On Monday, the Kenyon baseball team split an away doubleheader at Wittenberg University, winning the first game 6-1 before losing the second 11-1.
The trip to Springfield, Ohio — which had been scheduled for Saturday, but was postponed due to heavy rain — was full of ups and downs. In game one, the Lords turned in a dominant 6-1 performance over the Wittenberg Tigers. Starter Patrick Craig ’21 allowed just one run on two hits, but he ran into difficulty as he allowed seven walks. He failed to get through the fifth, going four-and-a-third innings.
Two Kenyon relievers, Ross Scheinberg ’19 and Nathan Chandler ’20, combined to close out the victory, each pitching over two innings to get the job done. They baffled Wittenberg hitters for the second half of the game, allowing just three hits combined. Scheinberg earned the win for his performance in the middle innings, striking out three with no walks over two-and-a-third innings. Chandler was masterful: He faced seven batters, struck out three and allowed none to reach base in his first save of the season.
On the offensive side, players up and down the lineup produced. Matt Contreras ’19 doubled home Ryan Page ’21 in the top of the first. In the fifth, the Lords flexed on the Tigers: They scored four runs, with Alex Gow ’21, Pat O’Leary ’20 and Andrew Rabinowitz ’22 each recording an RBI. Contreras also knocked in his second RBI of the day. With a comfortable 5-1 lead in the ninth, Kenyon refused to be finished. O’Leary singled in Page after three straight walks; he finished 2 for 5 with a pair of RBIs and a run.
Kenyon’s bats went cold in game two. The Lords recorded just three hits, with the game concluding after eight innings due to the 10-run mercy rule. On the bright side for Kenyon, O’Leary continued his impressive campaign. O’Leary hit the ball out of the park for the ninth time this season, putting him second place in College history for single-season home runs and giving Kenyon a momentary lead.
However, Tigers starter Tanner Griggs allowed just two more hits, going seven-and-two-thirds innings. Purple-and-black pitching, on the other hand, allowed 12 walks; seven of those walks came around to score, sinking any hope of a comeback. Mistakes in the field also plagued the men from Gambier, who recorded three errors in the game.
The team will now prepare for their final three doubleheaders of the regular season. On Saturday, Kenyon will travel to Oberlin College, where they will look to make a final push for a spot in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Tournament. Head Coach Matt Burdette is not worried about the lopsided second-game loss.
“I’ve been pleased with our play. It’s a talented group of student athletes that plays hard and gives great effort,” he said. “We’ve been in position to win just about every time out and our 19 wins at this point represents that.”