The Lords bats lit up the Hiram College pitching staff over four games this past weekend, winning all four while scoring a total of 46 runs. Even though the team had no difficulty producing offense and excitement, the defining moment was the final play of the weekend, when shortstop Phillip Nam ’17 crushed a walk-off grand slam to secure the four-game sweep of the Hiram Terriers.
The second game of Sunday’s doubleheader was perhaps the biggest challenge the Lords faced all weekend. In the very first inning, the Terriers scored five early runs to jump out to their biggest lead of the weekend. The Lords scored single runs in the first and second innings to cut the deficit to three, but the Terriers battled back to lead 8-2 through five innings. Entering the bottom of the ninth inning, the Lords trailed by four runs at 9-5. Third baseman Paul Siciliano ’20 led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch from Hiram junior closer Tyler Carcioppolo to jump start the rally. Lords left fielder Gaige Howard ’20 walked before a wild pitch advanced Siciliano to third base with no outs in the inning. Second baseman Matt von Roemer ’18 knocked in Siciliano with an infield single to short for his fifth hit of the day, and Patrick O’Leary ’20 walked to load the bases. Following a strikeout from Mikey Arman ’18, Nam strolled to the plate with the Lords down by three and one out. Jumping on the first pitch, Nam drilled the ball to center field, where it flew well over the wall to give the Lords a 10-9 victory and send the home dugout into a frenzy. Nam sprinted around the bases in joy before disappearing into a mob of his teammates at home plate.
Despite the huge impact, Nam tried to keep his approach simple during his pivotal at bat. “With the bases loaded, you definitely want to be picky with the pitches you swing at,” Nam said on Wednesday. “The first pitch fastball was too good of a pitch to let by. I swung hard and was rewarded for my aggressiveness.”
While Nam’s slam was easily the biggest individual highlight of the weekend, the Lords showed their offensive prowess in all four games. Prior to the 10-9 win late on Sunday afternoon, the Lords had an impressive 16-9 victory over the Terriers earlier in the day. Several Lords produced huge games offensively. O’Leary and Arman both had four-hit games, with O’Leary driving in five runs. Von Roemer hit a home run in the bottom of the sixth inning as part of a three-hit effort. With his eight total hits on Sunday, von Roemer boosted his season average to an incredible .459.
After starting their season 1-6, the Lords have played well in recent weeks. Their four-game sweep of Hiram boosted their record to 13-12 and their North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) East record to 5-3. That 5-3 record is good enough for second in their division, meaning the Lords would make the postseason tournament if the season ended today. Nam is confident in his team’s chances to make the tournament due to their makeup and character.
“I believe we are a team that can battle and beat any team in our conference,” Nam said. “We never quit and always score late in the game, regardless of the score. We are David.”
The Lords will next play on Saturday, when they will host The College of Wooster for a doubleheader on McCloskey Field. The two teams will also play another doubleheader the next day, marking the second consecutive weekend with two home doubleheaders for the Lords. These four games are critical, as a sweep of Wooster would put the Lords into first place in their division.