FREDERICKSBURG, Va. - Wesley brought the winning run to the plate in the ninth inning, but Frostburg State's Britton Quayle forced a fly out to end the game and gave the Bobcats a 5-3 win in the first round of the CAC Playoffs.
With the loss, the Wolverines (16-17) host York (Pa.) in the second round of the double elimination tournament on Friday, April 15.
The first round match up featured the CAC's top two pitchers in terms of ERA, as Wesley's DJ Keckler (Fallston, Md./Fallston) squared off against FSU's Greg Ross, the conference leader.
The duo dominated the early going, combining to allow just one hit through the first four innings.
In the bottom of the fifth, the bottom of Frostburg's (19-10) lineup started a rally. Tyler Hawthorne and Daniel Heatwole both singled with one out to turn the order back over. After a pop up for the second out, a wild pitch allowed both players to move up a base. Garrett Price and Matt Greene followed with RBI singles to put the Wolverines down 2-0.
Geoff Kimmel (Lawrenceville, N.J./Lawrence) led off Wesley's portion of the seventh with a double and Bryan Reshetar (Newark, Del./Hodgson Vo-Tech) bunted him to third. Steve Perone (Skillman, N.J./Montogomery) produced an RBI groundout as the Wolverines cut the lead in half and trailed just 2-1.
The Bobcats scored three runs with two outs in the eighth, however, to stretch their lead to 5-1. Hawthorne drove in a run with an RBI double, chasing Keckler with the score 3-1. Zach Stuart (Palmyra, Pa/Palmyra Area) entered the game and walked a batter before a Shane Boyd triple brought home two more runs. Stuart struck out Price to prevent further damage, however.
The Wolverines mounted a rally of their own in the ninth, chasing Ross from the game, scoring twice with two outs. Reshetar singled in Kevin Murphy (Middletown, Md./Middletown) to cut it to 5-2, resulting in Frostburg bringing in Spenser Madsen. Pinch hitter Adam Darling (Milford, Del./Milford) reach via an infield single and Corey Jefferson (Wilmington, Del./Archmere) singled down the line in right to put runners on the corners and score Reshetar.
Leading by two with two on and the potential go ahead run up to bat, the Bobcats made another pitching change, bringing in Quayle, who forced a fly ball to right to earn the save.
Keckler took the loss. The junior struck out eight, but was charged with four runs on eight hits and three walks in 7.2 innings.
Ross came within an out of a complete game before the Wesley offense chased him from the contest. He allowed two runs on four hits and two walks and struck out 11.
Jon Carlson (Lancaster, Pa./Lampeter-Strasburg) and Jefferson each had a hit and a walk in the game, reaching base twice apiece.
Hawthorne and Greene both had two hits for the Bobcats.
The second round contest between Wesley and York will start at 3:30 PM.