Baseball: Mount Union Sweeps SUNY-Poly in Season Opener; Hesse Gets Win No. 400

Baseball: Mount Union Sweeps SUNY-Poly in Season Opener; Hesse Gets Win No. 400

AUBURNDALE, Fla. -- Paul Hesse won his 400th game as head baseball coach at Mount Union in an 10-8 extra inning win in game one of a two-game sweep of SUNY-Polytechnic in the 2017 season opener Saturday at Lake Myrtle Park in Auburndale, Fla.

Hesse, in his 21st season as head coach of the Purple Raiders, is just the eighth coach in Ohio Athletic Conference history to win over 400 career games.

Mount Union, which also won the second game 12-3, is now 2-0 on the season.

In the opener, the Raiders had a 6-2 lead before the Wildcats (0-2) scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game. Mount Union came right back and got two runs in the sixth but SUNY-Poly pushed single runs across in both the sixth and seventh to tie it at 8-8 and send the game to extra innings.

Kyle Spellman (Ravenna/Ravenna) then hit a two-out, two-run home run in the top of the eighth to give Mount Union a 10-8 lead.

Darren Krolikowski (Independence/Independence) came in and worked a scoreless eighth to pick up the win.

Spellman drove in three runs for the game while Joey Keleman (North Olmsted/North Olmsted) knocked in two runs on four hits to pace an offense that had 14 hits.

In game two, the Raiders had a five-run second inning taking advantage of six walks and getting a two-out, two-run single from Travis Wood (Hudson/Hudson).

Mount Union tacked on two more runs in the third on a two-run inside the park home run from Nick Piotrowski (Macedonia/Nordonia) and two more in the fifth on a two-run home run from Spellman to extend the lead to 9-0.

SUNY-Poly got a run in the sixth before the Raiders scored three in the bottom of the sixth on a two-run triple from Nate Owen (Cranberry Twp., Pa./Seneca Valley) and a sacrifice fly from Spencer Clarke (Strongsville/Strongsville).

The Wildcats scored two more in the seventh for the 12-3 final.

Noah Skladan (Amherst/Steele) started on the mound for the Raiders, struck out eight hitters and allowed just one hit over the first five innnings for the win.

Mount Union next takes on Wartburg (Iowa) Sunday at 9 a.m. at Chain O'Lakes Park in Winter Haven.