Marietta wins 1986 national title

MARIETTA, Ohio -- Marietta claimed its third championship with an 11-6 win over Ithaca. A pitch hit double by Darren Spitzer tied the game in the eighth inning and he later scored on a Drew Wikouski single to give Marietta the lead for good.

Coming into the Championship round, Marietta had to defeat an Ithaca team that was scoring more than 14 runs a game. In the two chances Ithaca had to claim the title, Marietta limited the Bombers to only eight runs.

In the eighth inning, down one run, Marietta coach Don Schaly sent Jeff Marbaugh to pitch hit for Scott McVicar. When Ithaca called upon a left-handed reliever, Schaly sent Spitzer to the plate. "When they changed pitchers, I was going with Spitzer," Schaly said. "He'd been swinging the bat well and I didn't want to use [Eric] Shoup in case I needed him to pitch." Spitzer hit a 1-0 pitch to left-center for the run-scoring double. "I just haven't had much of a chance to contribute. Well, now I've had my chance," said Spitzer.

"We battled hard and played well," said coach George Valesente. "A few hits a little to the left or a little to the right and the game could have gone the other way."

Ithaca started the scoring with an unearned run in the second inning as a lead off walk to first baseman Tim Wilson was allowed to advance on an error and score on a double play. Marietta countered with a two-out double by Drew Witorski that tied the game at 1-1.

In the bottom of the third, Ithaca put two runs on the board as Lou Milano singled and eventually scored on TJ Gamba's fielder's choice. After a walk to Wilson, John Cole drove in Gamba. Ithaca added two in the fourth on a Dave Dash single and one in the fifth on a Jim Neitopski triple.

Marietta made the score 4-6 in the sixth when they score three runs scored with two outs. Witouski tripled and scored on Mike Brandts' single. Two more singles by Bill Holmes and John Sudges got the Pioneers within two. Bill Holmes drove in another run in the seventh to make the game a one run contest.

In the eighth inning Marietta broke the game open with five runs on three hits. Spitzer's double tied the game. Marietta scored four more runs aided by an error by the catcher, three walks and a balk. Marietta closed the scoring in the ninth as Sean Risley singled.

Jim Katsche earned the complete game win as he allowed six runs on ten hits. John Jorgensen took the loss in relief for the Bombers.

Mike Brandts was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player as he led in runs scored and RBIs, and appeared near the top of every offensive category. Teammates Wiktorski, Risley and Katschke joined Brandts on the all-tournament team. Wilson, Cole, Gamba were selected to represent Ithaca. The third place finisher Montclair State was represented by Jim Fasano, Tim Johnson, John Deutsch, and Brian Cheswick.

1986 All Tournament Team
MVP: Mike Brandts, Marietta
Catcher - Drew Witouski, Marietta; First Base - Tim Wilson, Ithaca; Second Base - John Cole, Ithaca; Third Base - Mike Brandts, Marietta; Shortstop - Jim Fasano, Montclair State; Outfield - Tim Johnson, Montclair State; Sean Risley, Marietta; TJ Gamba, Ithaca; Designated Hitter - John Deutsch, Montclair State; Pitcher - Brian Cheswick, Montclair State; Jim Katschke, Marietta.