Wooster Holds Off PSU-Behrend in NCAA Regional

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regional-blueTERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Jarrod Mancine came through with a key two-out single to score an insurance run for Wooster in the top of the ninth and it proved to be the difference, as the Fighting Scots held of Penn State-Behrend, 3-2, in an elimination game Thursday afternoon at the Mideast Regional in Terre Haute, Ind.  The Lions stranded 13 bases runners, as their two-run rally in the bottom of the ninth fell a run short.

Bryan Miller led Wooster (33-11) by going 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI and three stolen bases.  Cal Thomay also recorded a pair of hits and scored a run in going 2-for-3, while Eddie Reese and Mancine drove in the other two runs for the Fighting Scots.

Steve Hagen fired a complete game to earn the win on the mound and improve to 8-3, as the right-hander allowed just two runs, both earned, despite giving up 12 hits.  Hagen recorded four strikeouts and did not issue a walk.

Vinny Rice drove in both runs for Penn State-Behrend (30-12) with a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth and finished the afternoon 3-for-5 at the plate.  Evan Bukowski also turned in a three-hit performance, while Ryan Kragnes and John Hlavinka each tallied a pair of singles.

Dante DeSantis tossed 6.1 strong innings for the Lions, before suffered the loss, as he allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits and struck out four around four walks to fall to 5-3.  DeSantis was forced to exit the game in the seventh, when he suffered an injury trying to field a bunt.  Chad Zurat finished the game for PSU-Behrend, allowing one run on two hits over the final 2.2 innings.

Wooster took a 1-0 lead in the first, when Mancine reached on an error to lead off the ballgame and later scored on a doubled to left center off the bat of Reese.

The Fighting Scots doubled their lead in the top of the second, as Thomay came through with a leadoff single and later scored on a ground out by Miller that put Wooster in front, 2-0.

Penn State-Behrend’s first chance to score came in the bottom of the fourth, when it put runners on the corners with just one out, but Hagen was able to get out of the jam, when Bukowski was thrown out at home trying to score on a hard grounder and Jordan Weinzierl lined out to left to end the frame.

In the bottom half of the sixth, the Lions were able to load the bases on a pair of singles and a hit batsman, but Hagen was once again able to escape trouble and strand three more Penn State-Behrend runners on the base paths by getting a soft ground out to end the threat.

Mancine would come through with the eventual game-winning hit in the top of the ninth, after Craig Day led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch.  After Zurat got a pop up and a fly out, Mancine came through with a two-out single through the middle to plate Day.

The Lions were able to break up the shutout and put the tying run on first in the bottom of the ninth, as Rice drove a two-out single through the right side to score both Kragnes and Matt Bittner, before Hagen ended the game with a strikeout of Corey Bowers.

With the victory, Wooster advances to play the loser of the Manchester/Washington & Jefferson matchup tomorrow at 10 a.m.