RICHMOND, Ind. – The two games couldn't have been more different: one a pitching battle and the other an offensive showcase.
But the outcome in either case was in Earlham College's favor as Quaker baseball swept a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader off Hanover College on Saturday afternoon at Sadler Stadium, winning game one, 2-1 in 11 innings, before breezing past the Panthers in game two, 8-3.
The Quakers improved to 18-6 overall with the victories, 4-2 in the HCAC, while Hanover fell to 4-16, 1-5 HCAC.
A scoreless tie that stretched into the 11th inning was finally broken by a walk-off error, following Dorian Holmes' sacrifice bunt back to the pitcher that allowed Marc Gendreau and Addison Robertson to score.
Both Gendreau and Robertson reached on singles, putting Quakers on first and second with Holmes at the plate. Hanover hurler Zach Chapman fielded Holmes' bunt and opted to go to their base, but the throw went wide of the bag allowing both Earlham base runners to score for the walk-off win.
Hanover plated a single run in the top half of the 11th when Zeke Porta reached on a leadoff single, and eventually crossed on Ty Stover's two-out single. That loaded up the bases for the Panthers, but Quaker reliever Matt Mathies induced a fly ball to center field to get Earlham off the field trailing by only one run.
Mathies picked up the win in his three-and-a-third inning relief stint, scattering two hits and fanning one Panther batter. Colin Greve struck out four over his seven-and-two-thirds innings on the hill allowing just three hits.
Gendreau and Robertson paced the Quakers with two hits each, while Stover led the Panthers offensively with two hits and an RBI.
Earlham plated three runs in the third inning and never looked back, making relatively easy work of dispatching Hanover to complete the sweep.
A Gendreau single plated Kendal Baker in the fourth to extend Earlham's lead to 4-0, before Hanover ended the Quakers' shutout bid with a single run in the top of the sixth to cut the margin to 4-1.
Addison Robertson's two-run triple into the left-center gap keyed a four-run eighth inning for the Quakers, increasing Earlham's lead to 7-1. Dopp's base hit later in the frame brought home Robertson to stretch the advantage to 8-1.
Hanover made things interesting in the top of the ninth with a pair of runs on RBI singles from Jay Lorenz and Spencer Coop, trimming the Earlham lead to 8-3. The Panthers had the bases loaded and were positioned to score additional runs with two outs, but the Quakers' Spencer Owen struck out Jack Shine looking to clinch the win.
Joey Gerbus picked up the win to improve to improve to 2-0; he scattered two hits and struck out three Hanover batters while allowed no earned runs. Panther starter David Herrmann was tagged with the loss after surrendering four runs, all earned, on 10 hits over six innings of work.
Earlham baseball continues the home stand on Sunday, April 8, when it hosts DePauw University in a single nine-inning contest starting at 1:30 p.m.. The Quakers will recognize their four seniors – Kendal Baker, Dorian Holmes, Ian Bach, and Matt Mathies – during pre-game ceremonies starting at 1:20 p.m.
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).