Scots Split Opening Day Doubleheader against Grove City

Eliot Barrengos, Sports Editor

Wooster men’s baseball split their season-opening doubleheader against Grove City College on a brisk 46 degree afternoon at Art Murray Field on Saturday, Feb. 25th. Wooster dropped game one of the day when they blew a slim 1-0 advantage in the eighth inning. Grove City’s Tate Ostrowski, a consensus All-American last season, had a dominant outing, despite hitting six Wooster batters, he posted seven innings, allowed one run and punched out 12 Scots, while allowing just two hits. Wooster threatened early, loading the bases in the second inning, but failed to capitalize with runners in scoring position. The Scots were able to push across a run in the third inning on a Grant Mitchell ’24 triple, but struggled to expand on the lead. Luckily, Wooster’s starter, Corey Knauf ’24, matched Ostrowski’s work, tossing seven scoreless innings and striking out five while yielding just two hits. Knauf left in line for a win, but Wooster’s early missed opportunities came back to bite them when Logan Creamer ’26 yielded a leadoff double to Grove City junior Markus Williams. A walk and a groundout later, and Groove City second baseman Luke Vittone singled in the tying run in Williams as well as the go ahead run. Grove City tacked on three more insurance runs in the top of the ninth to put the final nails in the Wooster’s coffin. 

Between games, head coach Barry Craddock preached contact to his offense, as starting shortstop Nick Pett ’24 corroborated, “If we can limit the strikeouts, we are going to be a dangerous team and make a good run this season. Other than that, I think the pitching was phenomenal. They limited extra-base hits and didn’t walk too many batters.”

 The Scots are ranked 22nd nationally, despite substantial graduations from the lineup, and a talented, but not yet proven, first-year class, needed to wake up before game two. On Saturday, Wooster’s offense, which is expected to spearhead one of the top D-III programs in the country, quelled any doubts about their ability to swing the bat. As the afternoon heated up, so did the sticks as Wooster jumped out to a four-run lead in the first inning when third baseman Ryan Kramer ’26 delivered a two-run single to bring home Nick Pett ’24 and Dane Camphausen ’23. All around, game two spelled a different story as both teams began to knock the ball around the yard. 

 Wooster led 6-3 after two innings, but found a stronghold in the fifth inning when second baseman Grant Mitchell ’24 hit a three-run homer to put Wooster up for good. The Scots piled on, with seven of Wooster’s nine starters joining the hit parade. On the mound, Ryan Sullivan ’23 took the ball in the second affair, but only lasted four innings, plagued by shaky defense. He surrendered five runs, four of them unearned. Devin Anthony ’26 picked up the win allowing two runs on five hits in three innings of relief. Pett who is the starter at shortstop after a breakout season last spring, added a solo homer of his own and first baseman Dane Camphausen ’23 joined in on the homer fun blasting a two-run dinger to left field to put Wooster up 13-7 and comfortably ahead, in what ended up being a 19-run drubbing of Grove City. 

As evidenced by Saturday’s win, the bats shouldn’t be a problem for the Scots going forward, and the pitching staff is storing in its own right. The struggle for the Scots will be to put it all together, as Coach Craddock said, when asked for comment, “I know we will put up runs. We need to continue to emphasize pitching and defensive effectiveness.” 

Pett, who is an emerging stalworth in the Wooster lineup and has a chance at becoming an All-American player as he continues to develop with the bat, commented on Wooster’s confidence in themselves as they face high expectations saying, “Winning a championship should be the top goal for everyone on the team and we are very capable of doing that…We all want to win a championship, and I think that this year’s team has a great chance of doing that. The pitching staff that we have is phenomenal and we have one of the best offenses in the NCAC if not [all of] D-III.” The baseball team’s season picks back up over Spring Break in Port Charlotte, Florida for the Snowbird Baseball Classic. They will face other D-III teams from across the east coast and midwest.

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