Springfield, Ohio – The Oberlin College baseball team punched its ticket to the NCAC Tournament for the first time in program history on Sunday afternoon with a series-deciding win, 9-6, over the Wittenberg University Tigers at Carleton Davidson Stadium.
The Yeomen jumped out an 8-0 lead over Wittenberg, and held the Tigers scoreless into the eighth inning before they lessened the Oberlin margin and made the game interesting.
Sophomore Ryan Bliss came in to put Oberlin on the board in the first inning after sophomore Daniel Baldocchi reached first on a fielder's choice. Sophomore Mitchell Novak put the Yeomen up 2-0 when he stole home later in the inning.
Oberlin took a 4-0 lead in the sixth when Baldocchi rocked his second two-run home run of the series over the left center wall. Sophomore Jeff Schweighoffer came in to score on the blast, as well.
Schweighoffer came around to score for the second time of the game in the top of the eighth inning thanks to an Eric Knight double down the left field line. Knight eventually came in to touch home with Baldocchi when sophomore Andrew Hutson hit a two-run double to left center. Oberlin went up 8-0 when Hutson scored on a Blaise Dolcemaschio single to center.
Wittenberg finally responded to the Yeomen barrage of runs in the bottom half of the eighth when the Tigers put up five to pull within three runs of Oberlin.
The Yeomen added their final run to their total in the top of the ninth when Baldocchi knocked in Novak on a sacrifice fly for his fourth RBI of the day and to make the score 9-5 going into the last three outs of regulation.
Wittenberg's only run production in the ninth came from a solo home run to pull within three runs of Oberlin. However, the Yeomen defense and freshman pitcher Jesse Kohler were able to ultimately shut down the Tigers, as the final tally read 9-6 in favor of Oberlin.
Junior Mike McDonald started on the mound for Oberlin and got the win after giving up five runs on 10 hits in seven and one-third innings pitched. McDonald finished the day with five strikeouts, three walks, and improved his season record to 5-3. Kohler came on to relieve McDonald in the eighth and surrendered one run on two hits.
Schweighoffer led Oberlin from the plate with three hits in four at bats, while Baldocchi led in RBI with four on Sunday off of two hits and a home run. Novak and Hutson both finished with two hits apiece, as Novak had two runs and Hutson had two RBI on the day.
Oberlin edged out the Tigers by one hit, as the Yeomen ended game three of the series with 13 hits to Wittenberg's 12.
Oberlin improve to 21-19 on the year after Sunday's victory and now looks forward to the first round of the NCAC Tournament, which will begin on May 9 and take place in Chillicothe, Ohio.
With Sunday's victory, the Yeomen continue their historic year and add to the totals of most overall wins in a single-season (21), most conference wins in a single-season (11), and now have the opportunity to play for a conference title for the first time ever.
Yeomen Set to Take First Trip to NCAC Tournament in School History
|Oberlin (21-19, 11-7)||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||4||1||9||13||0|
|Wittenberg (23-16, 9-10)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||5||1||6||12||1|