DAYTON, Ohio – The Wilmington College baseball team battled back from a four-run deficit to earn a twin bill split against Otterbein University at Day Air Ballpark on Sunday. The Cardinals took game one 14-1 in seven innings and the Fightin' Quakers won game two 9-8 in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the 10th.
Otterbein took control with a seven-run first inning using three hits and drawing four walks and rode the advantage to victory. The Cardinals scored multiple runs in each of the next three innings. A Joel O'Brien sacrifice fly scoring Caleb Scott was how the Quakers' got their run on the game.
Travis Engard earned the win for Otterbein allowing two hits and one earned run with three strikeouts while Kyle Krieger finished the final two innings. Wilmington used five pitchers in the contest. Starter Ryan Townsend took the loss while the final two - Mac Davis and Jesse Reliford - each pitched an inning of scoreless baseball.
The first half of game two looked to be going the same way as the Cardinals built a 5-1 advantage after five complete and built on that with a run in the top of the sixth. That all changed, however, in the bottom of the sixth. Wilmington batted around in the inning and used RBI-hits from O'Brien, Tyler Shaneyfelt and Caleb Scott as well as a sacrifice fly from Jesse Reliford, who was responsible for the Quakers' first run in the third. Those alongside two Otterbein errors resulted in six runs and a 7-6 WC lead.
Otterbein tied it in the eighth, and with both sides failing to deliver with a runner in scoring position in the ninth, extra inning ensued. The Cardinals broke the tie with a Luke Barber single through the right side, but Reliford did one better, hitting a walk-off double to right center with the bases loaded.
Reliford was also the winning pitcher for the Quakers having pitched the top of the 10th inning. Andy Caddas took the loss for the Cardinals, allowing the two earned runs with five strikeouts in 3.1 innings pitched. Nick Meyer, who closed out game two of the series, was on the mound for Reliford's game-winning hit.
Otterbein, which tallied 17 hits as a team, were led by Barber's 4-for-5 game while four other Cardinals had two hits each. Reliford went 2-for-5 with four RBIs for Wilmington while six other Quakers each had a hit.
"We need to play better all the way around," Wilmington Head Baseball Coach Tony Vittorio said. "Our players competed until the end, however."
Wilmington (1-3) will open Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) play with Baldwin Wallace University next weekend.