Sean Kettering cleared the bases with a double.
Otterbein Athletics

MARIETTA, Ohio -- Otterbein kicked off the 2013 Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) tournament in impressive fashion on Thursday, defeating host and No. 8 Marietta by a score of 7-1.

The win snapped an eight-game losing skid against the Pioneers, who clinched the OAC regular-season title last week. Otterbein advanced to the winner’s bracket of the double-elimination tournament.

A first-inning RBI-single from senior Wes Meadows gave Otterbein an early lead, but Marietta evened the contest at one after a wild pitch from Cardinal freshman Adam Collier in the second.

The game entered a 90-minute rain delay in the bottom of the fifth and resumed with senior David Cydrus on the hill to replace Collier, who sat down after allowing just one hit and four runs.

Otterbein showed no rust in its first at-bat following the rain delay, coming up with four runs in the top of the sixth inning to open a 5-1 lead.

Tyler Kent and Billy Harkenrider each hit safely to begin the inning and the Cards loaded the bases after Meadows was intentionally walked. Shortstop Sean Kettering cleared the bases with a stand-up double to centerfield and a RBI-single from Ty Compton later capped the scoring in the frame.

“We has been intentionally walked on multiple occasions this year and Sean Kettering has been ready every time,” head coach George Powell said. “He’s come in and delivered just like he did [Thursday]. That hit really brought the momentum to our side.”

Meadows gave Otterbein a pair of insurance runs with a single up the middle in the ninth and Cydrus remained steady on the mound in 4.2 innings of relief for his fourth win of the year.

Kent and Meadows each turned in 3-for-4 days at the plate, with Meadows driving in three runs and Kent scoring three. Kettering and first baseman Nich Pitzer each hit 2-for-4 for a Cardinal offense that managed 13 hits overall.

“We’ve started swinging the bat well the past couple weeks and you have to score runs in order to win this tournament,” Powell said. “We never really let Marietta get on top of us and play from ahead. I thought the game played out how we needed it to in order to win.”

Meadows’ three-hit performance on the afternoon moved him past 2007 graduate Ben Titus and into second place on Otterbein’s all-time hit list at 208. He sits one hit shy of tying Tory Allen (2004) for the most hits in school history.