Pitching leads Quakers to sweep
March 3, 2013
Senior Hunter Justus struck out six for the complete game victory. (Wilmington photo)
FT. MYERS, FL – Behind solid pitching and timely hitting, the Wilmington College baseball team opened the season with a doubleheader sweep of Newbury Sunday, 12-3 and 5-4, at the Player Development Complex.
Senior Hunter Justus (Circleville, OH/Logan Elm) earned his first win of the season, tossing a complete game while allowing four runs on five hits with six strikeouts. Justus was also 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBI and a run scored.
“Hunter showed today why he was all-conference,” said head coach Tony Haley. “He pounded the zone all afternoon. He ran into a little trouble in the fifth, but we want our starters to finish what they start. I was really glad to see Hunter win a close game. It was real big for team morale.”
After allowing two runs in the third inning, Justus singled home a run in the bottom of the inning before the Fightin’ Quakers took the lead in the fourth.
Senior Jake Vinkovich (Circleville, OH/Circleville) and freshman Clay Cleaver (Pleasant Plain, OH/Little Miami) reached and then executed a double steal to put runners on second and third with one out. A single by Brandon Arehart (Wilmington, OH/Wilmington) scored them both to give WC the lead, then a triple by Justus brought Arehart home with a much needed insurance run.
The middle of the lineup – Arehart, Justus, and Cameron Schwalbach (Circleville, OH/Circleville) – accounted for all five of the Wilmington RBI.
“They came through when we needed them,” said Haley. “Cameron swung the bat good all day long.”
Newbury immediately answered with two runs in the top of the fifth inning, but Justus slammed the door in the final two innings. He had three strikeouts, all looking, in the final two innings.
Wilmington scored nine runs, eight unearned, over the final two innings to post the 12-3 victory in the opener. Senior Reid Wurtz (Lawrenceburg, IN/East Central) had four strikeouts in three innings of relief to earn the win.
The Fightin’ Quakers took advantage of a Newbury miscue to score three runs in the third inning. Justus brought home the first run with a two-out single, then an error allowed Arehart to score from third, and freshman Alec Hutzelman (Centerville, OH/Centerville) capped the scoring with an RBI single.
After getting one back in the bottom half of the third, the Nighthawks pulled even with two runs in the fourth.
Arehart finished 2-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored, while freshman Corey Walker (Hillsboro, OH/Hillsboro) was 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Vinkovich started for the Fightin’ Quakers, allowing three runs on six hits with three strikeouts. More importantly for Wilmington, the only had to use three pitchers in recorded the doubleheader sweep as they start a run of eight games in six days.
“It was big,” said Haley. “We have a plan for the whole week, but when your starters go the innings they are capable of its such a relief."
Wilmington (2-0) plays Anna Maria in a doubleheader Monday at the Player Development Complex.