Jon Frerichs helped IWU's baseball team defeat Mount Union in the NCAA Division III Tournament, 5-2, Thursday. (Photo courtesy IWU)
By WJBC staff
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Junior Bobby Czarnowski had a home run and drove in three runs Thursday, while senior left-hander Nick Mehn tossed a complete game nine-hitter to give Illinois Wesleyan a 5-2 win over Mount Union and stay alive in the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional.
IWU improved its record to 33-13 and will play at 12:15 p.m. Friday against Thomas More (30-15) game.
"Both are really good teams," said IWU coach Dennis Martel. "Thomas More scored 20 runs (Wednesday) and Marietta is the two-time defending champions so, I guess, pick your poison. But I like our chances against either one.
"We've got to win two (Friday) and two on Saturday, but we've still got three really good pitchers in the barn. Now it's a matter of when you get to the third, fourth and fifth games of the tournament, you've got to start swinging it.
"Hopefully, if we can keep swinging it like we did today, we'll be in great shape."
If IWU were to win its first game Friday, the Titans would play again at 7:45 p.m. in another elimination game.
The Titans took a 1-0 lead in the second when Czarnowski hit a towering home run to right field.
Mount Union tied the game in the bottom of fifth on a lead-off homer to left field by C.J. Stotler. But the Titans opened the game up with four runs in the top of seventh after one was out.
Senior catcher A.J. Nathan walked, senior shortstop Matt Workman singled to center and senior right fielder Zach Scott singled to right to load the bases. Junior center fielder Jon Frericks then singled to right to bring in Nathan and a bases-loaded walk to senior first baseman Kevin Callahan sent Workman home.
Czarnowski followed with a single to right that drove home Scott and Frericks to give IWU a 5-1 lead. Scott, Frericks, Czarnowski and Workman each had two hits to pace IWU.
Mehn improved his record to 6-2 as he struck out five and walked only one.
"The "Star of the Game" was Nick Mehn," said Martel. "He pitched tremendous. I bet of the 27 outs, 15 or 16 were flyball outs because guys were out on their front foot. He did a great job of mixing up his pitches."