Updated Sat, Mar 1, 2014 11:00 pm
A slow start for Marietta didn’t faze the Pioneers as they secured their first win of the season Saturday afternoon in Beckley, W.Va.
The Pios posted a convincing 5-0 score over Denison University, handing the Big Red their second straight loss in a matter of hours.
Shortstop Ryan Hanahan carried one deep to secure an RBI early in the eighth and put a pair of Marietta runners on.
Christian Demko followed Hanahan’s lead and brought another runner home on a sacrifice fly to rally a 5-0 Pioneer lead.
Despite a two-out single by Ryan Mulligan, Denison was unable to generate any energy in the top of the ninth, and Marietta sealed its season opener.
Marietta kept Pio fans uneasy as the two teams were scoreless up until the top of the fifth.
Josh Ungerbuehler and Clint Roche finally got things rolling in the middle of the lineup, producing an RBI each, giving the Pios a 2-0 lead.
Jason Byers carried the Pioneers from the mound all afternoon. He allowed just four hits, two walks and zero runs. He also tossed eight strikeouts.
Mitch Geers and Chris Winpigler had big games for the Pioneers, recording two hits each.
Marietta outlasted Case Western Reserve Saturday evening in a 3-2 win, dropping the Spartans to 1-1 on the day and handing them their first loss of the year.
Marietta was off to another slow start in Beckley, waiting until the sixth inning to create some action at the plate.
On the other hand, Case attacked the ball right out of the gate.
Rightfielder Jordan Dague sent Kerrigan Cain home on a fielder’s choice in the top of the second and then struck again in the fourth to tack on another RBI. Dague’s strong play led the Spartans to a 2-0 lead.
The Pioneers came alive in the bottom of the sixth due to two big RBI by Tim McCoy and Mitch Geers.
Their action at the plate was the first hits Spartans’ pitcher John Fortunato allowed since the first inning; Fortunato had struck out 13 straight.
The rest of the game remained quiet on both ends, as each squad was unable to capitalize on their scoring opportunities.
Dylan Gracia turned the corner for the Pioneers after his leadoff walk in the bottom of the eighth. Gracia stole second and reached third after a wild pitch. Tim McCoy popped up a sac-fly to send Gracia home.
Case was unable to respond to Marietta’s quick play, as Zak Janus completed the inning with back-to-back strikeouts and a groundout, sealing the victory.
Despite the Pioneers’ success, their all-around play was lopsided.
Marietta finished the night with just three hits compared to Case’s six. Additionally, the Pioneers’ defense was shaky with two errors.
Marietta will see the Spartans again as it takes the field tomorrow for a doubleheader against Case Western Reserve. The squads are scheduled to play at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in Beckley, W.Va.