The University of Findlay baseball team traveled to Detroit, MI to take on the Wayne State Warriors in the third game of their three game series. The hard-fought contest ended with the Oilers taking the loss by a final of 6-3. The defeat moved Findlay to 9-21 and 6-14 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play.
Wayne State, who moved to 26-9 on the year, took an early lead off of Findlay starter Mason Mayberry as they score a run in the first inning and scored two runs in the second, making their lead 3-0 after two complete. The Oilers would not go away easily and battled back in the top of inning number three.
Michael Louis began the inning with an infield single and moved to second on a Jordan Garcia single. Each runner advanced on a Tyler Donaldson sacrifice bunt, putting runners on second and third with one out. Reid Rothenbuhler drove a ball to right field for a sacrifice fly and the Oilers first run. Next up was Derek Draper and the first baseman drilled a ball to right, scoring another run and bringing the Oilers to within one run at 3-2.
Mayberry settled down and only allowed one more run, an inside the park homerun, in the bottom of the fourth.
Findlay again answered the call and scored in the top of the fifth. Garcia began the inning with a double to left field and Peter Yorgen, who came in to replace Donaldson who was injured on the inside the park homerun the previous half inning, laid down a bunt single, putting runners on first and third with no outs. What appeared to be a big inning for the Oilers ended early as a double play scored a run, but ended the threat of any further damage. The score at this point was 4-3.
The Warriors threatened in the bottom of the seventh as they put runners on second and third with one out, but Alex Williams came out of the bullpen and thwarted Wayne State's plan to score with a pair of strikeouts.
With momentum on their side, the Oilers came to the dish in the top of the eighth and loaded the bases with one out. The Warriors then brought in closer, submarine pitcher Clayton Ruch, who leads the GLIAC in saves. Logan Harrah stepped up and hit a screaming line drive directly to the third baseman. The ball was caught and no runners were able to advance. A groundout then ended the inning for Findlay and, with the score at 4-3 in favor of the home team, the momentum had shifted.
Wayne State played add on in the bottom of the eighth as they scored a pair of runs on two hits, making a comeback difficult for Findlay.
Ruch, now the single season saves record holder at Wayne State, closed the door and the Oilers went one-two-three in the ninth, ending the game at 6-3.
Findlay received a solid effort from Mayberry on the mound as he went five innings and allowed four runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out two.
Garcia led the offense as he collected two hits and scored two runs in the game.
The Oilers are back on the field this Friday, April 18th, as they travel to Hillsdale, MI for a GLIAC series opener slated to begin at 2:00pm.