The Yellow Jacket Baseball Team Hosts Otterbein Today; Need to Sweep the
Cardinals to Help OAC Tourney Case. (April 24)
BEREA, OHIO -- The Baldwin Wallace University baseball team hosts a key doubleheader today agaainst Ohio Athletic Conference rival Otterbein College at Heritage Field. Both games have large implication on BW's quest for an OAC Playoff Series berth.
With its two wins against OAC and Cleveland cross-town rival John Carroll University this past Tuesday, the Yellow Jackets are now 5-4 in the OAC and need to win at least six of their final eight OAC games to have a good chance at making the OAC Playoff Series from May 13-15. Marietta College still leads the OAC with a 10-0 mark and swept Mt. Union College on Tuesday in Marietta. Mt. Union is 4-8 in the OAC. Otterbein is in second place at 7-1 in the OAC after sweeping Ohio Northern University in Westerville on Tuesday. ONU is 2-7 in the conference. Heidelberg College is in third place at 5-3 in the OAC after sweeping Capital University on Tuesday in Tiffin. Capital is 3-5 in the OAC. JCU is 6-4 in the OAC after being swept by the Yellow Jackets. In addition, Muskingum College is 3-9 in the OAC and Wilmington College is 2-6.
Following its games on Saturday versus Otterbein, BW has six more OAC contests. They are at Heidelberg next Tuesday (April 28), travel to Wilmington (May 1) and hosts Capital (May 8).
BW enters today's games with a 16-7 overall mark and is 5-4 in the OAC. Winning two games today against the Cardinals would be huge for the Jackets'. On Tuesday, BW swept OAC and Cleveland cross-town rival John Carroll University, 6-5 and 4-3, in two exciting games that the Yellow Jackets won in their final at-bat. BW also beat Cleveland nonleague and cross-town rival Case Western Reserve University, 2-0, on Thursday.
After 23 games offensively, junior third baseman Mike Turchan (Mayfield Heights/ Mayfield High School) tops all hitters with a .458 batting average with six homeruns and 31 runs batted-in. He also tops the team in doubles (nine), triples (four), base hits (38), slugging (.880) and on base average (.531). Junior designated hitter/ outfielder Mike Farrell (Wickliffe High School), last week's OAC Hitter of the Week, is second in batting average at .417 with four homers and 22 RBI. Senior first baseman Ryan Petraitis (Akron/ Manchester High School) is third at .364 with one homer and 14 RBI. Sophomore center fielder Matt Green (Elyria Senior High School) is fourth in batting average at .362 and tops the team in stolen bases with seven in eight attempts. Junior right fielder Dan Melito (Massillon Washington High School) is fifth at .333 with three homers and 24 RBI. Junior shortstop Jason Albright (Camp Hills, Pa./ East Pennsboro High School) is sixth at .321 with one homer and nine RBI. Sophomore second baseman Kevin Brown (Cuyahoga Falls High School) has the most runs scored with 27. Others who may see action or pinch hit/ run are sophomore first baseman Matt Wilson (Canton Jackson High School), junior OF Jim LaRocca (North Canton Hoover High School), junior OF/ P Nick Slater (Wooster/ Norwayne High School) and junior 3B Jeff Cicerchi (Strongsville High School).
In the infield, look for Turchan to start at third base, Albright at shortstop, Brown at second base, either Petraitis or junior Jim Yezbak (Strongsville High School) at first base. In the outfield, Melito starts in right field, Green starts in center field and senior Greg Wisniewski (Brunswick High School), who is batting .291 with one homer and 10 RBI, starts in left field. Behind the plate, BW has two solid catchers in starter and junior Adam Pajakowski (South Bend, Ind./ St. Joseph's High School) and fellow junior Pat Gallagher (Wooster Senior High School).
On the mound, Senior lefthanded ace Dale Koler (Brunswick High School), Turchan, junior lefthanded relief pitcher Lawrence Hall (Elyria Senior High School) and freshman lefthanded starter Rob Lewis (Margaretta High School) are all tied for the team lead in wins with three each. Koler is 3-0 with a 2.08 earned run average and a team-leading 54 strikeouts in 39 innings pitched. Turchan is 3-1 with a 3.66 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 32 innings of work. Hall is 3-0 with a 6.43 ERA in five relief appearances. Lewis is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 15 innings pitched. Junior lefthanded ace "stopper" Aaron Krieger (Bellefontaine High School) has the most saves with three and is 1-2 with a 2.93 ERA in a team-leading eight appearances and covering 15 and one-third innings pitched. In addition, veteran Yellow Jacket Head Coach Bob Fisher, who enters today's games with 594 career victories, has his entire pitching staff able and ready. Other hurlers who could throw today if needed include junior starter/ reliever Bob Glavan (Mentor High School) who is 0-0 with one save and a 3.57 ERA in six appearances, and junior Jay Watson (New Philadelphia High School), second with seven appearances and is 2-1 with a 3.97 ERA.
Next week, BW hosts traditional rival Hiram College in a single game on Tuesday, April 27 at 3:30 p.m.