Klinec’s Clutch Hit Lifts W&J To Key Regional Sweep
WASHINGTON, Pa. – Senior shortstop Aaron Klinec (North Olmsted, Ohio/St. Ignatius) provided a clutch two-run, walkoff single in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the 18th-ranked Washington & Jefferson College baseball team to a 5-4 victory over Mount Union at Ross Memorial Park on Wednesday evening. The win gave W&J the twinbill sweep after it claimed game one by a score of 5-3.
The Presidents (30-6) entered the seventh inning trailing the Purple Raiders, 4-3, but sophomore third baseman Kyle McLain (East Amherst, N.Y./Canisius) got the rally started with a leadoff single up the middle. Senior Brian Szabo (Hermitage, Pa./Hickory) worked a walk and junior second baseman Scott Liller (Moon Township, Pa./Moon) loaded the bases by with a two-out infield single to set the stage for Klinec’s game-winner. He roped the first pitch he saw over second baseman Sean Mohney’s head and pinch runners Scott Brady (Allison Park, Pa./Hampton) and Kyle Smith (Pickerington, Ohio/Central) sped home with the tying and game-winning runs.
Mount Union (26-10), the No. 5 ranked team in the Mideast Region, opened up a 4-0 lead after four innings, but W&J slowly chipped away. The Presidents scored a pair of unearned runs in the fifth and sophomore right fielder Josh Staniscia (Export, Pa./Franklin Regional) added an RBI groundout in the sixth.
W&J, the Mideast Region's second-ranked team, collected eight hits, led by McLain and Klinec with two each. Steve Mitch provided the Purple Raiders with three of their five hits.
Sophomore Chris Kosty (Wexford, Pa./Pine-Richland) picked up his second victory of the spring. He tossed a scoreless seventh inning on the mound. Beau Smith went six innings and was responsible for the game-winning run and took the loss.
Mount Union took a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning of game one, but W&J responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth and two more in the fifth to capture the two-run victory. McLain and Brady provided RBI base hits in the fourth and Szabo’s run-scoring groundout gave the Presidents the lead in the next inning. Sophomore designated hitter Derek McIlvaine (Washington, Pa./Chartiers-Houston) added an insurance run with an RBI single.
Sophomore Eddie Nogay (Weirton, W. Va./Madonna) went the final 2 and 2/3 innings in relief to up his record to 5-0 this spring. Nogay allowed just one hit while striking out three. Matt Bekelsky suffered his first loss after surrendering five runs (three earned) in 4.2 innings.
The Presidents return to PAC action on Saturday when they host a doubleheader against Thomas More. W&J will honor its senior class during Senior Day ceremonies prior to game one (1:00 pm).