Late batch of runs leads Otterbein past Transylvania baseball on Friday

Blair setting up

Lexington, Ky. – The Otterbein University Cardinals tallied three runs over the final two innings of play to break a 3-all tie as they slipped past the Transylvania baseball team, 6-3 on Friday afternoon at Marquard Field.

Otterbein improved to 7-4 on the season with the win while the Pioneers dropped to 5-7 overall.

Each team tallied nine hits in Friday's contest but a go-ahead run by the Cardinals in the eighth inning proved to be key in vaulting past the Pioneers.

The Pioneers began the day with a steady dose of run support behind starter Jake Schmidt, who went a season-best five innings in dishing three strikeouts, two walks, while yielding five hits and two earned runs.

Transylvania gained a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Riley Willbur led off the order with a walk and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Though the next two Pioneers were retired, Austin Butts powered a big hit to left field for one of his two hits of the day to score Willbur for Friday's first run.

Otterbein tied up the score in the top of the third inning as the Cardinals' Justin Hrinko was moved around the bases and scored on an RBI groundout.

The tie didn't last for long as the Pioneers struck back in the bottom of the inning. The Pioneers loaded the bases with one out as Michael Blair and Hudson Chastain each drilled base hits and Butts was hit by a pitch. Devyn Wilson-Cowan smacked a hit into centerfield to score Blair and Isaac Taylor delivered a timely sacrifice fly RBI to bring Chastain across home plate for the 3-1 lead.

The game began see-sawing as Otterbein answered back with the two tying runs in the top of the fourth. The Cardinals' first two batters of the inning each notched base hits and later scored on a sacrifice fly RBI and a fielding error, leading to a 3-3 score.

The game remained tied heading into the eighth inning before Otterbein took its first lead of the game on a two-out RBI single for a 4-3 advantage. Wade Lopiccolo collected a one-out single in the bottom of the eighth and stole second base, but the Pioneers were unable to find the tying run. Otterbein plated two more insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning to secure the road win.   

Joey Yancey claimed the loss for the Pioneers in 3.1 innings of work with three walks and a strikeout. Butts led the Pioneer hitting with a 2-for-3 day with a walk and an RBI. Michael Blair had a game-high three hits on 3-for-4 hitting at the plate with a run. Hudson Chastain had a hit for his 12th straight game to extend his overall hitting streak to 19 games dating back to the end of the 2018 season. Lopiccolo went 2-for-4 for the Pioneers.

Both teams will be back in action for one game apiece as part of a four-team tripleheader tomorrow at Marquard Field. Otterbein will commence the day with a 10:00 a.m. first pitch versus the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh followed by a matchup between Wisconsin-Oshkosh and John Carroll University. Transylvania will be in action at 4:00 p.m. tomorrow against John Carroll to round out the Saturday slate.

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