Early Start Leads Marietta Past Thomas More 16-1

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regional-blueTERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Marietta advanced in the winner’s bracket during the final game of day two of the Mideast Regional in convincing fashion Thursday night, as the Pioneers put up four or more runs in three innings en route to a 16-1 victory over Thomas More at Art Nehf Field in Terre Haute, Ind.

Chris Winpigler turned in an impressive performance at the plate for Marietta (31-12), as he went 3-for-5 with two doubles and drove in a game-high six runs.  Tim McCoy drove in four more for the Pioneers by going 3-for-4 with a walk.  The top hitters in the Marietta lineup, Jordan Grilliot and Evan Brockmeier did not drove in any runs, but the duo did combine for nine hits in 11 at bats and scored six times, as Grilliot was a perfect 5-for-5 with three runs scored.  Aaron Hopper, Josh Ungerbuehler and Mitch Geers also drove in runs in the victory.

Marietta starter Mike Mulvey allowed just one run in 7.0 innings to improve to 8-3 on the season.  Mulvey scattered four hits and struck out five, while walking just one.  Luke Langdon and Kyle Kiser each tossed a scoreless inning for the Pioneers in the win.

Jason Handley drove in the only run for Thomas More (30-15) with a double in the bottom of the sixth, as part of a 2-for-4 night.  Travis Miller and Brad Popham combined for the only other hits for the Saints and Grant Lewis lasted just 2.0 innings in his start, as he surrendered nine runs, five earned, on nine hits and struck out two.

Marietta left little double about the outcome of the game after the first two innings, as the Pioneers scored four in the top of the first and added five more in the second to take a 9-0 lead after just two frames.

Grilliot and Brockmeier opened the game with back-to-back singles in the first, before Winpigler drove them both in with a double off the wall in left center to put Marietta up 2-0.  Later in the inning, Geers drove in a run when he reached on a fielder’s choice and McCoy capped the scoring with a double to the gap in left center.

In the Pioneer second, Winpigler drove in yet another run with a sacrifice fly, while Grilliot scampered home on a failed pickoff attempt, Hopper plate two with a two-run triple to deep center and McCoy plated the final run of the five-run inning with a single to center.

Winpigler drove in his sixth run of the game in the top of the fifth with an RBI single to put Marietta in front, 12-0, before Handley prevented the shutout in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI double to left center that brought Popham in from second.

The Pioneers capped the victory by scoring four more runs in their half of the eighth to make the final score, 16-1.

With the victory, Marietta advances to play top-seeded Manchester tomorrow afternoon at 4:30 p.m., as the Pioneers and Spartans are the only two teams remaining in the regional that have yet to suffer a loss.

Thomas More will meet Illinois Wesleyan in an elimination game tomorrow afternoon at 1:15 p.m.