Washington & Jefferson climbs out of nine-run hole to defeat No. 3 Marietta
WASHINGTON, Pa. -- Junior catcher Ronny Peirish’s walk-off double completed the biggest come-from-behind victory in Washington & Jefferson program history as the Presidents overcame a nine-run deficit to defeat third-ranked and two-time defending champion Marietta 11-10 at Ross Memorial Park. W&J overcame a 9-0 deficit after two innings to earn its first win against the Pioneers in 118 years.
Peirish sent a fly ball into right-center field which took one bounce and hopped over the wall, sending senior second baseman Scott Liller home with the game’s winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Marietta (15-6) is the highest-ranked team W&J (14-5) has defeated, ending an 18-game losing streak to the Pioneers dating back to May 15, 1895.
Liller got the bottom of the ninth inning started with a base hit up the middle and moved to second on junior first baseman D.J. Michalski’s sacrifice bunt. Following an intentional walk to junior right fielder Josh Staniscia, Peirish hit the first pitch he saw from Marietta pitcher Mike Mulvey into the gap for his career-high fifth hit of the game.
Three of Peirish’s game-best five hits were doubles. He also knocked in a career-high four runs. W&J collected 16 hits as a team, with the top four batters in the lineup accounting for 11 of those hits, along with eight runs scored.
The Presidents faced an early 9-0 hole heading into the bottom of the third inning, but W&J steadily chipped away at the Pioneer lead, scoring at least one run during each of the final seven frames. Staniscia’s two-out triple got W&J on the board and Peirish followed with an RBI base hit to make the score 9-2 after three.
Josh Ungerbuehler homered for Marietta in the fourth, but freshman shortstop Mike Ruffing quickly trimmed the deficit back to seven with an RBI single in the bottom of the inning.
Peirish doubled home Michalski and junior left fielder Derek McIlvaine and senior center fielder Scott Brady both worked bases-loaded walks as W&J plated three more runs in the fifth.
Peirish’s RBI single added a run during the next inning and W&J tacked on one more in the seventh, cutting the Pioneer lead to 10-8.
Peirish then got the eighth inning started with a one-out double. Junior third baseman Kyle McLain came up next and plated Peirish with a bloop single to right. Three batters later, the Presidents loaded the bases for Brady, who delivered a fly ball to center field that was deep enough to score McLain, tying the game at 10.
Marietta threatened with a pair of base runners during the top of the ninth, but sophomore left hander Jared Baird struck out Bryan Gregorich looking and got Christian Demko to fly out to right, setting up W&J’s walk-off hit in the bottom half of the inning.
Baird threw five scoreless innings of relief to earn the first victory of his collegiate career. He struck out a pair and allowed four hits during the outing.
Liller, Michalski and Staniscia all recorded a pair of hits and scored twice, while Brady knocked in two runs.
The Pioneers collected 15 hits, led by four from Aaron Hopper. Ungerbuehler knocked in three and scored two runs, while Gregorich tallied three hits.
Mulvey pitched one inning of relief and took his second loss of the season after surrendering one run on two hits.