LIMA, Ohio — The ailing, young Marygrove baseball team dropped two to No. 25 University of Northwestern Ohio on Sunday (March 29) to put a cap on a four-game series from Lima, Ohio. Down a couple full-time starters from a week ago, the shorthanded Mustangs fell to 2-21 in their inaugural season and 1-11 in WHAC play as the host Racers remained perfect in conference actionÂ since April 13, 2014 to move to 22-6 on the season andÂ 10-0 in the WHAC.
GAME ONE â No. 25 Northwestern Ohio 17, @MGroveBASEBALL 5
The Mustangs shot out to a strong start, posting a pair of runs in the top half of the opening inning to take their first lead of the series. The two-run first inning ended a four-game shutout streak for the Racers, a team that has earned five shutouts in their last seven outings overall to earn the nation’s No. 25 ranking.
Freshman outfielder Drew Johnson (Trenton, Mich./Trenton High School) got into the act early, starting game one off with a sharp double to left center. With the speedy outfielder in scoring position, fellow freshman outfielder Mavrick Dube (Warren, Mich./Mott High School) laid a bunt single down the third base line that moved Johnson to third. With runners on the corners and nobody out, freshman David Chung (Warren, Mich./Bishop Foley High School) belted a double to deep center field to score Johnson and advance Dube to third base.
The first non-freshman of the lineup, sophomore Kyle Hartwick (Oxford, Mich./Rend Lake CC), stepped to the plate next and sent a single up the middle to bring Dube across for the Mustangs second run of the first inning. The bases would eventually load for head coach Ryan Kottke and the Mustangs, but the Racers got out of the jam to limit the Green and Gold to two runs as all three runners were left stranded.
Starting pitcher Daniel Bailey (Harrison Twp., Mich./L’Anse Creuse High School) was unlucky in the home half of the first inning as the Racers put up four runs, none of which were earned after a Mustang error allowed all of the runs to cross home plate.
The Mustangs battled back behind Bailey to tack on three runs in the top of third. The three-run third gave the Mustangs a 5-4 lead, their second lead of the game, before the Racers finally pulled ahead for good in the bottom of the fourth, 6-5.
From there, the Racers scored two in the fifth and two more in the sixth before posting seven runs in the seventh inning to earn a 17-5 victory.
Ernesto Carrillo (Dearborn, Mich./Pro Baseball Academy) led the Mustangs offensive charge with a two-RBI double in the third while Chung, Hartwick and Chris Gittleman (Windsor, Ontario/Trinity Christian College) had one RBI each in the opener against one of the NAIA’s top teams.
GAME TWO – No. 25 Northwestern Ohio 6, @MGroveBASEBALL 0
Starter Jon Weatherspoon (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron High School) settled down after giving up five runs over the first two innings to go the distance for Kottke and the Mustangs. The freshman righty went six innings innings, giving up eight hits and striking out two to put forth a commendable effort against the No. 25 team in the country. The Racers countered with another shutout â their seventh of the season â to win the nightcap and sweep the series behind a 6-0 decision.
The Mustangs threatened in the sixth inning, putting two on after Chung collected his second hit of game two and Hartwick singled up the middle. With runners on first and second, James Edwards (Detroit, Mich./Shaw University) came to the plate looking to cut the Racer lead in half, but the hosts shut the Mustangs senior down to secure the shutout.
Chung picked upÂ half of the Mustangs hits (2) with Edwards and Hartwick earningÂ the only other two hits off Racer pitching in the series finale. Despite being held to four hits, the Mustangs stranded five in the 6-0 contest as the team found it tough to capitalize with runners on base.
The Mustangs defense was solid in game two en route to cutting down the errors to one harmless miscue in the early innings.
The Mustangs will have a few days off before hosting NAIA No. 6 Davenport University Friday (April 3) at 1 p.m. for the beginning of a four-game set. Due to the instability of local weather, the location of the weekend series against the WHAC-leading Panthers is to be determined. The Mustang Sports Network will provide live video and live stats for the weekend series on marygrovemustangs.com/live beginning at 12:50 p.m. Friday. For the latest news and notes regarding the Davenport series, please refer to the Week Five Game Notes (mid-week release).