Eli Altherr contributed to this story
WILMINGTON, Ohio - The Wilmington College baseball team held leads in both Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) games against Otterbein University, but the Cardinals prevailed 12-8 and 10-9 over the Fightin' Quakers on Tuesday.
In game one, Otterbein scored the game's first run in the top of the third inning and tripled its lead with two runs in the top of the fourth. Trailing 3-0, the Fightin' Quakers' offense, which had not scored more than four runs in a game in four contests, exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the fourth. The first five batters reached base, and RBI-singles from Kasey Bottorff and Antonio Miller tied the game 3-3. A flyout and sacrifice bunt followed gave the Cardinals two outs, but a walk drawn by Nick Silvis loaded the bases, and Joe Legin drove in the go-ahead run by being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Leading 4-3, Wilmington's middle of the order delivered as Josh Chua and Jake Hyatt both hit singles that drove in two runs. In total, the Quakers totaled five hits and scored eight runs in the inning.
The Cardinals wasted no time in cutting into their five-run deficit, however, as Connor Brett launched his second home run of the game in the top of the fourth, a two-run blast over the left field wall of Tewksbury-Delaney Field. Otterbein wasn't done in the inning as two more RBI-hits cut the Wilmington lead to one (8-7).
Wilmington got two runners in scoring position in the bottom of the fifth but couldn't deliver an RBI-hit. Both teams went down in order in the sixth, but an Otterbein triple from Mitch Stotler and a sacrifice fly gave the visitors a 10-8 edge in the seventh. The Cardinals padded their lead with a run in the eighth and the ninth to steal a game one win after trailing by five runs.
Lance Fleischman took the loss for Wilmington in relief allowing four earned runs in 2.1 innings of work. Eric Norton, also in relief for Otterbein, got the win pitching 2.1 innings of scoreless baseball.
Wilmington tallied 11 hits in game one including multi-hit games from its 3-4-5 hitters in Chua, Hyatt and Kleindl. Otterbein had 15 hits as a team including Brett's 3-for-5 game with two home runs, four RBIs and two runs scored. Stotler finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
In game two, the Cardinals plated two runs (one unearned) on three hits and a Wilmington error in the top of the first, but Wilmington put together four hits to score three runs in the bottom of the inning courtesy of an RBI-triple from Hyatt, an RBI-groundout from Kleindl and an RBI-single from Kasey Bottorff.
Hyatt singled and knocked Chua home to keep the momentum going in the bottom of the second. Bryan Stopar hit a homerun to cut the lead to 4-3 in the top of the third, but the Cardinals took flight in the fourth inning. Stotler got a single on a bunt to help Justin Feltner score, Stolter and Dom Guzzi scored on a single from Luke Barber and Beachy also scored to give Otterbein a 7-4 advantage. Wilmington would tie it back up in the bottom of the fifth when Kleindl and Miller scored on wild pitches and Gage Bley scored on a sacrifice bunt from Daniel Hayes.
Tyler Thompson scored on an error in the top of the sixth to regain the lead for the Cardinals. The Quakers took the lead in the bottom of the eighth when Joe Legin scored on a groundout from Hyatt and Chua scored on a single from Kleindl. Wilmington led 9-8 going into the final inning but could not hold it as Brett delivered a two-RBI single in the top of the ninth.
Chua had three hits for Wilmington and Legin, Miller, Hyatt and Bottorff each had 2. Hyatt had three RBIs and Kleindl had two of his own. Barber had three hits and three RBIs for the Cardinals. Stopar and Beachy each had two hits.
Collin Hoffmann got the win for Otterbein and had two strikeouts. John Kopicky had three strikeouts for the Cardinals and Ethan Doty had five strikeouts, while allowing 10 hits and seven runs. Joey Hollback had two strikeouts and allowed nine hits and eight runs in eight innings for the Quakers.
Wilmington falls to 8-18 and 0-8 in the OAC while Otterbein improves to 16-8 overall and 5-3 in the OAC.
Wilmington hosts Marietta College in a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1 p.m.