IWU Wins the Carthage Series-Opener, 4-2, on March 29

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The Carthage College baseball team (6-6, 0-1 College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin) opened at home on Saturday, March 29 with a 4-2 loss to CCIW-opponent Illinois Wesleyan University (6-7, 1-0 CCIW) at Augie Schmidt Field in Kenosha, Wis.  The two teams conclude the three-game series with an 11 a.m. twinbill on Sunday, March 30.

On Saturday, the Titans strung together three singles in the third inning to take a 1-0 lead.  Jon Frericks' single to rightfield scored the first run.  Illinois Wesleyan upped its lead to 2-0 in the eighth when Tim Coonan led off with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on an RBI-single by Bobby Czarnowski.  The Red Men tied the game, 2-2, in the bottom of the ninth.  Mike Farias led off the inning with a walk, and Tanner Wensman ran for him.  Marc Mantucca reached base on an error by Titan shortstop Derek Idstein, and Chris Tydd ran for Mantucca.  A sacrifice bunt by Sean Carroll moved both runners up.  One out later, pinch-hitter Mike Gentile lined a double over the head of pulled-in centerfielder Tim Coonan, scoring both runners.  Zach Wade grounded out the end the inning.

In the Illinois Wesleyan 10th frame, with two outs, Jon Frericks reached base on a throwing error by Carthage shortstop Drew Bailey.  Pat Mollo doubled, sending Frericks to third, and both runners scored when a ball off the bat of Nick Hahn went through the webbing of third baseman Zach Wade's glove.  Carthage had runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the 10th, but Matt Cmiel popped up the first base to end the game.

IWU starting pitcher Jeff Johnson (2-1) went the distance and limited Carthage to a pair of unearned runs five hits and five walks over 10 innings, while striking out seven batters.  Andrew Arenson started on the hill for the Red Men and allowed just two runs on seven hits and three walks over seven and one-third innings.  Jeremy Salzman (1-1), the third-of-three Carthage hurlers, took the loss.

"Carthage-Illinois Wesleyan game always seem to be tight like this one," said Carthage coach Augie Schmidt IV.  "We've played a lot of great games with them, and today was no exception.  I'm just sick and tired of coming out on the short end of the stick.  For the last couple of years, it seems like this group plays just well enough to lose games like this.  We had some chances early, but we didn't get anything done.  Too many strikeouts and too many missed opportunities with runners in scoring position.  It's not just today's game—we've had the same problem all season, so far.  We need to figure out a way to scores some runs and take advantage of opportunities when we get them."