TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – After spending the longest day in school history on a baseball diamond and winning an epic 15-inning marathon game that began Friday and ended Saturday morning, Washington & Jefferson College was eliminated from the NCAA Division III tournament Saturday afternoon.
Jason Byers pitched a complete game and defending national champion Marietta defeated W&J, 6-2, in an elimination game at the Mideast Regional at Art Nehf Field.
W&J ends its season with a 33-13 record.
The game against Marietta (32-13) started less than 10 hours after W&J completed an 11-8 victory over Thomas More in an elimination game that lasted five hours and two minutes. The game did not end until 2:07 a.m. The Presidents had started Friday’s play at 10 a.m. by defeating Wooster, 8-7, in 13 innings. The 15-inning win over Thomas More was the longest game in W&J baseball history.
W&J simply ran out of steam against Marietta, a team it had defeated during the regular season. The Pioneers scored three runs in the top of the first inning and two in the fifth to build a 5-1 lead.
Byers pitched a nine-hitter, did not walk a batter and struck out nine to improve his record to 8-2.
W&J’s Kyle McLain went 3-for-4. The Presidents’ first run came in the third inning when Derek McIlvaine scored on Scoitt Liller’s groundout to second base. In the eighth, D.J. Michalski drove in Liller with a double to left centerfield that cut Marietta’s lead to 5-2.
Jared Baird (1-1) pitched 8 1/3 innings for W&J, giving up seven hits and six runs (three earned).
Against Presidents’ Athletic Conference rival Thomas More, W&J’s Eddie Nogay improved his career record to 22-1 (school-record 12 wins this season) by pitching the final five innings, allowing one run and one hit. Mike Vizzini kept the Presidents in the game by throwing eight shutout innings after entering in the third.
W&J loaded the bases in the top of the 15th with three singles, and Josh Staniscia gave the Presidents the lead by grounding into a fielder’s choice that scored a run. Ronny Peirish followed with a run-scoring single, and McLain’s triple broke open the game.
Thomas More scored one run in the bottom of the 15th and had two runners on base when Nogay induced a game-ending double play in the early hours of Saturday.
Scott Brady had a career-high five hits and scored two runs for W&J. Peirish had four hits and two RBI.
W&J led 3-0 in the second inning, but Thoams More scored seven runs over the next two innings. The Presidents chipped away at the deficit and tied the score at 7-7 in the eighth when Tyler Schultz’s single drove in Peirish.