The Lords baseball team continued to roll over the weekend, earning a doubleheader sweep of DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., 12-1, 4-3. Unfortunately, their impressive win streak of 14 came to an end when they faced Denison University on Wednesday, losing a heartbreaker 8-7 and falling in a lopsided defeat 13-3.
Game one at DePauw wasn’t much of a contest in the end, but the first half of the game was tight. Both teams were held scoreless by some excellent pitching on both sides. Starters Alex Gow ’22 and Michael Vallone allowed a combined six hits through the first four innings. In the fifth inning, the Lords finally broke through. Nate Rosen ’25 launched a two-run homer to left, giving his team a 2-0 lead. The following inning, Kenyon blew the game open, bringing across eight runs. Malcolm Gaynor ’24 knocked in two with a double, and Gow followed with an RBI single. Before DePauw finally retired the side, RBIs from Luke Meister ’24, Tripper Capps ’24 and Will Sturgeon ’22 gave the Lords a huge 12-0 lead.
Due to the mercy rule, Kenyon was able to close out the matchup in seven innings. After allowing one run in the bottom of the seventh, Gow finished off his second consecutive complete game on the mound to give his team a 12-1 victory. The Lords’ ace allowed just one run and eight hits, and struck out nine. His ERA on the season now sits at a stellar 0.86.
In the second leg of the doubleheader, the Lords were certainly more challenged, but earned a hard-fought one-run victory. Kenyon was able to strike first, thanks to a costly error by DePauw’s third baseman Brian May, which allowed two runs to score in the second inning. The Tigers struck for two runs of their own in the fourth to tie the game. This tie didn’t last long, however, as Kenyon regained the advantage when Hoskins took starter Joe Runnells deep in the top of the fifth. Kenyon added a run in the eighth to push their lead to 4-2, with six outs needed to secure the sweep.
However, things were far from routine. Three Tigers hitters reached base consecutively, setting up the bases loaded with nobody out. Closer Joel Biery ’22 was asked to get the Lords out of trouble in a brutal spot. One run did come across, but Biery did indeed escape trouble, striking out three of four batters he faced to finish off the eighth inning and leaving three runners stranded on base. The Los Angeles native then struck out two more Tigers in the ninth, securing the Lords’ win and his fifth save of the season, getting a vital six outs to end the game.
Kenyon returned home looking to continue their win streak, and for a while in game one, it appeared as if they were going to do just that against Denison. After falling behind in the first 1-0, the Lords struck for three in the third. An error to lead off the inning ignited a rally. Hoskins tied the score with an RBI single, and a sacrifice fly from Gow and RBI groundout from Andrew Rabinowitz ’22 gave Kenyon a 3-1 lead. The home team added two more runs in the following inning to extend their advantage to 5-1.
In the following innings, the Lords continued to add on, with some well-placed ground balls aiding their rallies. Zach Frizzera ’22 and Noah Rosenberg ’24 provided excellent pitching on the mound and Kenyon took a 7-2 advantage in the seventh, before Denison was able to muster a run to cut the deficit to four. The Big Red then built a rally in the eighth, loading up the bases with nobody out. Biery, who entered earlier in the inning, was faced with another brutal jam. Yet again, the Lords closer miraculously tightroped out of the inning, retiring three consecutive Denison batters to retire the side.
Unfortunately for the Lords, Biery was unable to replicate the same form in the ninth inning: The Big Red put up an impressive four runs off Biery with a series of consecutive hits. Nonetheless, Kenyon still nearly won the game in the inning. After an Eric Colaco single with two outs, with the score 7-6, Owen Wilson headed home from second to try to score the tying seventh run. A throw from Hoskins in left field reached the catcher Rabinowitz on the fly, but the throw was just a bit too high, and the Lords backstop was unable to get the tag down in time to end the game. The Lords went down quietly in the ninth, and the Big Red knocked in the deciding run in the top of the tenth, holding on to win 8-7 and sealing a devastating defeat for the Lords. This snapped their program-record winning streak of 14 games.
Unfortunately, after using their two best pitchers over the weekend and six pitchers in game one on Wednesday, the Lords simply didn’t have the pitching depth to keep up with Denison in game two. The Big Red brought 12 runs across in the first three innings and never looked back. The game ended in seven innings due to the mercy rule, with Denison securing a doubleheader sweep with a 13-3 win.
Kenyon will have the chance to bounce back in another key NCAC doubleheader matchup on Saturday against Wittenberg University at McCloskey Field. With their two best starters in Gow and Frank Lynch ’25 on the mound, the purple and black will have an excellent chance to regain their momentum against their Tigers.