DEFIANCE, Ohio – The Earlham College baseball team split a pair of high scoring Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) games with Defiance College, winning game one 14-9 and losing game two 19-12 on Saturday.
In the game one victory, both teams scored a run in the first inning, but the Quakers grabbed the advantage with two unearned runs in the top of the third. An inning later, both teams plated a single run and Earlham came to bat in the top of the sixth leading 4-2.
The first five runners reached base including junior Kendal Baker, who delivered a two-RBI single to center field. Senior Matt Barger also contributed a run via hitting a sacrifice fly. In total, the Quakers scored four runs on four hits and one Yellow Jacket error to take an 8-2 lead.
Earlham would add two more runs in the seventh on a home run from sophomore Addison Robertson and three in the eighth. Defiance would get with four runs using a six-run eighth inning, but freshman Spencer Owen shut down the Yellow Jacket offense in the bottom of the ninth to secure a series victory.
Freshman Colin Greve picked up his first collegiate win despite allowing 15 hits and seven earned runs in seven innings of work. Dave Blanch took the loss for Defiance allowing eight earned runs in six innings despite tallying nine strikeouts.
Earlham had 19 hits as a team including a 4-5 performance from senior Nate Lynch, who also stole two bases. Barger, Baker, and senior Eric Elkus all finished 3-5 with two RBIs while Barger and Baker each stole two bases.
Defiance had 16 hits including a trio of Yellow Jackets, Troy Konwinski, Michael Gilliland, and Nick Watkins, that had three hits individually.
In the game two loss, Defiance jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings, but Earlham stormed back with a run in the third and nine runs on eight hits in the top of the fourth inning.
Leading 10-4, the Quakers could not hold the lead, however, as the Yellow Jackets answered with eight runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 12-10 lead.
Robertson tied the game in the next inning with his third home run of the day, a two-run blast to left center field. Unfortunately for Earlham, Defiance's offense wasn't done as the Yellow Jackets five-run seventh inning proved too much to overcome.
Earlham starter, freshman Jordan Christian, went 3.1 innings allowing six earned runs with two strikeouts. After junior Dorian Holmes walked three batters, freshman Kyle Gorman took the loss despite allowing no earned runs in 2.2 innings of work.
Konwinski earned the win for Defiance pitching 4.2 innings in relief.
Both teams had 16 hits in the contest. Lynch finished 3-6 with an RBI while Robertson went 2-4 with two home runs and 4 RBIs. Glen Collier had three hits, four RBIs, and three runs scored for Defiance.
Earlham (14-10, 9-6 HCAC) sits in a three-way tie for second place in the conference. The Quakers take the field again at Mount St. Joseph University on Tuesday.