Baseball's late inning rally falls short at Centre

Jack Shine

DANVILLE, Ky. – The Hanover baseball team scored six runs in the eighth inning Tuesday evening, but its late rally fell just short at Centre (Ky.), 10-8.

Hanover's top three batters, sophomore Spencer Coop (Lexington, Ky.), junior Josh Meszaros (Loveland, Ohio) and senior Jack Shine (New Albany, Ind.), combined for eight of the team's 10 hits and scored five runs. Coop and Shine tallied three hits apiece, with all of Shine's coming as doubles.

The Panthers (2-6) found themselves in an early four-run hole before a RBI ground out by junior Sam Orem (Greenwood, Ind.) scored Shine for the first HC run of the game. The Colonels (7-4) however, tacked on six more runs over the next four frames, including a four-run sixth to extend their advantage to 10-2. Shine drove in Coop in the top of the fifth with his third double of the game for HC's second run.

All of Hanover's six runs in the eighth came with two outs. Back-to-back hits from Coop and Meszaros drove in the opening two runs of the rally. With the bases loaded, juniors Ty Stover (Galveston, Ind.) and Tyler Fitch (Crestwood, Ky.) were both hit by a pitch to bring across a pair of runs, and Orem followed with a single up the middle to drive in the final two scores of the inning.

After freshman Eli Copner (Zionsville, Ind.) retired the Colonels in order in the bottom of the eighth, Hanover was left needing at least two runs to continue on. With the first two batters retired in the ninth, it appeared as though the Blue and Red were set for another two-out rally as back-to-back hits by Coop and Meszaros put the tying runs on base. Coop however was out at third in the next at-bat on a fielder's choice, putting a halt on the comeback attempt.

The Panthers' six-run eighth was its highest scoring inning since posting seven runs in the fourth frame of a 10-5 win over Transylvania (Ky.) on May 2, 2017. Shine's performance at the plate marked his fourth multi-hit effort this season, as he raised his team-high batting average in to .481.

Hanover will now travel to Grand Park in Westfield, Ind. for four games this weekend. The Panthers open the stretch with a 1 p.m. doubleheader against Hope (Mich.) Saturday, March 10.

Contact: Tyler Jester