With a sixth-inning double Wednesday night at Marietta College, The College of Wooster’s Jamie Lackner broke an NCAA Division III record with his 61st consecutive game reaching base safely.
The two-bagger was part of a four-run rally by the 21st-ranked Fighting Scots, but they ultimately fell 13-4 in the Mideast Region rivals’ annual regular season battle, played this year at Don Schaly Stadium in Marietta, Ohio.
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The previous record for consecutive games reaching base (hit, walk, or hit by pitch) streak in Division III was the 60 in a row from April 1, 2001-March 10, 2003, by Damian Costantino of Salve Regina. Notably, another Wooster player, Jarrod Mancine, nearly broke the mark with a run of 59-straight games covering parts of the 2013 and 2014 seasons, and former Scot great Trevor Urban also had 59 in a row from 1998-99.
Lackner, a junior first baseman, successfully reached base in all 45 games a season ago and has now done so the first 16 games in 2016.
The streak was in a bit of jeopardy tonight, as Lackner was 0-for-2 and facing an 0-2 count with two outs in the sixth. Then, he drove the next offering the opposite way, with the ball reaching the base of the wall in right-center for a two-run, stand-up double – his sixth of the season.
“That’s an amazing accomplishment,” said long-time Wooster head coach Tim Pettorini, the winningest active coach in DIII with 1,111 career victories. “It was a typical Jamie at bat. He hit it square on the barrel and went the other way with it … the record is probably where it belongs to be [after those other guys came so close].”
After Lackner’s double, Ryan Ostendorf kept the rally alive with an RBI triple, also into the right-center gap, that brought Wooster (11-5) within 8-4.
Marietta (14-8) answered by tallying a couple of runs during the bottom of the sixth and tacked on three more of the unearned variety in the eighth for the final margin.
Overall, the Scots were held to six hits, which matched a season low, and Chandler Dippman was the lone player on the team to reach base safely twice as he went 1-for-3 with a walk.
For the Pioneers, Eric White led the charge with four hits in as many at bats as well as four RBI.
On the mound, Wooster gave the mid-week start to Wyatt Linde, marking the first career appearance for the first-year southpaw, while Marietta went with ace Christian Herstine for four innings. Linde kept up with him during the first three scoreless innings, but couldn’t get out of the fourth.
Next, the Scots are scheduled to return to North Coast Athletic Conference East Division play with a four-game set against Kenyon College (16-5, 4-0 NCAC East) this Saturday and Sunday at Art Murray Field.