By Caleb Scott
ADA — The Ohio Northern pitching staff dominated both games as the Ohio Northern baseball team swept No. 15-ranked Marietta 5-2, 1-0 on Saturday afternoon at Wander Field.
The Polar Bears improve to 21-10 overall and 9-5 in the Ohio Athletic Conference, while the Pioneers fall to 20-9, 8-4.
Northern moved into a tie for third place in the OAC standings with a double header at Muskingum and a twinbill at home with Wilmington remaining in the conference schedule.
Northern got on the scoreboard first in game one after junior Luke Klinehoffer (Zanesville/John Glenn) hit an infield single before advancing to second on a Marietta miscue. From there, senior Hayden Shenefield (Powell/Worthington Kilbourne) plated Klinehoffer with a ground out to give ONU a 1-0 lead.
The Marietta offense would manage to get their first hit of the afternoon in the top of the fifth inning and took a 2-1 lead.
Northern answered with a run in the bottom of the seventh inning as Kasberg plated pinch runner and freshman Andy Mills (Cincinnati/St. Xavier) to knot the game at 2-all.
The Polar Bear offense took the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth inning after freshman James Fisher (Castalia/Margaretta) scored following an RBI ground out from senior T.J. Storer (Loveland/Moeller).
With two base runners on, freshman Krue Thwaits (Greenville/Milton Union) drilled a 2-RBI single to right field and helped seal the 5-2 victory.
Sophomore Scott Beaton (Novi, Mich.) picked up his second victory of the season on the mound, holding the Pioneers scoreless through the final two innings.
Sophomore Nate Bye (Thorntown, Ind./Western Boone) was impressive in the starting role, tossing a no-hitter through five innings and allowing only three hits in 7.0 innings of work and fanning four batters on the mound.
A pitchers dual developed in game two, led by sophomore Josh Mohr (Oregon/Clay) as he went 7.0 innings, striking out five batters and only allowing four hits in his time on the mound.
Senior Jordan Bostater (Bryan) led off the bottom of the eighth with a double to the left center field fence, before pinch runner and freshman Jake Gherardi (Youngstown/Austintown-Fitch) scored as senior Brandon Kasberg (Mentor) hit an RBI single.
Marietta was able to get out of a bases loaded jam in the inning keeping the contest in reach heading into the final inning.
After the Pioneer offense loaded the bases, sophomore Jack Schaller (Bowling Green) went to work, striking out back-to-back-to-back MC batters to seal the 1-0 victory. Schaller recorded his third victory of the season on the mound.
Offensively, sophomore Caleb Thomas (Strongsville) tallied three hits in the two contests to lead Northern.
The Polar Bears will return to action on Tuesday afternoon in a non-conference contest with Wittenberg at Wander Field at 4 p.m.