MC explodes for 18 runs in win over Montclair State

MARIETTA- The last time the Marietta College baseball team squared off against Montclair State pitcher Dylan Papa, the junior lefty hurled a complete game shutout as the Red Hawks won, 2-0.

Friday at Don Schaly Stadium, the Etta Express adjusted well, to say the least.

The Pioneers (8-3) surged for nine runs in the first three innings and added nine more in the seventh frame to claim an 18-1 blowout victory over the Red Hawks (5-4).

Sophomore southpaw Stephen Bascom (3-1) pitched seven innings of four-hit, one-run ball to pick up the victory.

“He’s had two or three starts and I think we’ve gotten quality starts out of him all three times,” said Marietta head coach Brian Brewer. “We’d like to see him throw a few more strikes. He still was a little bit behind in some counts today which is not the type of pitcher he needs to be. If he can continue to command the strike zone a little bit better he’s got a chance to be pretty good for us.”

Papa (2-2) lasted just 2 2/3 innings, surrendering nine runs (six earned) en route to suffering the loss.

“We kind of figured we were gonna see (Papa) so we tried to address some issues this week offensively,” Brewer said. “Two strike approach, waiting on our pitch. He obviously wasn’t on today, wasn’t locating like he did a week ago or whatever it was. We made the most of his mistakes and some of our older guys came up with some big knocks which was really good to see. So a lot to be positive about.”

Friday’s contest was the home opener for the Etta Express, and the home crowd was treated with a dominant performance. The first 100 people in attendance were also given a free T-shirt courtesy of BSN Sports.

While the fans were being handed shirts, the Pioneers were handing out a beating.

After seniors Jordan Grilliot and Evan Brockmeier led off the game with back-to-back singles, classmate Aaron Hopper brought them in with a double to the warning track in left-center field.

Hopper then came around to score on a two-bagger by junior Josh Ungerbuehler, and Ungerbuehler crossed the plate on a double down the left field line by senior Alex Toth to complete the four run first.

MC tacked on four more runs in the second inning to blow the game open. With two on and two out, Ungerbuehler doubled to center to bring in Grilliot and Hopper. Ungerbuehler advanced to third on an infield single to third base by sophomore Mitch Geers, but a wild throw to first allowed Ungerbuehler to score and Geers to go to second. Geers would later come around to score on an RBI single to center by senior Bryan Gregorich.

Marietta made it 9-0 in the bottom of the third when Hopper singled through the left side to score Grilliot.

“It really helps to come out early and put up runs because it kind of puts pressure on the offense and the defense as well,” Hopper said.

Up next for Marietta will be a doubleheader today against Huntingdon College. The teams are scheduled to play two nine inning games, starting at 1 p.m. at Don Schaly.

“We’re expecting a really good opponent coming in here (today),” Brewer said. “We’re gonna see some good arms and we’re excited about the challenge.”