Marietta downs Adrian 5-3 for a perfect opening weekend

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MOUNT BERRY, Georgia — Senior Michael Barnabei picked up his first career save as Marietta College defeated Adrian College, 5-3, Sunday (Mar. 4) afternoon on the campus of Berry College. The Etta Express improves to 3-0 on the season, while Adrian slips to 3-2 overall.

Prior to today, Barnabei had pitched just 2.0 innings in his career at Marietta. This afternoon he tossed 4.0 shutout innings for the save. The lefty scattered three hits, walked two and struck out three Bulldog batters.

Freshman Dalton Wiggins (1-0), a graduate of Parkersburg South High School, made his collegiate debut and picked the win. Wiggins worked the first 5.0 innings and allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits. He walked three and struck out four.

Marietta trailed for the first time this season when Adrian plated two runs in the bottom of the second inning. Hunter Hayes and Dugan Darnell both singled through the left side of the infield to start the inning. A sac bunt from Tristan Richardson moved both runners into scoring position.

Wiggins struck out the next batter and was one out away from getting out of the inning unscathed. But Adrian catcher Frank Resto drove in both runners with a single to left field.

The Bulldog lead didn't last long as the Etta Express got rolling in the top of the third. Marietta plated four runs and never trailed again.

Brady Cottom led off with a single and Barnabei, who started the game in centerfield, doubled into the left center gap moving Cottom to third. Dylan Albright grounded out scoring Cottom and advancing Barnabei to third.

Chris Petrucci knocked in Barnabei with a single and then stole second. Following a walk to Connor Golden, Mike Hale reached on a fielder's choice. Golden was put out on the play and Petrucci moved to third.

Hale stole second giving the Pioneers runners at second and third with one out and their leading hitter, Shane Fetsko, at the plate. Fetsko grounded to the third baseman and beat the throw at first base driving in Petrucci. The throw got away from the first baseman allowing Hale to score the fourth run of the inning.

Adrian scored an unearned run in the fifth inning to get within one run, 4-3. But Barnabei took over on the mound in the sixth and blanked the Bulldogs the rest of the way.

Marietta took advantage of an Adrian passed ball in the seventh inning to score an insurance run. Cottom singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. The passed ball moved Cottom to third and he would score on a ground out by Petrucci.

Cottom finished the day 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Petrucci had one hit and drove in two runs, while Barnabei's double was Marietta's lone extrabase hit.

Pierce Banks (0-1) started on the mound for Adrian and took the loss. He threw 3.0 innings and allowed four runs, three earned, on four hits. Banks walked one and struck out two. Jason Schroeder worked 3.1 innings and gave up one unearned run on one hit. He walked three and had two strikeouts. Mo Hanley and David Chavez pitched the final 2.2 innings.

Up next for the Etta Express is an eight-game Florida trip. Marietta travels to Port Charlotte for the annual Snowbird Classic. The Pioneers first opponent is Keyston College at 10 a.m. on Sunday (Mar. 11).