By Blake Moore
ADA — An offensive showcase which included nine runs on 18 hits propelled the Ohio Northern baseball team to a 9-0, shutout victory over nonconference foe Thomas More (Ky.) Wednesday evening in the program's 2019 home opener at Wander Field.
With the victory, the Polar Bears improved to 8-7 overall on the season and ended a four-game losing skid. Meanwhile, the Saints dropped to 7-10 in the 2019 campaign.
Sophomore outfielder Krue Thwaits (Greenville/Milton Union) led the offensive outburst with a four-for-four performance at the dish. The Greenville product also added two RBI, a run scored, and a spectacular diving catch in centerfield to aid the defensive efforts.
Additionally, sophomores Michael Rocco (Orlando, Fla./Zionsville, Ind.) and Will Davis (Upper Arlington/Bishop Watterson) each tallied multiple RBI in the midweek showdown. Rocco recorded a team-high three RBI on a three-for-five outing and scored a run. Meanwhile, Davis tacked on two RBI, two runs scored, and two hits in five plate appearances.
In all, nine players registered at least one hit in Wednesday's contest for the Polar Bears, allowing ONU to out-hit the Saints 18-3 overall.
On the mound, junior right-hander Troy Wagner (Liberty Township/Lakota West) picked up his second win this season after tossing 6.1 scoreless innings. He recorded two strikeouts in the contest while conceding just two hits and three walks.
Classmate Devin Johnson (Wooster) came on in relief and threw 2.2 scoreless innings to close the game. The Wooster native also struck out two batters and gave up just one hit.
The Polar Bears jumped out to an early 4-0 advantage after just three innings. Davis and Thwaits kicked off the scoring with RBI singles in the first before freshman Corey McMann (Flower Mound, Tex./Liberty Christian) added a sacrifice fly in the second and Rocco slapped an RBI single into centerfield in the third.
From there, both teams were scoreless until the seventh inning when Rocco laced a single through the left side gap to bring home two runs.
The Polar Bears added three insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth frame on RBI singles from Davis, Thwaits, and sophomore catcher Tyler Randick (Flushing, Mich.).
Ohio Northern will return to action tomorrow with a single nonconference contest at No. 27-ranked Denison. Game time is set for 5 p.m. at Big Red Field in Granville.