WOOSTER, Ohio – The 20th-ranked College of Wooster baseball team extended its season for the second time on Saturday, as the Fighting Scots erupted for a season-high in runs during a 21-4 win over the University of Rochester at Art Murray Field.
Wooster (28-13) dropped its NCAA Div. III Wooster Regional opener 2-1 against Rochester (29-17) on Friday, but bounced back with 34 runs over two elimination games on Saturday. The first of those was a 13-3 victory over Otterbein University (26-18-1).
|Wooster's 21 runs against Rochester are the most scored by the Scots in a NCAA Tournament game.|
Now, Wooster takes on Case Western Reserve University (24-13) at 11 a.m. on Sunday, with the winner advancing to play the winner of the Adrian College Regional next weekend in a best-of-three super regional. Wooster will need to beat CWRU twice on Sunday to extend its season into the super regional.
"What a difference 24 hours makes," said head coach Tim Pettorini. "It's a crazy game and it's hard to figure. You battle hard, fight, and scrap. Some days you get the hits, some days you don't. Some days the pitchers make great pitches, some days they don't. You just never know. That's why you have to go out and play the game and do those things. The highs and lows are all part of it. These guys did a great job today. I know we'll come out and fight hard tomorrow."
Wooster couldn't have asked for a better start against Rochester, as four hits and two Yellowjacket errors equated to a five-run first inning. Senior Garrett Crum moved into the top-10 all-time in program history for RBI, as his two-run double upped the career count to 175. By game's end, Crum moved up to ninth on the storied program's career RBI list, and he's three hits shy of becoming the 15th Wooster great with 200 career base knocks.
Senior Chandler Dippman (8-3) was in total control on the bump from the get-go. The utility ace navigated through five innings of two-hit shutout baseball on just 45 pitches. That included a stretch of 10 in a row retired, and Dippman needed just seven pitches to set down the Yellowjackets in order in the second and eight pitches during a one-two-three third.
The Scots scored in eight of their nine trips to the plate, and junior Harry Witwer-Dukes was a big reason why. The Scots' No. 5 hitter finished a homer shy of the cycle during a 4-for-7 performance that featured four RBI and three runs scored. Witwer-Dukes, who played third with Dippman on the bump, plated one on a two-bagger in the fourth, legged out an infield single in the fifth, knocked in two on a sixth-inning triple, and singled to left in the eighth.
Freshman Ben Gbur matched Witwer-Dukes for the game-high with four RBI. The rookie plated two on a first-inning single, and two more on his third-career round-tripper, which came in the sixth inning.
Sophomore Noah Clement had the Scots' other long ball in the contest. The outfielder blasted a three-run shot out to right in the eighth inning in what marked his first collegiate dinger.
Five Scots had at least three base knocks in the game, while freshman Tyler Chumita reached base safely five times after he was hit by a pitch three times and walked twice.
Noteworthy, Wooster's 21 runs marked the most in program history in a NCAA Tournament game. The Scots' previous high was 19 against Chapman University in the 1997 Div. III World Series.
Jack Denzer (4-6) took the loss. He was tagged for 11 runs (eight earned) on 10 hits in four innings.
Jack Herman had the big spark on the day for Rochester. The Yellowjackets' senior clubbed a two-run homer in his final collegiate at bat.
Overall, Dippman and three relievers combined to hold Rochester to six hits.
Prior to Wooster's second elimination name, CWRU rolled past Rochester 11-0. The Spartans' Matt Levine went the distance with a six-hit shutout, and in two games at the Wooster Regional, CWRU's pitching has allowed two runs on nine hits.
Second baseman Rocco Maue was the offensive standout for the Spartans with a 3-for-5 showing with three RBI and three runs scored.