Back on track: Nieberding, Fulton pitch Pioneers past Wooster

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – Freshman Tyler Nieberding won the battle of rookie pitchers as No. 10-ranked Marietta College defeated the College of Wooster by the score of 4-2 Tuesday at the Snowbird Classic.

Wooster (0-3 overall) sent freshman Nick Buckingham to the mound and, even though he was tagged with the loss, he had an impressive collegiate debut. Buckingham overcame some early jitters and went 5.1 innings. He allowed three runs on only four hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

MC (5-1 overall), which suffered its first setback Monday against Montclair State, scored two runs in the second inning and never trailed in the game. Designated hitter Josh Ungerbuehler led off with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Catcher Chris Winpigler ripped an RBI single to right scoring Ungerbuehler.

Buckingham threw another wild pitch allowing Winpigler to move into scoring position. Tim McCoy grounded out to the right side moving Winpigler to third. A third wild pitch in the inning scored Winpigler and gave Marietta a 2-0 lead.

The Pioneers added a run in the fifth when third baseman Clint Roche walked and went to second on a Buckingham wild pitch. Back-to-back ground outs from Ryan Hanahan and Zach Bukiewicz plated Roche.

Nieberding (1-0) cruised through the first five innings but ran into trouble in the sixth. Bryan Miller led off with a walk for the Fighting Scots. Zac Mathie doubled to right center scoring Miller. A sharply hit ground ball off the bat of Brendan Taylor resulted in an out but moved Mathie to third base.

Marietta head coach Brian Brewer went to the bullpen and brought in junior Mike Fulton. Fulton struck out the first batter he faced, but a passed ball allowed Mathie to score making it a one run game, 3-2. Fulton ended the Wooster rally with another strikeout.

Nieberding threw 5.1 innings and was charged with two runs, one unearned, on three hits. He walked three and struck out one.

A perfectly executed first and third double steal gave the Etta Express an insurance run in the seventh. Singles from Winpigler and Roche set the Pioneers up with runners on the corners with two outs. Roche broke for second and got in a rundown allowing Winpigler to score Marietta’s fourth run of the game.

Fulton was flawless facing the minimum number of Wooster hiiters over the final 3.2 innings to record his first save of the season. He struck out six and has now thrown 8.0 shutout innings of relief in three appearances this spring.

Winpigler and second baseman Christian Demko each collected two hits in the game for Marietta.

Marietta takes today off before facing Montclair State University on Thursday at 11 a.m. The Pioneers will be looking to avenge their 5-4 loss to the Redhawks earlier in the week.


AUBURNDALE, Fla. – The Marietta College softball team dropped a 3-2 decision to Westminster College and defeated Thomas More College by the score of 1-0 Tuesday morning at the Rebel Spring Games. The Pioneers are now 3-3 on the season.

Westminster (3-2 overall) took advantage of a pair of unearned runs against The Pioneers. The Titans plated two runs in the fourth and scored the game winner in the sixth. Marietta scored a run in the fourth and another in the seventh.

Catcher Rachel Montgomery drove in centerfielder Hannah Tarski with a single in the fourth to get the Pioneers on the board. The Pioneers tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh getting an RBI single from Brittany Curry. But Westminster held on for the one run win.

Alexis O’Hair (3-1) took the loss. O’Hair went the distance and allowed three runs, one earned, on six hits. She struck out three.

Ashley Smith (2-1) picked up the complete-game win in the circle for the Titans. Smith tossed 7.0 strong innings allowing two runs on five hits. She walked two and struck out four.

In the second game of the day, freshman Tori Mimken (1-0) made her collegiate debut in grand fashion. The rookie pitched a complete-game shutout scattering three hits and striking out two Thomas More (1-2 overall) batters.

After getting runners to third base twice with out scoring, the Pioneers plated the game’s only run in the top of seventh inning. Shortstop Kelsey Kallenborn led off with a single and moved to second on a sac bunt by Montgomery.

Following a ground out, freshman Kaitlin Klinchock (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) delivered the two-out RBI double scoring Kallenborn.

Mimken retired Thomas More in order in the bottom of the seventh to secure the victory.

Marietta is off until Thursday when the Pioneers play Geneva College at 3:30 p.m. and Defiance College at 5:30 p.m.