Oh Canada! Wilson sets career hits record in Game 2 win over No. 22 Northwood
The redshirt senior went 3-for-5 and now has 194 career hits
MIDLAND, Mich. - Redshirt senior Zac Wilson had to wait for a little while to break the career hits record at Davenport, but when he did it was in a critical moment during a Game 2 victory at No. 22 Northwood. Wilson went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI in the nightcap as DU beat a nationally-ranked team for the second time this season. Both games of the doubleheader showed that Davenport can compete against the top team in the GLIAC standings. Northwood lost for the first time in 12 games in Game 2 and lost just their second GLIAC game to date (12-2). The Panthers (18-14, 8-6 GLIAC) battled in a pitcher’s duel in Game 1 falling 2-1, but then rebounded nicely to get the win 11-5 in Game 2.
The starters ruled in Game 1 at Gerace Stadium despite great conditions for the hitters with a stiff breeze blowing out. Krystien Johnson-Battilana had gotten the ball mostly in Game 4 of a GLIAC series, but head coach Kevin Tidey gave him a chance against reigning Midwest Regional Pitcher of the Year and Second Team All-American Tyler Jandron. The senior held his own for DU going five innings and allowing just five hits. He gave up two runs in the second inning with two walks and a season-high seven strikeouts. Jandron yielded an earned run in the first inning but worked through the lineup quite easily over the next six innings to earn the complete-game win. He stands at 7-1 overall with an incredible 0.99 ERA this season. Jandron walked two and fanned seven while throwing 109 pitches.
Jacob Buchberger got the best of Jandron in his first at-bat with a homer over the center field fence for his fourth long ball of the season. DU then had an Anthony DiPonio single in the second, Buchberger double in the third and Andrew Figueroa single in the seventh as their remaining hits. The Timberwolves scored their two runs in the second courtesy of a two-out RBI bunt single by Michael Karam and then a RBI double to center field by Brian Dombrowski.
The Panthers jumped all over Northwood starter Nathan Langenfeld with five earned runs in 1.1 innings. Langenfeld suffered his first loss of the season (3-1) and faced just nine batters with four hits allowed. NU took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first off DU starter Justin Palmbos. David Vinsky and Javier Martinez had back-to-back, one-out singles and third baseman Keaton Sackett hit a two-out RBI double. Vinsky scored on the hit, but DU gained a spark as Martinez was thrown out at the plate attempting to score the second run.
Davenport rode that defensive play into five second-inning runs. Brian Sobieski walked to leadoff the inning and DiPonio singled to left. Sobieski took third on a wild pitch and Alex Huard tied the game with a RBI single to left. Figueroa followed that with a RBI single to right center for a 2-1 lead. Brent Showers drove home Huard with a groundout to shortstop for the first out and a two-run lead. Nolan Bryant then singled to center to score Figueroa and Langenfeld was replaced by Colin Moran. Wilson stepped up with two outs and delivered the record-breaking hit, a RBI double down the right field line, for his 192nd hit and a 5-1 lead.
Palmbos focused in over the next five innings to keep the Timberwolves off the board. Meanwhile, Northwood was giving up two more runs in the third. Dakota Roberts entered on the mound and walked Sobieski. Huard walked with one out and then Sobieski scored on a two-out error off the bat of Showers to keep the inning alive. Bryant added the seventh run with a RBI single to left.
The Panthers added three runs in the fifth for a 10-1 lead, the largest deficit of the season for Northwood. Showers singled up the middle to start the rally and took second on a wild pitch. Bryant singled and runners were on second and third. Wilson drove home both with a single to center. Wilson then took home with two outs as Sobieski was caught up between first and second after he reached on a fielder’s choice.
Palmbos gave up two runs in the seventh before exiting. He threw seven innings and allowed 10 hits, three earned runs and three walks. He struck out five and needed 108 pitches to get through seven innings. DU scored their final run in the ninth as Sobieski launched his 10th home run of the season over the left field fence. Trevor Russo tossed the final two innings for the Panthers and gave up two unearned runs in the ninth. Colin McClelland had a two-RBI single with two outs.
Wilson finished 3-for-5 with two doubles giving him 13 this season. Sobieski tied a program record with four walks done six other times. Bryant tied his career high with four hits in four at-bats while scoring twice. Oscar Heredia hit his sixth two-bagger of the season. Wilson also stole his 15th bag of the season and the 45th of his career to tie the school record for stolen bases.