RICHMOND, Ind. – Earlham College baseball put its post-season chances into serious jeopardy after dropping both games of a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader to Transylvania University, on Tuesday night at Sadler Stadium.
Earlham came up short against Transy, 7-4, in game one, and fell to the Pioneers by an identical 7-4 score in game two.
The Quakers slid to 7-9 in the HCAC with the two losses with two conference games remaining to play, and are now 23-13 overall.
With the two losses on Tuesday, Earlham and three other teams – Bluffton, Transylvania, and Defiance – are tied for fifth place and battling for the final spot in the upcoming HCAC Tournament. Manchester (8-8) and Rose-Hulman (8-7) are just ahead of the Quakers in the standings.
Transy improved to 17-20 overall, 7-9 HCAC, with the two victories.
After Earlham took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on a Marc Gendreau RBI single, Transylvania tied things up with a run in the top of the fourth.
The Pioneers extended their lead to 5-1 with a four-run fifth on four hits and a Quaker error. Transy tacked on a single run in the sixth to stretch its lead to 6-1, before Earlham responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame. The Quakers picked up back-to-back triples from Alec Bryan and Isaiah Shake, with Gendreau singling home Shake for the second Earlham run.
Transy put up one run in the seventh and Earlham answered with a final run in the ninth during a failed rally effort.
Quaker starter Kyle Gorman went four-and-a-third innings and allowed five runs, two earned, on six hits with three strikeouts, and was charged with the loss.
This time it was Earlham that jumped out to the early lead with one run in the first, and added two runs in the third when Kendal Baker tripled to score Shake, then scored himself on a passed ball.
The teams traded single runs in the fourth, with the Quakers scoring their run on a solo home run over the Maroon Monster in left by Ian Bach to finish the inning with a 4-1 lead.
Transy's Michael Blair belted a home run to left in the top of the sixth to cut the margin to 4-2.
A four-run uprising by the Pioneers in the top of the eighth on three hits and three Quaker errors allowed Transylvania to take a 6-4 lead.
Transy tacked on an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Hudson Chastain reached on a two-out walk, then scored on a Jared Williams single.
Quaker starter Joey Gerbus had a quality outing for Earlham, fanning seven Pioneer batters while scattering seven hits and allowing just two runs in the no decision. Matt Mathies was charged with the loss after allowing four runs, two earned after coming on in relief of Gerbus to start the eighth.
Shake and Davis each recorded two hits for the Quakers. Transy was led by Blair who went 5-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBI in the win, while Chastain added a pair of hits.
Earlham will complete its HCAC slate on Friday, May 4, when it hosts Manchester University at 6:00 p.m. at Sadler Stadium.
For more information about Earlham baseball, visit the online home of Earlham College athletics at www.GoEarlham.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Earlham athletics news by following Earlham Quakers on Facebook (Earlham Quakers Athletics), Twitter (@EarlhamQuakers), and Instagram (EarlhamQuakers).