Artale homers twice, W&J defeats Bison in PAC Tournament opener

More news about: Washington and Jefferson

WASHINGTON, Pa. -- The Washington & Jefferson baseball team saw its offense come alive in its Presidents Athletic Conference Championship Tournament opener, as the Presidents defeated Bethany by a 12-0 final score on Thursday afternoon. 

With the win, top-seeded W&J improves to 30-11 this year, head coach Jeff Mountain's eighth 30-win season with the Red & Black. After today, the fourth-seeded Bison fall to 25-15. 

The Presidents kicked off the game's scoring in the bottom of the first inning with an RBI single from Josh Crummer (Great Falls, Va./Flint Hill School). Crummer brought Mullen Socha (Independence, Ohio/St. Ignatius) home from second following a double. 

W&J's lead grew to 6-0 after a decisive bottom of the second. The first run of the frame came on a wild pitch to plate Spencer Howell (Oakwood, Ohio/Oakwood), who doubled to begin the inning. 

The highlight of the inning was James Artale's (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Kenston) two-out grand slam over the left center fence. With Josh Crummer (Great Falls, Va./Flint Hill School), Dante Dalesandro (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) and Justin Griffin (Lombard, Ill./Glenbard East) on, Artale pounded one of the hardest-hit balls this season at Ross Memorial Park to clear the bags. 

Artale's home run was the one of three for W&J on the day. The second came off the bat of Howell in the bottom of the third inning. Howell hit a solo shot over the right field wall to give the Presidents a 7-0 advantage, his fifth homer of the season. 

The Red & Black added runs in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings to secure the 12-0 victory. Artale capped his outstanding day with a solo homer in the eighth, becoming the first President this year to hit two homers in a game. His two long balls and five RBIs are both new career highs. 

Howell was just as impressive, as he was a triple short of the cycle in a 3-for-4 day at the plate. The senior shortstop finished with three RBIs and two runs scored. 

Socha also ended the day with three hits, with a double and two singles. He logged one run and one RBI. 

A twelve-run lead was more than enough for W&J's starting pitcher, Ben Marsico (Bradford Woods, Pa./North Allegheny). The junior hurler went 7.0 innings and struck out three with no runs allowed on six hits. Marsico is now 10-1 on the season with a 9-0 record against PAC opposition. 

Robby Heberle (Georgetown, Pa./South Side Beaver) and Jansen Eichenlaub (Export, Pa./Franklin Regional) both pitched a scoreless inning of relief to maintain the shutout. 

The Presidents will continue the PAC Championship Tournament tomorrow afternoon (Friday) in the winner's bracket. W&J will play at 12 p.m. against second-seeded Grove City College.