Section: Baseball

Softball, baseball split doubleheaders against NCAC foes

Softball, baseball split doubleheaders against NCAC foes

Montgomery I COURTESY OF ISOO O’ BRIEN

Baseball: The Kenyon baseball team continued NCAC play with a four-game homestand. After sweeping the Wabash College Little Giants, the Owls lost a pair of close games against the Oberlin College Yeomen. Kenyon’s record stands at 17-11 (4-5 NCAC).

On Saturday, Wabash opened the scoring in game one, hitting a two-out home run off of Kenyon starting pitcher Theo Canning ’26 in the first inning then adding another run in the second. The Owls responded in the bottom of the inning, as Stephen Carr ’24 drove in Dustin Lee ’25 with a double. One batter later, Giovanni Giuliani ’27 tied things up with an RBI single. Poor baserunning kept the Little Giants from scoring in the fourth and set the table for an offensive outburst from the Owls. After Lee walked, a double from Edwin Groff ’25 gave Kenyon the lead. Carr worked a walk to put runners on first and second for Giuliani, who added another RBI double. A sacrifice fly from Nate Rosen ’25 capped off the inning to give the Owls a 5-2 lead. 

Wabash answered back with a two-run home run in the top of the fifth inning. Canning worked out of trouble, but his day ended after the Little Giants re-tied the game in the next frame. One inning later, Wabash took the lead on a stolen base, wild pitch and throwing error. Trailing for the first time since the second inning, the Owls loaded the bases with three consecutive singles. Luke Meister ’25’s go-ahead double to center scored Malcolm Gaynor ’24 and Drew Robinson ’24, and Kenyon’s pitching closed out the game strong to secure the 7-6 win. 

Pitcher Jackson Niedel ’26 praised the Owls’ pitching staff for its growth in tight games. “Now that our staff knows what to do in those close end of game situations, we can keep building on that and hopefully win a bunch more of those, which we will need to do with tough conference matchups the rest of the season,” he wrote in an email to the Collegian.

After Kenyon loaded the bases with nobody out in the first inning of game two, Meister got the Owls on the board with a sacrifice fly. Wabash’s pitching and defense struggled in the next frame, as the first six Kenyon hitters to bat all reached. With the bases loaded again, Rosen drove in Groff, and Robinson added another run with an RBI single. Gaynor capped the inning with a two-run double. In the next frame, the Owls loaded the bases for a third straight inning. Stepping up to the plate with one out, Rosen sent the second pitch that he saw over the center field fence to give Kenyon a 9-0 lead with his first career grand slam.

For Kenyon’s starting shortstop, patience and offensive consistency were key. “I was just trying to stick to my approach at the plate and not get too antsy up there,” Rosen wrote in an email to the Collegian. “I got a pitch to hit with the bases loaded, and thankfully was able to hit it out.”

Game two starter Niedel was stellar in six innings of work, allowing just one run. Kenyon took a 10-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh, when Tripper Capps ’24 hit an RBI single to secure the run (mercy) rule victory.

On Wednesday, Oberlin broke through in the third inning, scoring four runs against starting pitcher Peyton Hodges ’27. RBI singles from Gaynor and Lee in the fourth and sixth innings, respectively, got the Owls on the board, but Kenyon’s offense was quiet other than that, as Oberlin’s starting pitcher went the distance for the 4-2 win.

The Yeomen took another early lead in game two, as they got on the board in the first inning with an RBI single. Though Kenyon starter Jackson Yelland ’24 worked around early defensive miscues to keep Oberlin off the bases for much of the game, the Owls were unable to generate much offense. In the eighth inning, the Yeomen doubled their lead and knocked Yelland out of the game. In the bottom of the ninth, Meister cut the lead in half with an RBI single. A walk loaded the bases, and Groff came to the plate with a chance to be Kenyon’s hero. Unfortunately, he grounded out to end the game and the Owls fell 2-1.

Kenyon will head west on Saturday to take on DePauw University. Both Rosen and Niedel believe that the Owls need to focus on each game and each opponent in order to find continued success. “I have a lot of trust in our guys and our coaching staff,” Rosen said. “Taking each game one at a time will be key for us to stay in the win column.” Niedel echoed him: “We’re going to take it one game at a time and stay locked in on winning from the first pitch of the day to the last.”

Softball: The Kenyon softball team faced Oberlin College in a home doubleheader on Saturday, splitting the series with a 2-1 loss followed by an 8-3 victory. The win was the Owls’ first NCAC victory of the season, and their record stands at 14-14 (1-5 NCAC).

In the first game, Kenyon got off to a tough start, with Oberlin’s leadoff batter hitting a double and then stealing third to start off the game. However, Owls pitcher Kylie Hamm ’27 was resilient and escaped the inning unscathed, despite having a runner on third with nobody out. The first run of the game came in the third inning, when the Yeowomen hit a couple of singles and Kenyon let a passed ball by to give Oberlin a 1-0 lead. The Owls struck right back in the bottom of the inning, as Maddie Friday ’24 started things off by reaching on an error, followed by a sacrifice bunt by Sophia Lynch ’25 to advance Friday to third. Then, Natalya Delsante ’25 hit an RBI groundout to tie the game at one.

Oberlin got to Hamm again in the top of the fifth, as a double, a sacrifice bunt and then a sacrifice fly gave the lead back to the Yeowomen. Hamm was solid the rest of the way, giving up only the one earned run in her seven innings pitched. The Owls’ bats refused to wake up, though, and despite recording a hit in three of the final four innings, they weren’t able to scratch any more runs across and fell 2-1.

Kenyon’s hitting was much improved in the second game of the doubleheader, resulting in serious offensive fireworks. In the bottom of the second inning, Oberlin’s pitching fell apart, as Brooke Avila ’27 and Maeve McLaughlin ’26 were both hit by pitches to start off the inning. One batter later, both runners came around to score after a grievous error by the Oberlin second baseman. The Owls were not done yet, as Amanda Harris ’25 stole home and Arianna Jalomo ’26 hit an RBI double immediately after. The fifth and final Kenyon run of the inning came thanks to Keala Montgomery ’27, whose single scored Jalomo.

The Yeowomen were able to push a couple runs across, but in the bottom of the fourth another RBI single by Montgomery brought the score to 6-2. One inning later, the Owls added on two more runs thanks to RBI singles from Harris and Delsante. Oberlin scored a run in the top of the seventh inning from a double and a single, but it was too little, too late, as Kenyon cruised to the easy 8-3 victory. Hamm pitched marvelously once again, going for six innings and giving up two earned runs. Across the doubleheader, Hamm pitched a whopping 13 innings while conceding only three earned runs in total.

After the split, Montgomery wrote in an email to the Collegian, “I think we definitely could have won both of those games on Sunday, but now we just have to be more consistent at the plate and on the field. By doing that we will win more league games.”

Looking forward, the Owls have a big week ahead of them, with eight games coming in the next six days, including six NCAC games. The first of those will come on Thursday, when Kenyon takes on Wittenberg University in another home doubleheader. “Our team is always bringing the energy. Winning or losing, the dugout is always loud,” Montgomery said. “There is so much support and trust, and we are all rooting for each other.”

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