Clear skies and high temperatures marked a drastic change from the snowed-out series baseball was slated to play against the College of Wooster last weekend. But, like Ohio weather, the winds of fortune in a baseball game can change in an instant.
The first game of a four-game series against Oberlin College (13-14; NCAC 5-3) on Saturday and Sunday found Kenyon (18-9; 6-4) kicking off strong, scoring three runs in the first inning. Yeoman pitcher Sean Kiley walked three Kenyon batters, allowing Matt Contreras ’19 to score on a single by Mikey Arman ’18. Phillip Nam ’17 and Arman went on to score on a different single by Tyler Roldan ’17. Though Kenyon saw much less production at the plate over the next six innings (with the exception of another RBI by Nam), solid pitching by starter Paul Henshaw ’16 and closer Luke Calcei ’18 held Oberlin to two runs, giving the Lords a 4-2 win at the end of the game.
Carrying the energy from the first win into game two of Saturday’s doubleheader, Kenyon built an impressive 9-3 lead by the end of the fifth. At this point Kenyon seemed bound to sweep their North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) rival, but the momentum propelling the Lords vanished suddenly as starting pitcher Sam Gillespie ’16 stepped down from the mound. Oberlin regrouped and controlled the game for the last three innings, scoring eight runs to propel them past Kenyon, 11-9.
Determined to help the Lords rally after the prior day’s loss, Jesse Bogacz ’18 took the mound for Sunday’s first game and pitched all seven innings. Bogacz recorded a career-high 13 strikeouts while allowing only one run. With help from runs by Matt von Roemer ’18 and John Nahra ’16, Bogacz led Kenyon to a 2-1 victory over the Yeomen. With this victory, Kenyon regained the lead in the series, 2-1.
With both teams’ bullpens worn down from the prior three games, the final game of Sunday’s doubleheader brought a close back-and-forth matchup with constantly changing pitchers. No pitcher lasted more than three innings, as Oberlin ran through seven pitchers and Kenyon five. The Yeomen struck first, scoring two in the first inning, only for the Lords to respond in the second inning with a two-run homer by Alec Manning ’18. The top of the third brought another Oberlin run, only for the Lords to respond in the bottom of the inning with a Roemer run, batted in by a double by Cormac Jewell ’18. From here on out, the gameplay became sloppy on both sides; each team scored unearned runs. At the end of the day, Oberlin had made fewer errors and won 6-4, tying the series 2-2.
The Lords’ next play against Wittenberg University (7-18; 2-10) in a home doubleheader on Saturday, April 23.