By Blake Moore
ADA - The Ohio Northern baseball program defeated United States Collegiate Athletic Association foe Wright St.-Lake Friday evening 4-2 in a single, nonconference affair at Wander Field in Ada.
With the victory, the Polar Bears improve to 20-15 overall on the season and claim their fifth win over the past six games. Meanwhile, the Lakers fall to 18-11 in the 2019 campaign.
The game, which was originally scheduled to be played in Celina, was relocated to Ada on Friday afternoon due to impending weather.
Offensively, senior Luke Klinehoffer (Zanesville/John Glenn) paced Northern with a team-high two RBI, which included the go-ahead run in the sixth.
Sophomore Matthew Burkett (Maumee) registered a perfect three-for-three hitting performance with a walk in Friday evening's contest. In addition, sophomores Michael Rocco (Orlando, Fla./Zionsville, Ind.) and Krue Thwaits (Greenville/Milton Union) and freshman Corey McMann (Flower Mound, Tex./Liberty Christian) each registered multi-hit performances.
Overall, Ohio Northern out-hit their weekend visitors 11-7 in the nonconference affair.
On the mound, senior right-hander Blake Lester (Chesepeake) had a strong outing despite receiving a no decision. The Chesepeake native surrendered just one hit and four walks alongside a career-high eight strikeouts in 5.0 innings.
Sophomore James Fisher (Castalia/Margaretta) was awarded the win on the mound after pitching the sixth frame.
Juniors Scott Beaton (Novi, Mich.) and Sean Sweeney (Morrow/Little Miami) proved effective out of the bullpen, combining for three shutout innings. The former tossed 2.2 innings and struck out one batter while the latter earned the save with just a single pitch for the final out.
The Polar Bears jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning. McMann slapped an RBI single into left field, scoring sophomore Will Davis (Upper Arlington/Bishop Watterson).
After the Lakers took a 2-1 run lead in the sixth, ONU responded quickly with three runs for a 4-2 advantage. Rocco and Klinehoffer hit back-to-back RBI singles, which included a two-RBI knock for the latter, to regain control at Wander Field.
WSL managed three hits over the final three frames, but the game-tying run was stranded at first base in the ninth inning.
The Polar Bears will return to the diamond on Sunday at Tewksbury-Delaney Field against Ohio Athletic Conference foe Wilmington. The games were originally slated for Saturday, but the doubleheader was moved due to impending weather. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. in Wilmington.