By Noah Gurzenski | Staff Writer
After dropping three of four games to Oberlin College last weekend, Kenyon’s baseball team (10-16, 1-7 in conference) hoped to win its first season series this past Saturday and Sunday against Wittenberg University in a non-division matchup. After taking the first game in convincing fashion 13-7, Kenyon fell to Wittenberg 2-4 in extra innings and lost the final two games of the series 5-4 and 7-4.
Down 1-0 in the first inning of the first game with runners on first and second base, Sam Gillespie ’16 came through with an RBI single to right field to put Kenyon on the board. Co-Captain Nate Lotze ’14 proceeded to clear the bases with a stand-up triple to right center, and crossed home plate during the ensuing at-bat on a wild pitch, putting Kenyon up 4-1.
Kenyon continued to pile it on in the second inning, with Tyler Roldan ’17 bringing in two Lords with a single to center. Lotze delivered again with a bases-loaded single to center to make the score 7-1. With the game tied at seven in the fourth, Kenyon retook the lead for good with a six-run sixth inning en route to the 13-7 victory.
Lotze attributed the victory in part to Kenyon’s tenacity at the plate. “Everyone just had aggressive at-bats and we were ready to jump on their pitchers early, and we were hitting fastballs,” he said.
Wittenberg struck first once again in the first inning of game two, but Roldan tied things up with a single to right field, driving in Kyle Hardacker ’15 from second. Co-Captain Jake Dunn ’15 gave Kenyon the lead in the third with a solo home run over the left-field wall.
With the game tied at two through seven innings, the game went into extras. Wittenberg took advantage immediately in the top of the eighth inning, scoring two runs and silencing Kenyon’s offense in the bottom frame for the 4-2 win.
“That loss was really frustrating,” Lotze said. “And after the game we talked and tried to kind of clean the slate going into Sunday.”
Looking forward to a fresh start, Kenyon traveled to play games three and four of the series at Wittenberg. In game three, Kenyon found itself in a 6-1 hole through three innings, with Casey Rosenfeld ’17 scoring the lone run for Kenyon in the first inning. Undeterred by the deficit, Roldan drove in two runs in the fifth inning to bring Kenyon within three.
The Lords added a run in each of the final two innings to come within one of Wittenberg, but fell short 5-6.
Hoping to tie the series, Kenyon started off strong in the final game, with Lotze blasting a two-run home run to take an early lead. But Wittenberg scored the next five runs of the game, and an RBI single from Dunn in the fifth and a solo home run off the bat of Connor Bingham ’17 in the sixth weren’t enough to make up the deficit. The Lords dropped the final game of the series 4-7.
“It was kind of the same problems on Sunday,” Lotze said. “We were right there, but just didn’t have the big hits in the right spots.”
Kenyon looks to get back on track in a four-game series against Allegheny College this weekend.