The Carthage College baseball team (7-3, 0-0 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin), ranked 47th in the March 15 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association /"D3baseball.com" poll, swept a Friday, March 18 doubleheader from Otterbein University (0-3), 5-4 and 3-2, at the "Snowbird Baseball Classic" at North County Regional Park in North Port, Fla.
Carthage took a 4-0 lead in the first inning of the opening game on a two-run double off the bat of Will Hodges, a bases-loaded walk to Matt Soderlund and a base-loaded hit-by-pitch to Kyle Pusateri. Otterbein picked up a pair of runs in the fourth on back-to-back RBI-singles by Brett Lyzen and Greg Moomaw. Carthage made it 5-2 in the bottom of the fourth on a run-scoring single by Joey Aiello. The Cardinals cut the lead to 5-3 in the fifth on a fielder's choice grounder off the bat of Robb Hendershot and to 5-4 in the sixth on a triple by Scott Staarmann and an RBI-single by Matt Workman.
Carthage starting pitcher Danny Dahm (Sr., Morton Grove, Ill./Skokie-Niles West) gave way to reliever Sam Wilhelms in the seventh. Otterbein put two runners on with two outs in the ninth, but Wilhelms go Brett Lyzen to fly to center to end the game. Dahm (1-0) was the winning pitcher and allowed four runs, three earned on five hits and three walks, while striking out six batters. Wilhelms earned his first save by blanking the Cardinals on one hit over the final three innings. Dustin Reuter (0-1) took the loss for Otterbein.
In the nightcap, the Red Men took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a fielder's choice RBI off the bat of John Hasser. The Cardinals tied the game, 1-1, in the bottom half on a sacrifice fly by Wes Meadows. Otterbein took a 2-1 lead in the third when Scott Staarmann scored from second on fielding error by Carthage shortstop Kyle Pusateri. Joey Aiello's RBI-single in the fifth tied the game, 2-2. That's the way things stayed until the ninth. Carthage's Chris D'Angelo led off the final inning by getting hit by a pitch. A sacrifice bunt moved him to second, and Billy Herrin's infield single advanced him to third. Mike Petti then delivered a screaming single over the third base bag to score D'Angelo with the go-ahead run.
Pitcher Matt Martinski (So., Des Plaines, Ill./Elk Grove) started the game and allowed just two runs on two hits and two walks over seven innings, while striking out six batters. Nic Jensen (Sr., Appleton, Wis./East, 1-0) entered the game in the eighth inning and picked up the win. Jensen retired the side in order in both frames. Matt Frey (0-1) the first of two Cardinals hurlers, took the loss. Mike Petti (Sr., Mundelein, Ill.) went three-for-four with a double and an RBI, and Josh Albers (Sr., Green Oaks, Ill./Libertyville) went three-for-four.
"We didn't play our best baseball," admitted Carthage coach Augie Schmidt IV. "We looked slow and tired. We're hoping that we can learn something from the two wins, as opposed to learning something from a loss or two. We needed to be more a little sharper and more ready to play. Every run we gave up started with a walk or a hit batter. The good news today was a great outing from Sam Wilhelm—he's had a terrific trip for a little freshman." The Carthage trip concludes with a single game versus No. 34 Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Saturday, March 19 at 10 a.m. EDT, also at North County Regional Park.