By Anna Dunlavey
The Lords had a tough week, losing three of four weekend games to Allegheny College before falling yesterday afternoon to Capital University (Bexley, Ohio) by a score of 10-4. Three of four games against Allegheny went into extra innings. “They were a tough team to put away,” Kyle Hardacker ’15, an infielder, said. “We definitely battled to the end in all of them.” This weekend, they will play Ohio Wesleyan University in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Crossover Weekend.
By the top of the fifth inning of the first game, the Lords had scored seven runs and appeared to be in control. However, the Gators responded with four runs in the bottom of the inning. A three-run homer from Phillip Nam ’16 kept the Lords ahead, but after seven innings, the score was tied at 10. Allegheny scored on a double in the bottom of the extra eighth inning to hand Kenyon a loss. The second game of the day had fewer runs but a similar outcome. After seven innings, the score was tied at five. A solo home run in the bottom of the eighth was all Allegheny needed to take its second consecutive walk-off win. “We played really well, but we just couldn’t close out the games,” Head Coach Matt Burdette said.
On Sunday, the Gators scored six runs in the first inning of the first game. They added three more runs through seven innings, and while the Lords scored four runs in the sixth, the rally wasn’t enough — Allegheny won 9-4. The Lords recovered for the final game, which was scheduled to go nine innings. The Lords held the 6-4 lead after seven, but two runs from Allegheny in the eighth tied the game at six. In the 11th inning, the Gators intentionally walked Jake Dunn ’15, who has the best batting average in the NCAC at .465, to load the bases and bring up Hardacker. Choosing Hardacker over Dunn is a mistake other teams have made this season, and the Gators paid for it. Hardacker blasted a grand slam homerun to left center, all but guaranteeing a Lords win. Nam then hit his second homer of the weekend for good measure, and the Lords won 11-7. “It was four really good games between two good teams,” Burdette said. “We just have to find a way to win the games that are really close.”
The Lords, the third seed in the eastern half of the NCAC, will travel to OWU, the second seed in the western half of the conference, for three games this weekend. The outcomes of those games will determine whether the team advances to the NCAC final four, which take place next week. “I think everyone has pretty good feelings coming into this last stretch,” Burdette said.
“We feel confident,” Hardacker agreed, saying, “No team in our conference is unbeatable.”