The Lords baseball team was unable to bounce back over the weekend, falling in both games of a doubleheader matchup at home to the Wittenberg University Tigers 7-5, 10-0. However, Kenyon got back in the win column Wednesday on the road against the Muskingum University Muskies, earning their 20th victory of the season in a 9-5 triumph.
Kenyon got off to a slow start in game one against NCAC foe Wittenberg. Lords ace Alex Gow ’22 struggled on the mound, particularly early on. After allowing just four earned runs all year coming in, Gow surrendered seven earned runs to the Tigers in 8.2 innings of work. The visitors took a 2-0 lead in the first via a leadoff home run by Gabe Stacy and an RBI groundout.
In the fourth, Gow and the Lords encountered some bad luck. With the bases loaded for Wittenberg and two outs in the inning, a shallow fly ball dropped in front of the diving center fielder Drew Robinson ’24, which allowed three crucial runs to come across and gave Wittenberg a 5-0 lead. From that point on, however, Gow settled in, allowing just two more runs, and retiring 10 consecutive batters spanning from the fifth inning to the eighth.
By doing so, Gow gave his offense a chance to get back in contention. For much of the game, the Lords struggled to convert with runners in scoring position — through seven innings, they were only able to muster one run. However, in the eighth inning, they were all of a sudden right within striking distance. After getting runners to second and third with two out, Robinson hit a shallow fly ball to left field that was lost in the sun and dropped, which allowed the Lords to clear the bases. On one swing, the deficit had been cut from 6-1 to 6-4. An RBI single by Alex Hoskins ’22 in the ensuing at-bat made it a one-run game. Unfortunately, in the ninth, Wittenberg added an insurance run to extend their lead to 7-5. In the bottom half of the inning, Kenyon’s bats fell silent, and the Lords fell in a close defeat.
Things went from bad to worse for Kenyon in game two. The Tigers brought nine runs across in the first two innings, including two home runs, to take a 9-0 lead. They forced Lords starter Frank Lynch ’25 out after just one-plus inning. Wittenberg brought only one more run across in the game, but the Kenyon offense failed to get anything going. Tigers’ pitching shut out the purple and black, securing a 10-0 win and a key doubleheader sweep in the NCAC.
Despite the disappointment, outfielder Will Sturgeon ’22 emphasized the importance of looking ahead, rather than dwelling on the defeat. “[Wittenberg] was an important series but at this point, everyone is focused on our upcoming series with Oberlin,” Sturgeon said. “I’m proud of the resiliency that this team has shown throughout the season, and I think that everyone understands if we put our heads down and play our game good things will happen.”
On Wednesday, the Lords took their first step towards shrugging off the disappointment of last week, defeating the Muskies in their final nonconference game of the season. Kenyon got off to a strong start in the first inning, with an RBI double by Tripper Capps ’24 and a wild pitch giving the visitors a 2-0 advantage. In the third, Luke Meister ’24 hit his fifth home run of the season to extend Kenyon’s lead to 3-1. The Lords traded runs with Muskingum in the middle innings, with the Muskies tying the score in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. However, every time the home team seemed to be building momentum, Kenyon responded with a rally of their own.
With the score tied at five entering the seventh, the Lords made their key push in the game. After JJ Conway ’22 earned a walk and Meister singled, the purple and black were aided by some costly Muskie errors. An error at third base allowed Capps to reach base, and Conway to come around and score. After a double steal by Meister and Capps, a throw got away from the catcher, which brought Meister home. A later sacrifice fly by Ben Gimbel ’25 gave the Lords a three-run seven inning, and an 8-5 lead. In the ninth, Malcolm Gaynor ’24 homered to push the Lords’ advantage to four. Kenyon went deep into their bullpen to secure the victory, with nine pitchers appearing in the game who each went exactly one inning. The final six pitchers for Kenyon allowed a combined one hit, dominating the opposition and helping their team earn a 9-5 win.
The Lords will look to build on their momentum this weekend in a Saturday doubleheader against Oberlin College at McCloskey Field. The games will serve as the team’s Senior Day, and represent a key opportunity for the squad to add to their conference win tally.