By Kevin Pan
The Lords baseball team split their series against Wittenberg University last weekend. They won both games of the home doubleheader, 7-4 and 7-3, on Saturday, April 13, but lost at Wittenberg 5-13 and 0-5, on Sunday, April 14.
The first two games featured stellar pitching from Tyler Dierke ’13 in the first game and Spencer Byers ’16 in the second game. In the first game, Dierke pitched the entire game for the second time this season. He struck out five Tigers, walked only two and gave up four earned runs.
Offensively, the Lords found their groove. Jesse Weiss ’13 hit a two-run home run in the third inning, driving in Jake Dunn ’15. In the fifth inning, the Lords scored five more runs on Nate Lotze’s ’14 two-RBI single and RBI singles from Andrew Dunn ’13, Mike Danziger ’13 and Kyle Hardacker ’15.
In game two, Byers pitched the first complete game of his career, leading the Lords to a 7-3 victory. Lotze got the Lords on the board in the first and hit his second home run of the season.
In the top of the second inning, Byers struggled a little and allowed three runs on six hits and three walks. But the Lords responded with a five-run tear in the bottom half of the second inning.
Jake Dunn hit an RBI single, followed by an RBI walk by Weiss and a three-run double by Lotze. Lotze finished the day with five RBIs.
The next day was a different story for the Lords, according to Kyle Hardacker ’15. “We came out strong on Saturday, but lacked consistency on Sunday,” he said.
The Lords lost 5-13 and 0-5. The Tigers tallied 10 runs in the second inning of the first game off Lords’ starting pitcher Josh Jacobvitz ’15, but only four were earned due to an abundance of errors.
The Lords managed to chip away at the Tigers’ lead and scored three runs in the fourth inning, thanks to an RBI single by Sam Gillespie ’16, an RBI double by Weiss, an RBI groundout, a wild pitch and fielder’s choice. That was all the offense they could manage.
In the second game, Michael Jeffers ’15 pitched well, giving up only one earned run and striking out three through 5 1/3 innings of work, but he received no offensive backup. The team had just three hits in the game.
Lotze said the Lords’ lack of consistency has hampered them this season. “We need to find consistency and a way to put everything together for an entire series rather than one or two games,” he said. “We need more production throughout our lineup, quality innings out of the bullpen, and we need to make the fundamental plays on defense to prevent big innings.”
This weekend, the Lords travel to Allegheny College for a four-game conference series, with doubleheaders on Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, April 21.
“This weekend against Allegheny is important because we have the chance to play a great series and put ourselves in good position for the playoffs,” Lotze said.