Wabash Valley held off Olney Central, 8-6, Wednesday to move past the Blue Knights and into second place in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference baseball standings.
The win was the 20th of the season for Rob Fournier’s WVC club (20-8), and improved the Warriors to 5-2 in the league. Olney fell to 19-4 and 6-3.
Trailing 8-2 entering the seventh, visiting Olney staged a last-ditch rally, scoring four runs. Warrior pitcher Travis Herrin, on in the eighth in relief of starter Matthew Schultz, retired only one batter in the ninth but allowed three runs.
On came sophomore lefthander Matt Pletzke, who got the second out but gave another Olney run. Clay Chandler then got the last out to earn his third save of the year.
WVC jumped to a quick 7-1 lead in the first three innings, aided by a two-run home run by Jasper, Ind. freshman Dane Giesler,who was 3-for-5 on the day.
Angel Alicea, a freshman from Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico, joined Giesler with two RBIs on a 2-for-3 day at the plate.
Jarier Estrada also had three hits for the Warriors,who outhit Olney, 14-6.
Schultz, a 6-foot-2 sophomore righthander from Plainfield, Ill. who played last year at Auburn University, was the winner. Now 3-1, Schultz struck out nine batters and allowed only four hits in 7.1 innings of work.
Olney Central was guilty of five errors. Starter Nick Scheller took the loss for the Blue Knights, his first after three wins. He lasted only 2.1 innings. Patrick Green came in from the bullpen for the visitors, and worked 5.2 innings of solid relief.