Marietta surges past Wheaton (Mass.)
Pioneers win second consecutive title, sixth NCAA championship
APPLETON, Wis. -- Marieta defeated Wheaton (Mass.) 7-2 to win its second conscutive national championship.
In winning its sixth NCAA championship -- and the first back-to-back title since Rowan did it in 1978-79 -- Marietta pulled off the feat following two weeks of gut-wrenching play.
After fighting through the loser’s bracket of the Mideast Regional to advance to the championship series, the Etta Express (48-8) had to basically repeat the same grueling task again at Fox Cities Stadium. During the two NCAA Tournaments, the Pioneers went a combined 11-2.
On Wednesday, top-ranked Marietta defeated St. Thomas 5-0 and finished the day with a 7-2 victory against Wheaton (Mass.) to finish 5-1 in the series. The Etta Express has now won championships in 1981, 1983, 1986, 2006, 2011 and 2012.
With the win, coach Brian Brewer also equals the number of championships won by legendary Marietta coach Don Schaly at three apiece.
Senior Brian Gasser tossed a gem against Wheaton to earn his first win in this year’s championship series. But it also allowed him to erase the memory of being the pitcher of record when the Etta Express lost to Chapman 15-4 in the first championship game in 2011.
Gasser, the 2011 National Pitcher of the Year, can now claim a championship game victory on his record.