MARIETTA, Ohio – In a battle of nationally ranked teams, No. 4 Marietta College and No. 20 Huntingdon College (Ala.) split a doubleheader Saturday (March 23) afternoon at Don Schaly Stadium.
The Hawks (16-6 overall) scored a pair of unearned runs in the ninth inning to win game one by the score of 6-5. The Pioneers (9-4 overall) salvaged a split with a 9-2 win in the second game.
Huntingdon scored a run in the first and another in the fourth to take a 2-0 lead in game one. Center fielder Evan Agnew had a two-run triple in the fifth inning to extend the lead to 4-0.
Marietta got on the board with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Freshman Tyler Packanik singled to start the rally. Shortstop Christian Demko walked and then senior Jordan Grilliot doubled into the right center gap scoring two.
Grilliot would eventually score on an error by the Hawk shortstop cutting the lead to 4-3.
The Pioneer took the lead in the sixth on a two-run single through the left side of the infield from senior Evan Brockmeier. With one out, senior Bryan Gregorich was hit by a pitch. Packanik followed with a single.
After a strikeout, Huntingdon went to the bullpen and brought in senior Cory Belyeu to replace starting pitcher Craig Brown. Belyeu walked Grilliot to load the bases and then surrendered the hit to Brockmeier giving the Pioneers a 5-4 lead.
Brockmeier took over on the mound for starter Jason Byers to start the eighth inning. Byers went 7.0 innings and gave up four runs, three earned, on eight hits. He walked two and struck out seven.
Second baseman Caleb Astin reached on an error to lead off the ninth for the Hawks. Brockmeier struck out Joseph Odom, Huntingdon's leading hitter, and the retired Astin at second base on a fielder's choice.
Down to the last out, first baseman Tyler Blackwell tied the game with a double to right center. Shortstop Austin White followed with a single up the middle scoring Blackwell with the go ahead run for a 6-5 lead.
Junior Neil Lawler retired Marietta in order in the bottom of the ninth to notch his third save of the season.
Brockmeier (2-1) was tagged with the loss. Brockmeier pitched 2.0 innings and allowed two unearned runs on two hits. He walked one and struck out one.
Belyeu (5-0) got the win with 2.1 innings of shutout relief. He gave up three hits and walked one. Starter Craig Brown went 5.2 innings and allowed five runs, four earned, on five hits. He walked two and struck out seven.
Packanik went 3-for-4 with two runs scored for the Pioneers. Brockmeier was 2-for-5 with two runs driven in.
White finished 3-for-5 with a double for the Hawks. Blackwell was 2-for-5 with a double and two runs scored.
In the second game, senior Mike Mulvey (3-0) scattered seven hits and held the Hawks to just two runs to gain the split. Mulvey went 8.1 innings walking one and striking out three.
Sophomore Mike Fulton tossed the final two-thirds of an innings retiring both batters he faced in the ninth.
The Pioneers jumped on top with two runs in the first and then added three in the third and two more in the fourth for a 7-2 lead. That was more than enough run support for Mulvey.
Junior Josh Ungerbuehler, starting at catcher for an injured Alex Toth, drove in two runs in the first with a double to left field.
Huntingdon tied the game with two runs in the second.
Senior Aaron Hopper led off the Pioneer third with a single. Ungerbuehler followed with a single. Freshman Tim McCoy, making his first start, drove the ball into the right center gap for a two-run triple. Huntingdon's throw got away from the relay man allowing McCoy to score and giving Marietta a 5-2 lead.
Hopper picked up an RBI in the fourth and another in the eighth inning. A sixth-inning double tied Hopper for third on Marietta's all-time doubles list with 53. He needs seven to tie Josh Streit for the career record.
Hopper finished the game 4-for-4 with a double and two runs driven in. Ungerbuehler was 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI, while McCoy was 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBI.
Designated hitter Grant Brown went 2-for-4 to lead Huntingdon.
Gavin Free (3-3) took the loss pitching 3.0 innings. He allowed seven runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Three other Hawks took the mound in game two.
The Pioneers host Kenyon College on Tuesday (March 26) for a 2:00 p.m. doubleheader. Fans can catch the action live at pioneers.marietta.edu. You can also follow the Pioneers on Facebook at facebook.com/MariettaCollege and @MariettaPioneer on Twitter.