Section: Baseball

Baseball splits 2 series, remains in hunt for playoff berth

Over the past week, the Kenyon baseball team earned a pair of series splits. After an offensive explosion in game one against the Wabash College Little Giants, the Owls dropped a close game two. With the split against non-conference Muskingum College, Kenyon’s record sits at 17-12 (4-6 NCAC).

On Saturday, the Little Giants jumped ahead quickly with a two-out solo home run off of pitcher Frank Lynch ’25 in the bottom of the first inning. Despite facing an early deficit, Lynch never panicked. “I have all the trust in the world in my offense that they will pick me up and battle for me, which really helps on the mound,” he wrote in an email to the Collegian

Kenyon’s offense picked Lynch up immediately in the next inning, putting up seven runs on the Wabash pitchers thanks to six hits and a pair of errors. From then on, Lynch cruised, limiting the Little Giants to just two more runs over the next five innings. The Owls added on runs and took an 11-3 lead into the eighth inning. The Kenyon bats came alive again, pouring on six runs to earn a 17-3 run (mercy) rule victory. Malcolm Gaynor ’24, who led the team with four hits and four RBIs, credited the team for its persistent approach. “We did a great job being relentless through adversity,” he wrote in an email to the Collegian. “One of the biggest things we learned is that when we play at our best, we can beat any team in the conference.”

Unfortunately for Kenyon, the bats went quiet in game two. Wabash again scored first, plating a pair of runs on a single and a sacrifice fly in the first inning. The Owls got one run back in the third, with an Edwin Groff ’25 home run, and then tied things up at 2-2 with an RBI single in the sixth inning. However, Wabash regained the lead in the home half of the sixth before adding a pair of insurance runs in the next inning on the way to a 5-2 win.

The Owls returned home the next day for a slugfest against the Muskies. For the third straight game, Kenyon allowed the first runs of the game, as a two-run home run in the first inning gave Muskingum a lead it would never surrender. Though the Owls added on runs throughout the game, an explosive fourth inning for the Muskies defined the game, and Kenyon fell 19-11. Despite the loss, Lynch praised the team for never giving up in the face of an insurmountable deficit. “I was really proud of how resilient the team was, especially in the cold and windy conditions,” he said. “I think in games like those you have to find the silver linings of how well we hit and even down by such a large margin there was still a ton of fight left in the team.”

Kenyon rebounded on Tuesday, as the Owls hit the road to face the Muskies again. A pair of sacrifice flies gave Kenyon a 2-0 lead after the second inning. After Muskingum halved the lead in the bottom of the inning, the two teams went scoreless until the fifth. At that point, the Owls’ bats came to life to the tune of seven runs. Though Muskingum answered back as the game went on, Kenyon managed to close out the game 9-7. The Owls relied on a collection of eight pitchers to take home the victory.

Kenyon will return to McCloskey Field on Saturday to face DePauw University in a doubleheader. With the Owls currently sitting in fifth place, the games will provide a chance to climb in the standings before the playoffs. Gaynor hopes that the team can keep up a relentless approach heading toward the end of the regular season. “If we keep the pressure up, keep putting together good at bats and keep trusting the approach at the plate that we know works, we’ll be in great shape,” he said. “If we play well in these last three conference series, we [will be] in a very good position to make the conference tournament.”


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