RICHMOND, Indiana – The Wilmington College baseball concludes its season-opening series with a pair of close losses to Earlham College in the Quaker Bowl rivalry on Sunday, falling 5-2 in game one and 2-1 in the nightcap.
Matt Oney took the loss despite coming one out away from a quality start.
Earlham scored an unearned run in the first, but Oney stranded multiple runners in both the fourth and fifth innings. Wilmington battled back to tie the game 1-1 in the top of the sixth after Nick Silvis doubled and was driven home by Joey Allinder.
“Matt [Oney] pitched well for us,” Head Baseball Coach Dan Cleaver said. “He was one out away from a quality start with two strikes on the hitter, and just made one bad pitch.”
Earlham added three runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 4-1 lead it would not relinquish. Jake Hyatt did launch his first home run of the season, a blast over the left field wall of Sadler Stadium to lead-off the seventh inning. The hosts answered with a run in the eighth.
Wilmington finished with seven hits in game one by seven different players. Along with Hyatt’s home run, Silvis and Shane Hale also had an extra-base hit.
“We’ve been competitive in three games, but we’ve need to get over the hump,” said Cleaver. “We need to execute better and play smarter.”
Kyle Gorman earned the win for Earlham, pitching seven innings and striking out six batters. The hosts had 10 hits in the victory.
In game two, both starting pitchers pitched six innings and earned quality starts. Jarrett Trautman, who allowed a single unearned run in the second, fanned three batters and allowed just one hit in his season debut. Earlham’s Joey Gerbus also allowed one earned run, on a Chua single in the sixth inning, with three strikeouts.
Wilmington had chances to take the lead in the seventh and ninth inning, but an attempted steal failed in the seventh and a groundout stranded runner at second and third in the ninth. The Fightin’ Quakers nearly extended the game to extra innings, but a walk and a two-out single gave Earlham the victory and series sweep in walk-off fashion.
Chua was the only individual on both sides to record two hits, finishing 2-for-4 with an RBI. Wilmington’s pitching staff held Earlham to just two hits in the game.
Wilmington (0-4) will travel south for its spring trip to Florida beginning next Sunday.
Saturday’s twin bill
RICHMOND, Indiana – The Wilmington College baseball team dropped both games of a season-opening doubleheader at Earlham College on Saturday, falling 6-3 in game one and 14-7 in game two. Both games were played at Sadler Stadium.
Joey Hollback took the loss for Wilmington despite striking out seven batters in 4.2 innings pitched. The Salem, Ohio, native allowed five runs, but three earned runs as he fought through three Wilmington errors.
“Joey [Hollback] threw a lot of pitchers, so we got him out of there given it’s cold and at the beginning of the season,” Head Baseball Coach Dan Cleaver said. “He pitched really well. All three pitches were working.”
Wilmington’s offense reached base in both the seventh and eighth innings, but failed to score. The Fightin’ Quakers finally broke through in the ninth. After a groundout, Josh Chua was hit by a pitch and stole second base. A flyout from Jake Hyatt advanced Chua to third, but also put Wilmington down to its final out. The Fightin’ Quakers then delivered three consecutive RBI hits including doubles from Luke Kleindl and Short as well as a single from Nick Silvis to get within three runs at 6-3.
The visitors could not get the tying run to the plate, however, as a fielder’s choice ended game one.
Short finished game one 2-for-4 with an RBI while four other Wilmington Quakers tallied hits.
In game two, Earlham plated two runs in the second and one in the third to take a three-run advantage. Wilmington answered in the top of the fourth with an RBI-single from Keith Hayes and a sacrifice bunt from Ian Brinker. Trailing 3-2, Wilmington surrendered two runs in the bottom of the fourth and a single run in the fifth.
The Fightin’ Quakers, who had kept Earlham from a big inning, did not allow the hosts to score in the sixth, but Earlham plated six runs on eight hits in the seventh to all but put the game out of reach.
Similar to game one, Wilmington’s office did not quit as the Fightin’ Quakers mounted an offensive surge in the ninth inning. Wilmington sent nine men to the plate and tallied RBI hits from Chua, Jake Hyatt and Joey Allinder to score four runs.
Jared Ferenchak took the loss allowing three earned runs on seven hits in three innings pitched. Lance Flieschman and Tyler McDaniel, who both came in for over an innings, pitched effectively out of the bullpen.
Wilmington tallied a dozen hits as a team including three hits from Shane Hale. Gabe Bley and Chua both added two hits while Hyatt added a team-high three RBIs.