By Blake Moore
BEREA — The Ohio Northern baseball program fell 4-3 and 9-1 in an Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon against league foe Baldwin Wallace at Fisher Field in Berea.
With the losses, the Polar Bears move to 10-13 overall and 2-6 in OAC action this season. Meanwhile, BW improves to 16-8 on the year, which includes a 6-2 mark against conference opposition.
Junior infielder/utility player Phil Buckingham (Wayne/Elmwood) led the Ohio Northern offense with a two-for-four outing in game one. The performance included a team-high two RBI, a run scored, and a solo home run in the fifth inning, his second career blast.
Senior Luke Klinehoffer (Zanesville/John Glenn) and sophomore Matthew Burkett (Maumee) each recorded a team-high three hits and contributed one RBI on the day. The former now owns 169 career base hits to rank ninth-best all-time at ONU and 43 career doubles, needing just three more to tie for the program lead.
During the series opener, Ohio Northern quickly put themselves ahead 1-0 following an RBI single from Buckingham in the first inning.
After Baldwin Wallace responded with two runs in the home half, Burkett event the scoreline once again during the second stanza. The sophomore came through with a bases-loaded RBI single to center field, leveling the contest at 2-2.
Both offenses fell silent until the fifth inning when Buckingham launched his solo home run over the right center field fence to give ONU the lead once more at 3-2.
However, Baldwin Wallace matched the fifth-inning tally in their next at-bat and produced a go-ahead run in the sixth inning, securing the game one victory.
Despite the loss, junior right-hander Troy Wagner (Liberty Township/Lakota West) had a solid outing on the mound, tossing five innings and conceding just two earned runs on the day. The Liberty Township product added four strikeouts on the afternoon and surrendered six hits.
In game two, the Yellow Jackets jumped ahead 5-0 after three innings due in large part to a four-spot in the second inning.
Ohio Northern responded with a single tally in the sixth frame on a Klinehoffer RBI single, but BW prevented the comeback opportunity with four more runs in the seventh.
The Polar Bears will return to action on Saturday afternoon with a trip to John Carroll for another OAC doubleheader. Game one is set for 1 p.m. in University Heights.