Section: Baseball

Baseball continues conference play, swept by No. 3 Big Red

The Kenyon baseball team continued conference play over the past week, falling in both games of a home doubleheader against No. 3 Denison University on Saturday before starting a road trip at Ohio Wesleyan University with a 10-0 win on Sunday. The Owls then traveled to the College of Wooster, where they split a two-game set against the Fighting Scots this Tuesday to bring their record to 16-7 overall and 3-3 in NCAC competition.

The first game against the Big Red on Saturday was a close one, as the game was scoreless after the first four innings. In the fifth, Gio Giuliani ’27 started things off with a bunt single and, after a walk to Nate Rosen ’25, Drew Robinson ’24 belted an RBI double to center field to break the tie. One batter later, Malcolm Gaynor ’24 hit a big sacrifice fly to bring in another run, making the score 2-0. Theo Canning ’26 did a fabulous job pitching for the Owls, going seven innings without giving up a run and only surrendering three hits. Things heated up in the eighth inning after Denison tied the game up at two with three walks and a single. After Kenyon stranded three runners and couldn’t bring any runs across in the bottom half of the eighth, the Big Red continued to build on their momentum in the ninth, scoring the go-ahead run on a bases-loaded walk. Kenyon could not return the favor in the bottom half of the inning and fell in game one 3-2.

In the second game, Denison got off to a hot start, jumping out to a 4-0 lead and forcing starting pitcher Frank Lynch ’25 out of the game in the first inning. The Owls stayed resilient, however, and their bats put them back in the game starting with a leadoff double from Rosen. After a double and then a failed pickoff attempt, Rosen came around to score. Gaynor grounded out, scoring Robinson and cutting the Big Red lead to two. The success was short-lived, though, and Denison tacked on three more runs in the second inning en route to a 10-2 win. 

The Owls were able to show some resiliency, as they came out strong the next day in their destruction of Ohio Wesleyan in a non-conference game. Kenyon started hot in the second inning after an RBI single from Ben Zimmerman ’26 put the Owls on the board. Just one batter later, Ben Nash ’24 smacked a single through the right side to score two more. In the fifth inning, Gaynor and Nash each hit a two-run RBI single to go along with a Battling Bishops error that gave the Owls five more runs. The massive day capped off with a booming two-run home run from Parker Gibbons ’25. The pitching was superb all day, as Jackson Yelland ’24, Liam Rosengren ’24, Andrew Catron ’26, Dillon Cleary ’24, Colin Shue ’27 and Joseph Haugh ’27 came together to pitch the shutout. In an email to the Collegian, Gaynor was enthusiastic about the team’s potential. “We have such a deep lineup that sometimes all it takes is getting it to the next guy to start a rally,” he said. “We’re relentless, we have the ability to explode offensively, but can also scratch runs across when need be.”

In the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader against Wooster, the Owls won a 15-13 slugfest. Kenyon got out to a quick 3-0 lead from an RBI double from Tripper Capps ’24 in the first inning followed by a thundering home run from Dustin Lee ’25 and an RBI single from Robinson in the second. The Fighting Scots clawed back, taking a 6-4 lead into the fourth, but RBIs from Capps, Meister, Lee and Rosen restored Kenyon’s advantage and made it 9-6. After a couple of home runs from Wooster to retake the lead, the Owls responded again, this time from a three-run home run by Capps to tie the game at 12. Kenyon’s bats came through in the eighth when Giuliani re-tied the game at 13 with an RBI single that scored Zimmerman. Then, to seal the deal, Robinson stepped up and blasted a two-run home run, ending any hope from Wooster. 

After the win, the Owls fell in a nailbiter in the second game. Wooster got off to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Kenyon struck back with an RBI single from Lee and a sacrifice fly from Stephen Carr ’24 to take a one-run lead in the top of the second. The Owls’ bats got hot in the fifth inning, scoring four runs on a huge grand slam from Lee. They then kept the momentum rolling with three more runs in the sixth on a sacrifice fly from Gaynor and an RBI single from Nash to put Kenyon ahead 9-3. The score would remain the same until the bottom of the eighth inning when Wooster would enjoy an offensive explosion, including a walk-off hit-by-pitch to beat the Owls 9-8. The game was called after eight innings due to darkness. Despite the loss, Christian Harris ’25 pitched very well in relief, going three innings and giving up no earned runs.

The Owls will now look ahead to Saturday, where they will go on the road to face off against Case Western Reserve University before returning to league play on Wednesday against Oberlin College. Gaynor said of Kenyon’s goals for the season, “Our main goal is to win the NCAC. To get there, we need to take care of business in conference and make the playoffs.”

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