CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – Sophomore Garrett Crum crushed a pair of two-run home runs to put the ninth-ranked College of Wooster baseball team comfortably ahead, senior Jamie Lackner mashed a grand slam as part of a nine-run seventh inning, and sophomore Jacob Stuursma put the bow on a five-hit game with a three-run round-tripper as the Fighting Scots moved into the championship round of the 2017 North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament with an 18-3 win over DePauw University on Friday afternoon at VA Memorial Stadium.
Wooster (34-8) and DePauw (31-10) will meet again in the championship round as the Tigers topped Oberlin College (23-20) 13-5 in an elimination game later on Friday. First pitch for the championship round is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday.
|Sophomore Garrett Crum is congratulated by senior Jamie Lackner and junior Drew Tornow after his first of two home runs on Friday. Photo courtesy of Russell Kramer, NCAC.|
Lackner overcame an atypical slow start in the NCAC Tournament with a first-inning RBI single that brought in junior Jake Fling for the game's first run. Two innings later, the first baseman roped a run-scoring double to left field in advance of Crum's first round-tripper of the game, with the latter base knock making it a 6-0 contest.
DePauw cut into Wooster's lead with a two-spot in the fourth inning when Zack Wade – who lifted DePauw to a walk-off win over Oberlin in its first game in the NCAC Tournament – laced a two-run single up the middle to make it 6-2. However, Wooster's defense enabled junior Nanak Saran to escape the inning without further trouble with a 6-4-3, inning-ending double play, Wooster's sixth twin killer of the tournament.
From there, Wooster's offense took over as Crum answered right back with his second home run to push Wooster's lead back out to six at 8-2. Later in the fifth inning, senior Ryan Ostendorf darted home on a wild pitch to make it a 9-2 contest.
Two innings later, Wooster put the game out of reach as the Scots erupted for nine runs on six hits, including the pair of round-trippers. Prior to the big knocks, Stuursma, who led off the inning with a single, came in on a DePauw error, and sophomore Michael Wielansky knocked in a run with an opposite-field single.
Saran improved to 7-0 on the season, and allowed two runs on eight hits in seven innings of work. Notable, the right-hander struck out seven on the afternoon, and has 20 strikeouts in his last three starts.
Lackner led Wooster's offense with a 4-for-5 afternoon that featured six RBI and three runs. Notable, the six RBI moved Lackner's career haul to 190, and he's now tied for fourth in program history with W Association Hall of Famer Trevor Urban.
Stuursma finished with a perfect 5-for-5 line at the plate, and he had three runs and three RBI on the afternoon, while Crum, Ostendorf, and Wielansky all finished with three hits.
Noteworthy, Wielansky's RBI single in the seventh inning marked his 70th hit of the year, and he's now at 65 runs on the year, a total ninth in the single-season program annals, and the most since alumnus Matthew Johnson scored 69 in 2010.
Wade went 2-for-2 on the day with two RBI, while Collin Einertson also had two base knocks for DePauw.