WOOSTER, Ohio – The seventh-ranked College of Wooster baseball team was unable to climb out of an early hole during a 10-3 loss on Thursday afternoon, as visiting Otterbein University continued to have the Fighting Scots' number at Art Murray Field.
A pair of first-inning Wooster (13-6) errors ultimately proved to be the difference, as Otterbein (15-10) plated five runs in the inning, four of which were unearned. Otterbein nearly tacked on a sixth run in the inning, but junior Dan Harwood tracked down Dmitri Collaros' one-out single in time to cut down Matthew Gibson at the dish after a strong relay throw from senior shortstop Jacob Stuursma.
Wooster did continue its recent stretch of scoring in the first. Stuursma did his part with a leadoff double, and in doing so, the senior upped his hitting streak to a team-best 13 straight games. Three batters later, Harwood, one of two other Scots with an active double-digit hitting streak, upped his to 11 with a RBI base knock.
Tim Snyder, who was a defensive vacuum with eight putouts in center field, broke the tilt wide open in the second inning with a three-run round-tripper that made it an 8-1 game.
Wooster's first two relief pitchers provided bright spots for the Scots in the game. Sophomore Jay DiBacco took over on the bump after the dinger and gave his club a chance to work back into the mix with 3 1/3 scoreless innings. Junior Christian Julius followed with a pair of scoreless frames, which included walking the tight role in the seventh to escape a bases-loaded jam.
While DiBacco and Julius did their part on the bump, Wooster's offense didn't generate any additional runs outside of two in the fourth. During that rally, Wooster had four straight singles from senior Garrett Crum, junior Dan Gail, junior Nick Strausbaugh, and senior Harrison Walls. Junior Aaron Spidell's sacrifice fly brought in the second run of the inning.
Otterbein added an insurance run in the eighth and another in the ninth.
Crum, Harwood, Strausbaugh, and Walls tallied two hits each, while as a team, the Scots logged 11.
First-year Ben Gbur (0-1) took the loss. He allowed eight runs (four earned) on five hits in 1 2/3 innings.
Otterbein's six-through-nine hitters tallied eight of Otterbein's 12 hits and seven of the nine RBI.
Brad Calhoun picked up his first win with 3 2/3 innings of three-hit shutout relief.
While Wooster's dominated the all-time series 45-10, Otterbein's now won five straight games at Art Murray Field.
Next, Wooster (4-0 North Coast Athletic Conference) hosts Wabash College (13-12, 1-4 NCAC) at noon on Saturday. Prior to the game, the Scots will honor their senior class.