April 27, 2012
ROCHESTER, Mich. – Jake Morton had three hits and scored the winning run, as Oakland (15-25, 6-3) scored three times in the bottom of the ninth of a 3-2 Summit League win, over Western Illinois (13-25-1, 3-10) on Friday at the OU Baseball Field. It was the second consecutive last at-bat win for the Golden Grizzlies, who improved to 10-1 at home this season.
“That was a great team win,” said Oakland head coach John Musachio. “The starting pitchers for both teams did a great job and I appreciate the effort of Jeff Gorecki and Greg Welke who kept things close for us and gave us the opportunity to earn the win.”
Oakland trailed 2-0 heading into the bottom of the ninth. Trent Drumheller and Tim Ryan started the rally with nearly identical hits up the middle. Morton followed up with a bunt single to load the bases with no outs. Drumheller came in to score when Aaron Cieslak drew a one-out walk and Ryan tied the game by scoring on a wild pitch with two outs.
With the score tied 2-2, a groundball by Spencer Marentette looked like it would send the game into extra innings. However, a misplay by the WIU shortstop allowed the runners to reach safely and Morton crossed the plate for the game-winning run.
Morton and Robby Enslen both finished 3-for-5 at the plate, while Drumheller was 2-for-3. Oakland outhit Western Illinois 10-8. Ryan Cowhey, Austin Cowen and Danny Marcuzzo had two hits each to lead the Leathernecks.
Greg Welke (3-2) picked up his first Summit League win of the season, tossing 1.1 innings of scoreless relief. Jeff Gorecki had a quality start for Oakland, giving up just one earned run over 7.2 innings and striking out three batters. Western Illinois’ Dan Russell (3-4) pitched into the ninth inning, but was saddled with the loss after giving up three consecutive hits to start the inning.
Both pitchers battled through tough situations early to keep the game close. Russell got out of a bases-loaded situation with one out in the seventh, while Gorecki stranded 12 WIU runners on base. The Golden Grizzlies did not fare any better, leaving 14 runners aboard.
The Golden Grizzlies and Leathernecks will return to action on Saturday with a doubleheader starting at noon.