Section: Baseball

Baseball picks up key NCAC victories as bats come alive

Baseball picks up key NCAC victories as bats come alive

Price was named NCAC Baseball Player of the Week. | COURTESY OF MARTY FULLER

April showers brought May runs, as the Kenyon baseball team poured on 41 runs over a pair of doubleheader sweeps. With a playoff berth on the line, the Owls swept NCAC opponents DePauw University and Hiram College at home, thanks in no small part to their scorching offense. Kenyon’s record now sits at 21-12 (8-6 NCAC), just ahead of Wabash College and currently in sole possession of the fourth and final NCAC tournament playoff spot. 

On Saturday, the Owls celebrated Senior Day as they welcomed the Tigers to McCloskey Field for a doubleheader. Kenyon honored its three seniors with explosive offense right off the bat, scoring four runs in the bottom of the second inning. Though DePauw was able to tie it in the top of the fourth, Kenyon regained the lead in the bottom half of the inning, which they would never relinquish en route to a 15-5 run (mercy) rule rout. Second baseman Malcolm Gaynor ’24 was a standout performer in game one, tallying four RBIs with a three-run home run.

Kenyon’s offense brought the hammer down again in game two. Home runs from Gaynor, Nate Rosen ’25 and Ben Zimmerman ’26 propelled the Owls to a 13-7 victory and a sweep over the Tigers. 

Niko Price ’26, who earned NCAC Baseball Player of the Week with a walk-off home run in game one, was humble about his stellar performance against DePauw, giving credit to the team as a whole. “Going into the DePauw doubleheader, my mindset was to do whatever I could to help the team win these two games,” he wrote in an email to the Collegian. “Although I am happy about my individual success, there’s nothing more important than highlighting the team’s overall success.”

On Wednesday, the Hiram Terriers traveled to Gambier for a doubleheader of their own, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday but was postponed due to inclement weather. Unfortunately, Mother Nature did not let up Wednesday, as swirling gusts of wind and intermittent showers were a presence throughout the game. The Owls built a five-run lead after six innings, but Kenyon did not slow down as Stephen Carr ’24 hit a three-run homer into left-center field, increasing the lead to 9-1.

The Terriers, despite facing an eight-run deficit, did not give up: In the top of the seventh, the Hiram bats came alive and strung together a series of singles, a sacrifice fly and a timely double to put a crooked six-spot on the board. In the ninth, Hiram threatened again; though he conceded a run on a sacrifice fly, Andrew Catron ’26 secured his first career save and, in turn, the Owls’ 9-8 victory. Starting pitcher Frank Lynch ’25 recorded a career-high 13 strikeouts over 5.1 innings pitched.

Despite unfavorable conditions, game two began as scheduled. After two-and-a-half scoreless frames to start the contest, back-to-back walks in the bottom of the third gave the Owls their first scoring opportunity of the game. With only one out, Edwin Groff ’25 broke open the scoring with a three-run moonshot to right-center field, which put Kenyon up 3-0. 

The very next inning, Gaynor launched a solo home run of his own down the left field line, increasing the lead to four. Hiram got on the board in the fifth with a run of its own, but this was the only run starter Dalton Hastings ’26 gave up. The right-hander was exceptional, recording 12 strikeouts through 6.1 innings and allowing only one earned run on six hits over 118 pitches — the most of his collegiate career. 

Protecting a three-run lead in the top of the ninth, Catron entered the game looking for his second save of the day. However, Hiram did not go quietly: Two singles and a double cut the Kenyon lead to two. After a pitching change, reliever Sam Richards ’23 allowed one more run on a fielder’s choice before earning his second save of the season — securing the sweep over Hiram with a 4-3 victory. 

Kenyon will travel to Wittenberg University on Saturday for its final two games of the regular season, carrying the weight of securing a playoff berth to Springfield, Ohio. Gaynor admitted that, while earning a playoff spot has been on the team’s mind, the Owls have not changed their approach. “It’s definitely something we keep track of, because the first step towards meeting our goal is to make the playoffs. But when the games start and we’re on the field, we just focus on the game and what we can control in the moment.” he wrote in an email to the Collegian. “We know that when we play as well as we can, we can beat any team in the conference.”


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