Noah Gruzenski, Staff Writer
Kenyon baseball’s dismal season continued its downward slide last weekend when Allegheny College proved to be too much for the Lords, sweeping them in a four-game series. Though Kenyon fell to 10-20 overall and 1-11 in North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) play, Co-Captain Nate Lotze ’14 had a record-breaking weekend, surpassing Matt Marcinczyk ’06 to take first place on the Lords’ all-time RBI list.
“[I’ve] gotta give a lot of credit to the people hitting in front of me the past few years,” Lotze said about breaking Kenyon’s all-time RBI record. “It’s not really an individual record, it has to do with other people being on base; so Jake Dunn and Kyle [Hardacker] and some other guys helped me out with it for sure.”
After three Lords crossed the plate in the first inning of game one, Kenyon looked strong through two scoreless innings of pitching with Thomas Morris ’17 on the mound. However, Allegheny’s bats came alive in the third inning, scoring three runs to take the lead. Allegheny added another three runs in the fourth inning, and after Morris gave up another run in the fifth, Spencer Byers ’16 came in for relief. Kenyon and Allegheny traded runs in each of the final three innings of the game, with Lotze contributing three RBIs in the 9-5 loss.
In game two of the series, Allegheny jumped on the Kenyon pitching staff from the get-go, knocking in 10 runs in the first two innings. After giving up another run in the third inning, Kenyon starting pitcher Paul Henshaw ’16 left the game in favor of Drew Leach ’17, who was in turn replaced by Desmond Dahlberg ’16 after Leach gave up two runs in the frame. Dahlberg and Ben Steiner ’14 combined for five and one-third scoreless innings the rest of the way, but the early deficit was too much for the Lords, who fell 13-5 in the twinbill of Saturday’s doubleheader. Tyler Roldan ’17, Lotze, Connor Bingham ‘17, Connor Farrell ’17 and Jackson Celestin ’17 all registered RBIs in the loss.
Sunday’s games were more of the same for the Lords. With the team down 2-0 in the third inning of game three, Kyle Hardacker ’15 singled to left field to drive in Co-Captain Jake Dunn ’15 from second base, bringing Kenyon within one.
Unfortunately, the Lords’ offense couldn’t muster more runs, and Allegheny added three more in the fourth to secure the 5-1 victory. Josh Jacobvitz ’15 fanned three batters and gave up five runs through three-and-two-thirds innings in the loss, and Tim Krahn ’15 tossed three and one-third scoreless innings in relief.
Hoping to come away with a win from the series, Kenyon found itself down 6-0 in the final game before John Nahra ’16 put Kenyon on the board with an RBI single to center. Down 9-2 in the seventh inning, Lotze lofted a sacrifice fly to center field, allowing Jono Chafe ’17 to score from third for Lotze’s record-breaking 122nd career RBI in the 9-3 loss.
With his pair of base hits in the fourth game, Lotze is nearing another Kenyon record: his 185 career hits tied Jake Calcei ’09 for second all-time, and he is now just seven shy of Marcinczyk’s record 192. Four games remain on the regular-season schedule for Lotze to chase the hits mark.
Kenyon will play its final series of the regular season this weekend at Hiram College, and hope to sweep the Terriers for a chance to earn a berth in the NCAC playoffs.
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