Kenyon baseball split a four-game series with Wittenberg University over the weekend, and on their last road trip of the regular season lost both games of a doubleheader to the College of Wooster.
On Saturday, the Lords (20-13; NCAC 6-6) played at home in the first two of four contests against the Wittenberg Tigers (9-22; 2-10). Kenyon took the first of those games 5-2, and dropped the second by a score of 4-3, as Wittenberg’s pitching staff limited Kenyon’s offense to three runs in the fifth inning.
The first of the Sunday matchups ended in a lopsided 14-3 Kenyon victory. Phillip Nam ’17 was an offensive powerhouse, batting in five runs. Other than a hiccup in the fourth when two Wittenberg runners crossed the plate, Jesse Bogacz ’18 put in five good innings of work to earn the win. Bogacz left the game with four strikeouts, five hits, one walk and an earned run, and Ross Scheinberg ’19 threw two no-hit innings in a non-save situation to secure the win.
Bogacz has been pitching commandingly for most of this season; on April 17, he threw a complete-game victory against Oberlin College (13-20; 5-7) and fanned 13 batters. He has set down 52 batters this season, second on the team to Sam Gillespie ’16.
Kenyon’s fortunes reversed during the second game in Springfield. Had it not been for some late-game offensive heroics, the game would have ended in a similarly uneven score. The Tigers scorched Lords pitching for 14 runs to win the final game of the weekend. In an outing he would probably prefer to forget, Alec Manning ’18 started the game but gave up five runs — four of them earned — and Wittenberg chased him from the game by the end of the third inning.
Jono Chafe ’17 said his team’s offense was not to blame for its inconsistent scores against Wittenberg.
“I think it all comes down to pitching,” Chafe said. “You never know what you’re going to run into.”
In the fourth inning of the Lords’ 4-3 loss, Chafe contributed a triple that plated sophomores Cormac Jewell and Mikey Arman, but was thrown out trying to advance to home after misreading his third-base coach’s signal.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Lords faced Wooster (22-8; 10-2) and lost twice, 6-4 and 12-1. Wooster shut out Kenyon for the first eight innings of the second game.
Kenyon’s pitching never quite found a rhythm during the team’s 12-1 loss. Four pitchers had already left the game when Matt Delbridge ’16 entered in the sixth inning with two on and one out, and promptly coughed up three runs, including one on a seeing-eye grounder that eluded the glove of third baseman Matt Contreras ’19. Delbridge settled down and held Wooster scoreless for one-and-two-thirds innings. Kenyon’s lone run came in the top of the eighth when John Nahra ’16 singled in Jewell from third.
The Lords close out their season with a four-game homestand this weekend; all four games are against fellow conference team Allegheny College (17-12; 8-4). Chafe said Kenyon’s performance against the Gators will have a significant impact on playoff seeding. If Kenyon can take three of four from the Gators, they will host a series and be seeded second in the NCAC tournament.
“We’re really trying to get to Chillicothe, which is the ultimate goal,” Chafe said, referring to the Ohio city hosting the conference tournament.