Sam Picchiotti drove in three and Raider pitching allowed just one run while striking out nine as the Wright State baseball team defeated Dayton in its home opener Monday at Nischwitz Stadium 5-1.
Playing in its earliest home opener ever, WSU opened the scoring with a run in the third. Beau Phillips led off with a walk and after Michael Timm was hit by a pitch, Picchiotti bunted both runners into scoring position. Phillips then scored as Garrett Gray hit into a fielder's choice.
Dayton (0-2-1) tied it with a run in the fourth, only to see the Raiders answer with one of their own in the bottom of the frame. Jason DeFevers led off with a walk, moved up to second on a Kieston Greene bunt and later came in on a Timm hit to right.
Wright State expanded on the lead with two in the sixth as Justin Kopale singled, Timm walked and both scored as Picchiotti doubled to the gap in left center. The Raiders rounded out the scoring in the eighth as Picchiotti singled in Kopale.
On the mound, five WSU pitchers (Robby Sexton, Joey Hoelzel, Cody Kopilchack, Trevor Swaney and Travis Hissong) combined to limit the Flyers to one run, five hits and three walks while striking out nine. Sexton picked up the win in his collegiate debut, fanning three in four innings.
Picchiotti had two hits and three RBI to pace the Raider offense while Mark Fowler also had two hits as did Kopale.
Wright State, which ties the 1979, 1989 and 1991 teams for the best start ever at 3-0, heads to Clemson this weekend for a three-game series. The Raiders and Tigers will play at 4:00 on Friday, February 22, at 2:00 on Saturday, February 23, and at 1:00 on Sunday, February 24.