John Carroll University baseball entered and exited the weekend at .500.
JCU split a double header with Muskingum University when they made the trip to University Heights for the Strike Out ALS weekend event. JCU dropped game one 6-5, but delivered an 8-2 revenge victory in the second game.
It would take 11 innings to decide a winner in the first game of the double feature, but it seemed as though things would have ended early for JCU.
Senior Aaron Lapaglia got the starting job and found trouble early and often. Muskingum had five runs cross home plate in the first three innings, putting JCU down 5-1 through the first third of game one.
JCU would respond with a three-run fourth frame and a run in the seventh frame to force extra innings.
Junior Mark Materise was brought on in relief of Lapaglia after he went the full nine innings. The right-hander found trouble when Muskingum had a leadoff single to start the away half of the 11th inning. A wild pitch combined with a sacrifice bunt put the go-ahead Muskingum run on third base. A sacrifice fly would bring that run home, giving the visitors a 6-5 lead that could not be erased by JCU.
Materise was charged with the loss and, drops to 0-2 on the year.
John Carroll had their revenge in the second game of the double feature.
Senior Brandon Maddern tossed a gem from the starting bump. The big left-hander allowed just five base runners in 6 1/3 innings of work. He punched out eight batters and only gave up two runs.
The senior now has a 3.25 ERA on the year, including a team leading 65 strike outs.
Both teams were silent through the first three innings of the game. It was not until senior Tyler Gentile put a crocked number on the Schweickert Field scoreboard with an RBI single.
Junior Patrick Scholla would contribute when he drew a walk with bases loaded to add onto the JCU lead. In the home half of the fifth inning, Gentile knocked in another RBI when he belted a double into the left-center field gap.
Scholla had two hits and three RBIs through the weekend double header.
JCU would quiet any hope of a come back when senior Jacob Schriner hit a two RBI single in the seventh inning. Schriner drove home two runs in the second game.
Senior Rob Cifelli (2-3), freshman Patrick Keohane (3-4) and Gentile (2-4) all registered multiple hits in the second game.
The split keeps JCU at .500, but now with a 16-16 record. More importantly, John Carroll holds a 9-5 record in the Ohio Athletic Conference. JCU is solidified in the fourth position in the conference rankings with just four conference games remaining on the year. Capital University represents the final conference meeting on the JCU regular season schedule. JCU will have a three game road stint to prepare for season finale.