Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Going into Sunday, the Oberlin baseball team had a record of 11–17 and an eight-game losing streak. Their opponent, Baldwin Wallace University, was #1 in the nation for Division III baseball earlier this year. They are currently ranked #3 with a record of 28–5. In a surprising turn of events, Oberlin beat BWU 5–3, the team’s first time in program history beating a top three nationally ranked team. The team’s last win was March 30 against The College of Wooster. For the Yeomen, this season has included the team’s most wins since 2019. 

Last year’s game against BWU was a close game that ultimately resulted in a 12–11 loss. The Yeomen had accumulated points in the early innings, but the Yellow Jackets started to slowly come back. By the end of the seventh inning, the Yeomen were up 11–9. BWU would then score two runs in the eighth. The game came down to a tie going into the ninth inning, and the Yellow Jackets scored one last run before the game was over. 

Oberlin maintained a 3–0 lead in the first four innings. In the first inning, first-year Brady Groves connected on a deep drive to hit a triple and get to third base. On the next at-bat, third-year Ethan Hurwitz hit the ball and the Yellow Jackets made an error, which allowed for Groves to score the Yeomen’s first point.  

At the bottom of the second inning, second-year Anton Shelton was pitched four balls, earning a walk to first base. Soon after, first-year Grayson Black hit a bunt and ran to first base. Third-year Zach Masnikoff would put down a similar move — a squeeze bunt — that gave Shelton time to run to home base without getting out. With fourth-year Harry Kaplan hitting a ground ball in the next play, Black was also able to run to home base and score. 

The Yellow Jackets then racked up two runs at the top of the fifth inning. However, each team then scored a run in the seventh inning. Groves hit the ball, which advanced him to first base. Hurwitz hit a double, which placed him on second base and Groves on third. Next, first-year Kyle Baxt, who is also currently the North Coast Atlantic Conference leader in batting average with a score of .441, swung the ball into the outfield, allowing Groves to score for the Yeomen. 

Oberlin would then score again in the eighth inning, securing their lead. After four balls pitched to Black, he then walked to first base. Fourth-year Joe Strabley hit a sacrifice bunt, a risky play that could give up an out for Strabley if done wrong, but advanced Black to second base. Soon after, Masnikoff hit a single to right field, which gave time for Black to run back to home base. 

“Beating the number three ranked team in the country was a ton of fun,” Strabley said. “It was a huge win for the program.”

Fourth-year Luigi Smarro was put in to pitch for the eighth and ninth innings. During this time, he made sure the Yellow Jackets didn’t score. 

“At any moment, I could’ve blown the game,” Smarro said. “Last year I was in the same position — I gave up a home run and we lost the game to Baldwin Wallace, but this year we were able to finish with a win.”

On the field were also two Yellow Jackets who previously played for the Yeomen, Max Anastasio, OC ’23, and fourth-year Vince Dolcemaschio. During this inning, Anastasio could’ve put one over the fence. There were already two players on the field, so hitting a home run would give the Yellow Jackets another three points, beating the Yeomen 6–5. However, Kaplan caught the ball after Anastasio had hit it. 

“It was exciting,” Smarro said. “It was a fun experience, not because we were playing BWU, but because [Dolcemaschio] and [Anastasio] were there. The last hitter was a former Oberlin baseball player, which made this game even more special.”

First-year Davis Hayes also helped contribute to the win, with six innings pitched. He also had four base hits and two runs for the game. 

The key to winning at this game was taking advantage of mistakes at the right time, something the Yeomen have been working on this season. 

“I’m looking forward to finishing strong with the team,” Smarro said. 

Since then, the team won against Kenyon College Wednesday. The Yeomen will play Wabash College at 12:00 and 2:30 p.m. this Saturday, followed by a 2:00 p.m. game Sunday against Ohio Northern University. 

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