Yellowjackets’ season over after loss to No. 20 Wooster

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WOOSTER, OH – A day after getting shut down to the tune of one run and just four hits, the #20 College of Wooster offense showed why it is among Division III’s leaders in scoring, winning 21-4 over the University of Rochester in an NCAA Division III Tournament elimination game at Art Murray Field on Saturday evening.

A strong season for the Yellowjackets ends with a 29-17 record, tying for the second most wins in a season in Rochester history.  The 46 games played is also school record, while the UR pitching staff also set new single-season marks for innings pitched, strikeouts and saves.

2019 also saw UR capture its first ever Liberty League tournament title last weekend, sending Rochester into the NCAA tournament for the first time in 20 years, and only fourth time ever in the history for Yellowjackets baseball.

Wooster improves to 28-13 on the season and will square off with Case Western Reserve University in Sunday’s regional championship.  CWRU defeated Rochester earlier in the day to advance.

The elimination game saw the host Fighting Scots strike first in the top of the opening inning, as Wooster was batting as the visiting team.  A pair of Rochester errors gave Wooster a couple extra outs against UR starter Jack Denzer, with five runs ultimately crossing home plate.

Wooster’s big first inning, coupled with a quick first inning for Rochester, seized the momentum.

The Fighting Scots offense kept rolling along, scoring in the first six innings of the game, while the Yellowjacket bats fell silent.

“If you give a team like Wooster a couple extra outs in an inning, it can make for a long day, which it turned out to be,” said UR’s head coach Joe Reina.

Rochester had some highlights late, with big hits from Jack HermanCorey Ziring and Harper Sy in the final two innings.  Herman launched his 10th home run of the season in the ninth, capping his career with 14.  He is sixth all-time in career long balls and finished with the third most in a single-season.

Ziring closed out his career as well, just missing his first career homer with a hard hit double off the fence in the 8th inning, plating Sy who had doubled one batter before.

Senior Aiden Finch finished 1-for-4 in the game with a sac fly in the ninth for his 117th RBI of his career, driving in pitcher Kevin Ho who reached via walk in his one and only plate appearance of his career.

The senior Finch is the Rochester record holder in doubles and defensive putouts while ranking in the top-5 in hits (181), total bases (284) and is sixth in RBI.

On the mound, Denzer was saddled with the loss, but finishes his four year career ranking as one of UR’s top pitchers.  He started the second most games on the mound, threw the second most innings and is fourth in fewest walks per nine innings.  He also accumulated 15 career wins, sixth most in Rochester history.

UR’s Jake Hertz was the lone Yellowjacket to appear in all 46 games, breaking the Rochester record for single-season appearances.

Wooster was led by Harry Witwer-Dukes who went 4-for-7 at the plate with three runs and four RBI.  Six Fighting Scots had multiple hits, with Jake Stuursma, Dan Harwood, Garrett Crum and Ben Gbur each recording three base knocks.

On the mound, Chandler Dippman earned his 8th win of the year, holding Rochester to two hits over five innings.

Following their careers, both Finch and Denzer shared similar comments about their four-year careers in Rochester colors.

“It meant the world, we love all the guys, and we got to play the game we love for four more years” said Finch.

“We had a great group of guys around here, a great team,” echoed Denzer.  “We had a culture when we got here that wasn’t ideal, but we came in and changed that.  We turned into a family and it helped us succeed and be in the spot we were today.”

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