Wabash wins 2018 NCAC tournament

More news about: Wabash

Wabash defeated second-ranked Wooster for the second time in two days, knocking off the Fighting Scots 17-8 Saturday afternoon to win the 2018 North Coast Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament title.
The conference tournament championship is the second in Wabash history. The Little Giants claimed the crown in 2011. Head Coach Jake Martin won the tournament at the helm of DePauw University in 2014, making him the first coach in NCAC history to lead two different teams to the tournament.
The Little Giant earn the NCAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament with the victory. Wabash will learn early late Sunday night or early Monday morning where the team will open regional play.
Wabash (28-15) never trailed in any of its three victories in the tournament. The Little Giants jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom on an RBI ground out by Andrew Jumonville and a sacrifice fly from Jackson Blevins. Wabash tacked on five more runs in the second off an RBI single from Henry Wannemuehler, a two-run double off the left-center field wall by Sean Roginski, and a two-run triple by Jumonville to make it 7-0.
Wooster (36-8) picked up a run in the third on a bases-loaded walk to chase starter Tyler Cooper. The senior pitched 2-2/3 innings and surrendered two hits and one unearned run with three walks. Martin turned to sophomore reliever Zach Moffett to end the Scots' threat. Moffett closed out the inning with a strikeout to hold the lead at 7-1. Wooster added another run in the fourth when Harry Witwer-Dukes hit one of the Scots' four home runs in the game to cut the lead to 7-2.
Wabash answered with a four-run inning in the bottom of the fourth. Wooster balked in a run prior to an RBI single by Eric Chavez. Tyler Downing followed with a two-run double down the left field line to push the score to 11-2.
The Scots smashed a two-run homer in the fifth to cut the score to 11-4, but Wabash rallied for a pair of runs on a double by Blevins to maintain the lead at 13-4. Witwer-Dukes slammed a solo home run to left field in the in the sixth inning and Drew Tornow added a three-run shot over the right field fence to cut the lead to five at 13-8.
Bryan Roberts entered the game in relief of Moffett. The ace starter and winner of the Little Giants' 4-2 game over Denison to open the tournament for Wabash Thursday night. Saturday against the Scots the senior retired seven of the nine batters he faced over the final 2-1/3 innings with one strike out to keep Wooster off the score board.
The Wabash offense was not finished adding to its score, however. Matthew Annee drove in one run with single in the bottom of the seventh inning. Downing added a sacrifice fly and Wannemuehler plated the final two runs of the game with a single in the seventh for the final 17-8 victory.
Moffett earned the win in relief, He pitched four innings and gave up five hits and seven runs with two walks and four strikeouts. He earned a place on the all-tournament team with Roberts after recording two saves in the win over Denison along with the 7-3 Wabash win on Friday against Wooster.
All nine Wabash batters collected hits for a total of 18 in the game. Roginski, Aldridge, and Downing each finished with three hits to pace the Little Giants. Downing, Blevins, Wannemuehler, and Jumonville each recorded three RBI in the win.
Roginski and Blevins both earned places on the all-tournament team. Aldridge earned tournament Most Valuable Player honors after batting .538 over three games with seven hits in 13 at bats with two RBI and four runs scored.
The Little Giants have played in three NCAC conference tournaments (2010, 2011, and 2018) with conference championship in the last two appearances.