TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Illinois Wesleyan staved off elimination by defeating Mount Union, 5-2, in the first game of the second day of the Mideast Regional Thursday morning at Art Nehf Field in Terre Haute, Ind. The Titans plated four runs in the top of the seventh and held off a late rally by the Purple Raiders to earn the victory.
Bobby Czarnwoski led the way for Illinois Wesleyan (33-13) by going 2-for-4 with three RBI, including a solo home run in the top of the second. Jon Frericks drove in a run on a pair of hits for the Titans, while Zach Scott and Matt Workman each finished 2-for-4 at the plate.
Nick Mehn tossed a complete game for IWU, allowing just two runs in nine hits, while recording five strikeouts around a walk to improve to 6-2 on the year.
C.J. Stotler went 2-for-4 with a homer and a double to lead Mount Union (23-18) and Lee Grosscup drove in the other run for the Raiders in a 1-for-3 effort. Eight different hitters tallied hits for Mount Union, but the Raiders stranded eight, including two each in the fourth and eighth frames.
Sam Clarke took the loss for Mount Union by allowing four runs, all earned, on six hits and struck out three around a pair of walks.
Czarnowski put Illinois Wesleyan up 1-0 in the second, when he led off the frame with a solo blast to deep right center, but Stotler tied the score with a leadoff homer of his own in the bottom of the fifth.
The Titans broke open the game in the top of the seventh by scoring four runs on as many hits to open up a 5-1 lead. A.J. Nathan started the rally with a one-out walk, before Illinois Wesleyan recorded three-straight hits, including an RBI single by Frericks, to break the 1-1 tie. Kevin Callahan drove in another run by coaxing a bases-loaded walk, before Czarnowski capped the scoring in the inning with a two-run single through the right side.
Mount Union got a run back in the bottom of the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Grosscup, but Mehn was able to work out of a jam and stranded a pair of Raiders on the base paths, before sitting down the Raiders in order to end the game and send the Titans to Friday.
With the win, Illinois Wesleyan advances to Friday and will play at 1:15 p.m. against the loser of the Thomas More/Marietta matchup.