MARIETTA, Ohio -- Mount Union junior Jeff Bennett (Hartville/Lake) hit a pinch hit three-run walk off home run as the No. 3 seed Purple Raiders beat No. 4 seed Otterbein, 4-2 in the semifinals of the Ohio Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament Friday morning at Don Schaly Stadium in Marietta, Ohio.
It was Bennett's first home run of the season and it sends Mount Union (22-16) into Saturday's championship game for the first time since 2002. The Purple Raiders, who won their only tournament title in 1970, are in the title game for the fourth time in school history.
Mount Union trailed 2-1 heading into the ninth as Anthony Morino (Strongsville/Strongsville) led off the inning with a single up the middle. Justin Jakubik (Strongsville/Strongsville) then tried to bunt him over but it turned into an infield single when the pitcher fell down. After an out, Bennett stepped in and sent the 1-2 pitch over the left field wall for the game winner.
Jakubik and Ricky Olasz (West Mifflin, Pa./West Mifflin) each had two hits for the Raiders.
Ryan Sason (Mentor/Lake Catholic) allowed just one hit over the final 2.1 innings to pick up the win while Sam Clarke (Strongsville/Strongsville) had a strong start allowing two runs over the first 6.2 innings.
Otterbein (25-16) closer Dominic Porretta took the loss and it spoiled a brilliant start from starter Wes Meadows, who held Mount Union to a run on five hits over the first 7.0 innings.
Otterbein now faces the winner of an elimination game between top seed Marietta and No. 2 seed John Carroll at 5 pm today with the winner of the that game advancing to play the Raiders on Saturday.
2013 OAC Baseball Tournament
Don Schaly Stadium - Marietta, Ohio
Thursday, May 8
Game 1 - #4 Otterbein 7, #1 Marietta 1
Game 2 - #3 Mount Union 7, #2 John Carroll 3
Friday, May 9
Game 3 - Mount Union 4, Otterbein 2
Game 4 - Marietta vs. John Carroll, 2 pm
Game 5 - Game 4 winner vs. Game 3 loser, 5 pm
Saturday, May 10
Game 6 - Game 5 winner vs. Mount Union, 12 pm (Championship game)
Game 7 - if necessary same teams as Game 6, 3 pm