Winter Haven, FL – The University of Findlay baseball team split a doubleheader with Wheeling Jesuit University on Tuesday, March 3 at Chain of Lakes Park in Winter Haven, Florida. The first game ended with a 5-2 final in 15 innings while the second ended due to darkness with the Oilers on top 3-0 after six innings. The split makes Findlay's record 2-3 on the season.
Pitching dominated in the first game of the day as zero after zero was put up on the scoreboard. A game that was supposed to be a seven inning contest ended up being a game that lasted 15 innings and just over four hours.
Already through 12 innings, the game was tied at 0-0 when Wheeling Jesuit finally struck for the first runs of the ball game. They plated two off Oilers pitcher Alex Williams, who was pitching in his fourth consecutive game. Williams, the Oilers closer, ended up throwing 77 pitches in five innings of work. He struck out eight and allowed two runs, both in the 13th inning.
Down 2-0 in the bottom of the 13th, the Oilers need to plate at least two runs to keep the game alive and that is exactly what they did.
The first two batters of the inning were retired which left a tall order to fill; score two runs with two outs. Chase Goulette, who had three hits in the contest, doubled to left center and scored on a single by Peter Yorgen. Jon Shollenberger, who entered the game in the previous half inning, roped a base hit to right field to put runners on the corners. Roman Kuster stepped to the plate and hit a single to right center, scoring Yorgen and tying the ball game at 2-2 in the 13th inning.
The teams traded zeros in the 14th but disaster struck for Findlay when Wheeling Jesuit was able to score three runs in the top of the 15th inning. That was a lead the Oilers could not overcome and that 5-2 score would become final after a marathon game.
The Oilers scored their two runs on 10 hits. Findlay made four errors in the game.
Goulette led the Oilers offense as he went 3 for 6 with a double and run scored. Kuster also had three hits in the contest and had one RBI.
The longevity of the game did not diminish the effort on the mound given by Findlay starter Collin Parrill. The senior only allowed three hits, struck out three, and did not allow a run to score while pitching eight innings and throwing 115 pitches.
With darkness approaching, the Oilers know they needed to get out to a fast start in Game 2 and that is just what they did.
Now the visitors on the scoreboard, Findlay's Logan Harrah began the game with a single, stolen base, and moved to third on a groundball from Shollenberger. However, Harrah would not score as he was caught in a pickle on a fielder's choice from Jordan Garcie, who reached second on the 5-2-5-1-4 put-out of Harrah. Goulette connected for his fourth hit in as many appearances when he doubled to right center field, scoring Garcia and putting the Oilers ahead for the first time of the day.
Findlay scored in the third when Evan Hollar reached on an error by the short stop and after a SAC bunt and groundout, scored on a wild pitch putting the Oilers ahead 2-0.
Findlay's final run of the game came in the top of the sixth inning. With darkness fast approaching, Shollenberger reached on an error by the short stop, advanced to third on a single from Garcia, and scored on a groundout by Goulette. The Oilers need a scoreless bottom of the sixth and got just that. The umpires ruled it was too dark to complete the scheduled seven inning game which meant Findlay was victorious, 3-0, for their second win of the season.
Pitching the complete game shutout for Findlay was Austin Rodesky. The sophomore pitched six standout innings, only allowed three hits, walked three, and struck out two.