APPLETON, Wis. -- Baldwin Wallace defeated Emory 5-4 on Friday, in its first game at the 2014 NCAA Division III national finals on Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. This is BW’s first trip to the Division III national finals.
With its win, BW, now a school-record 30-18, plays St. Thomas (Minn.) in a winner’s bracket game on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. ET. With its loss, Emory is 34-12 overall and plays defending Division III national champ Linfield on Saturday at 11 a.m. ET.
The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the top of the second inning when sophomore All-Ohio Athletic Conference designated hitter Hunter Handel led off with a single, advanced to second on a single by senior All-OAC catcher Joe Hiller, to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a single by sophomore left fielder Jerry Scholle for a 1-0 lead. Junior shortstop Eric Murphy scored on a double play.
Emory came right back to score four runs in the bottom of the second inning to chase sophomore starting right-handed pitcher Alex Albright and take a 4-2 lead.BW tied the game 4-4 in the seventh. With one out, Murphy reached via an error, Scholle followed with a single and pinch hitter, freshman Cole Nieto singled to load the bases. After a strike out, senior two-time All-OAC, Academic All-OAC and Academic All-District 7 third baseman Brad Gugliotta singled to score Murphy and Scholle, but pinch runner Kory Gillisie was thrown out at third base to end the inning.
BW grabbed a 5-4 lead in the top of the eighth when sophomore two-time first-team All-OAC/second baseman Mark Zimmerman doubled and scored two outs later on a Hiller single to center field.
At the plate, BW was led by Hiller, Scholle and Gugliotta with two hits each. Both Hiller and Scholle were 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Gugliotta was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI.
On the mound, Albright started and pitched one-plus inning, allowed six hits and four earned runs with one walk. He received a no-decision. He was followed to the mound by senior righty Jon Capadona who pitched six innings of four-hit scoreless relief with four strikeouts. He earned the victory and improved to 5-2 this season. Sophomore “stopper” Brandon Cichocki entered in the eighth inning and pitched two scoreless innings of relief to collect his school-record ninth save of the season.