DOVER, Del. – A two-run home run by Morgan Rupp and a career-high 12 strikeouts by DJ Keckler helped Wesley College to a 12-3 win over Marywood University on Saturday afternoon in the ECAC South Semifinals at Bob Reed Field. The Wolverines improve to a program-best 31-14 on the season and will take on Penn State-Behrend for the ECAC South Championship at 12:00 pm on Sunday, May 20, at Bob Reed Field.
Rupp finished the day with four RBIs, while going 2-for-4 while Jon Carlson had a team-high three hits and a run batted in. Sam Farnell, Steve Perone and Bryan Reshetar also had a pair of hits each while Rob Benedict drove in two.
Marywood scored a run in the first but Wesley answered right back in its half of the inning to tie the score. Carlson started the rally with a one-out single to left and Rupp followed up with a double to center field to tie the score.
The Pacers once again took a one-run lead with a score in the third and maintained the advantage until the Wolverines sent 13 batters to the plate and erupted for seven runs in the sixth. Carlson once again got the rally started with a single and Rupp went opposite field for a home run, his team-leading seventh of the year, giving Wesley a 3-2 lead.
Wesley's offense did not stop there as Geoff Kimmel and Farnell connected for two-straight singles. Perone then laid down a rare bunt and beat out the throw for a single. The throw to first was wild, allowing Kimmel to score and both Farnell and Perone to advance another ninety feet. Reshetar and Greg McKee then both hit back-to-back sacrifice flies to center field, giving the Wolverines a four-run advantage.
The five runs in the inning for Wesley prompted a Pacer pitching change but Mike Siciliano gave up four walks and two runs without retiring a batter. Corey Jefferson and Benedict were issued back-to-back walks and Carlson reached on an error to load the bases. Rupp and Kimmel then drew a pair of bases-loaded walks to increased the lead to 8-2. Marywood then countered on the mound in favor of Jason Aikens, who was able to finally escape the inning.
A two-run double by Benedict in the seventh, followed by a wild pitch and an RBI single by Carlson allowed Wesley to extend its lead to ten at 12-2, and putting the game out of reach.
After escaping jams in the first three innings, Kecker settled down with 11 of his 12 strikeouts coming after the third inning. He fanned two Pacers in the fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth and ninth frames and one more in the sixth, striking out 11 of the last 18 batters.
For the day, Keckler (8-3) threw his Wesley single-season record ninth complete game of the season while allowing just three runs on eight hits.
Odds & Ends: With his two-run double, Rob Benedict drove in his 99th and 100th career RBI...He is the tenth Wolverine to ever record 100 career RBIs... Geoff Kimmel broke the career games record by playing in his 164th game... With a bases-loaded walk, Kimmel matched the Wesley career record with 154 career RBIs... He also broke the school single-season record for hits (72) and tied the record for total bases (108)...DJ Keckler's 94.2 innings pitched this year sets a school single-season record and his 84 strikeouts matches the single-season record.