SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – The Wilmington College baseball team put together a furious ninth-inning rally, but Wittenberg University had built itself a 10-run cushion and escaped with a 14-10 win over the Fightin' Quakers in non-conference action on Monday.
Wilmington got on the board with an unearned run in the top of the second, but Wittenberg answered by putting up a five-spot in the bottom of the third. Kasey Bottorff got the Quakers back within two runs on a two-RBI double to left field in the top of the fourth, but the Tigers, after scoring a single run in the bottom of the fourth, scored seven runs on eight hits in the fifth.
The Quakers trailed 14-4 after eight innings, but similar to the second game of the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) opener at Muskingum University last weekend, Wilmington's offense surged in the ninth inning. Two walks and a single loaded the bases for Bottorff launched his first home run in a Wilmington uniform – a grand slam to left field – pulling the Quakers within six runs (14-8). The next five Wilmington batters reached base including Nick Silvis, who hit an RBI-single scoring Gage Bley.
Jake Hyatt broke the streak of batters to reach base safely, but Hyatt did hit a sacrifice fly to left field. Luke Kleindl walked to load the bases and get the tying run to the plate, but a pop out gave Wittenberg the victory.
Wilmington's first three pitchers to appear in the game – Lance Fleischman, Alec Robinette and Bryant McCarty – all gave up four earned runs. Tyler Barner and David Poynter were the bright spots for the Quakers' pitching staff as both did not allow a run in an inning of work.
Wittenberg held a 19-14 edge in hits including an 8-2 advantage in extra base hits. Individually, Bottorff finished 3-for-5 with six RBIs while Joe Legin turned in a 4-for-6 performance.
Ryan Probst led Wittenberg with a 2-for-5 evening with five RBIs and two runs scored.
The Quakers (8-12) host Thomas More College tomorrow (Tuesday) for a 4 p.m. contest at Tewksbury-Delaney Field.