UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio - Luke Chappie and Kaleb Stines earned complete-game victories to lead the Wilmington College baseball team to a doubleheader sweep of John Carroll University (JCU) in Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) action on Saturday afternoon.
The Fightin' Quakers won game one 3-1, giving Head Coach Tony Vittorio his 700th career collegiate win, and won the nightcap 17-4 in eight innings. The wins marked the program's first road sweep of an OAC opponent since the season finale at Ohio Northern University in 2018.
"The 700 wins means simply that I am getting old ," Vittorio chuckled. "More importantly, I have surrounded myself around the right players and assistant coaches."
Game one was a pitcher's duel pitting Wilmington's Luke Chappie against JCU's Mitchell Midea. Both pitchers didn't allow a runner to third base in the first two innings, but both squads got a runner 90 feet from scoring in the third. Both were with two outs, and unfortunately for the visitors, they couldn't capitalize and Owen Baumann grounded out to end the frame. The hosts did, however as doubles from Henry Haracz and Joe Olsavksy broke the scoreless deadlock.
Down 1-0, Chappie settled in, retiring the Blue Streaks in order over the next three innings. His offense rewarded the sophomore in the seventh as Luke Kleindl drew a walk and advanced to third on a double from Joe Legin. An Evan Kelsey RBI-groundout tied the game, and Jared Lammert scored Legin with a two-out single through the left side. JCU got runners to second and third in the bottom of the inning, but a groundout ended the inning.
Wilmington would add an insurance run on another Lammert RBI-single in the top of the ninth and Chappie once again stranded a runner at third, this time with only one out, thanks to a lineout and a pop out.
Chappie won his second game of the year in complete-game fashion, scattering six hits and three walks with four strikeouts over nine innings. Midea, despite a dozen strikeouts in 6.2 innings pitched, dipped to an even 3-3 with the loss. Offensively, Lammert and Reliford had multi-hit games for Wilmingotn while Haracz was the lone Blue Streak to have two hits.
In the nightcap, the Quakers' bats got going early, both hitting and putting pressure that paid off against the Blue Streak defense. In the first inning, Wilmington plated five runs on two hits, a Legin RBI-single and an RBI-double from Corbin Craft) and two JCU errors. The Blue Streaks got one run back in the bottom of the inning, but Kelsey would push the visitors back up 6-1 scoring Kleindl with a single in the third.
Wilmington would together another large inning in the fourth. Sparked in part by a two-RBI-double from Kleindl the Quakers scored six runs on three hits and two more Blue Streak errors to take control. The visitors would put the game away early with a four-run eighth inning.
For his second consecutive start, Stines earned a complete-game win with nine strikeouts and just two earned runs. Five JCU pitchers threw in the game with starter Nicholas Michel taking the loss.
Eight of the nine Wilmington starters got in the hit column with Kleindl and Craft leading the way with three hits each. Kleindl had two doubles, four RBIs and four runs scored while Craft drove in three runs. Caleb Scott left the ballpark with a home run in the sixth. For JCU, five Blue Streaks had one hit with Sam Heaton's hit being a double.
"Back to back complete games from [Luke] Chappie and [Kaleb] Stines was exactly what our program needed today," said Vittorio. "I am really proud of both of those guys giving us what we have been asking out of our pitching staff. They both competed well today."
Wilmington and JCU will play two games to finish their series at Tewksbury-Delaney Field tomorrow (Sunday) beginning at 1 p.m.