seed from the East Division in their tournament opener on May 3.
Ohio Wesleyan took a 1-0 lead in the opener on a double by freshman outfielder J.J. Buckey (Toledo/Ottawa Hills) and a single by sophomore outfielder Jack Lawson (Powell/Worthington Kilbourne), only to see Wittenberg cobble together a pair of runs on a pair of singles, a sacrifice, a sacrifice fly, and an error in the top of the fifth.
Toland’s 3-run shot in the bottom of the inning put the Bishops ahead to stay, and Ohio Wesleyan tacked on an insurance run in the sixth as senior outfielder Seth Frentsos (Delaware/Hayes) singled, moved to third on a single by Lawson singled, and scored on a sacrifice fly from junior second baseman Zach Bott (Dublin/Coffman).
Junior righthander Brandon Sega (Columbus/Upper Arlington) scattered 5 hits in working the complete game. He struck out 2 and walked 3.
Andy Shared pitched the complete game for Wittenberg.
In the nightcap, the Tigers scored in the top of the second when David Moore was hit by a pitch, advanced to third on a fielding error by senior shortstop Steve Gaydos (Strongsville), and scored when Mike Burgher bounced into a double play.
Toland wasted no time getting the run back, leading off the bottom of the second with a colossal home run to left center.
Wittenberg answered with a double by Grant Goodwin and an RBI single by Brandon Jordan in the top of the third.
Ohio Wesleyan took the lead for good in the fourth as senior first baseman Tim Knezovich (Columbus/Briggs) led off with a single and Toland walked before Strome sent a ball over the fence in left center for a 4-2 Bishop lead.
Buckey doubled home a run during the Bishops’ 2-run sixth, and Toland highlighted a 3-run seventh with a 2-run blast to right center that extended the Ohio Wesleyan lead to 8-2.
That would be more than enough for senior righthander Kevin Schindler (Mentor), who allowed 9 hits in 7.0 innings but stranded 9 Tigers on the basepaths during his stint. Sophomore righthander Billy Cooper (Westerville/Central) finished the game with 2.0 scoreless innings.
Stu Haley was the starting and losing pitcher for Wittenberg.