WESTFIELD, Ind. – The Hanover baseball team split a neutral-site doubleheader with Hope (Mich.) Saturday afternoon.
Hanover (3-7) received three extra-base hits and four RBI from senior Jack Shine (New Albany, Ind) in the opener en route to a 6-4 victory. A five-run second inning for Hope (1-1) in Game Two doomed the Panthers' chance at a sweep, as they fell 12-4.
Shine capped off three straight hits for the Panthers in the bottom of the first in the doubleheader opener, as his double brought home sophomore Spencer Coop (Lexington, Ky.) and junior Josh Meszaros (Loveland, Ohio), who both singled to centerfield. Meszaros would finish the game 2-for-2 at the plate, scoring a total of three times.
Junior Garett Zorb (Medina, Ohio) retired the first five batters he faced and did not allow a run until the top of the third, when the Flying Dutch scored three times with two outs. Zorb's final stat line read 5.1 innings of work, three runs, seven hits and four strikeouts, as he picked up his second win of the season.
Finding themselves behind after the three-run top of the third, the Panthers received a RBI triple from Shine and he scored on the next at-bat, with junior Ty Stover (Galveston, Ind.) driving him in on a single to right field. Shine added another run in the fifth, with Meszaros scoring to give HC a 5-3 advantage.
Junior David Blanco (Fishers, Ind.) pitched 3.2 innings in relief, allowing one run on three hits, picking up his second save of the season. Freshman Zeke Porta (Louisville, Ky.) scored on a wild pitch in the eighth to give Hanover a two-run advantage after Hope had cut it to 5-4 in the top half of the frame.
After retiring the first two batters of the ninth, Blanco conceded a double and walk, plus a pair of stolen bases, before sealing the game with one of his five strikeouts.
Hope scored the second game's first nine runs, including five in the second inning. The Flying Dutch received a three-run home run and RBI triple in the second to highlight the early scoring.
The Panthers took advantage of a few Hope miscues in the sixth, which included a hit by pitch, walk and an error, as they recorded all four their runs in the frame. A bases loaded walk by junior Chase Sizemore (Fishers, Ind.) brought in the first HC run and Coop cleared the bases later on with a triple to centerfield.
Unfortunately, Hanover would record just one hit over the final three innings, while Hope tacked on three more runs to earn their first win of the season.
Coop finished the second half of the doubleheader 3-for-5 and his four hits on the day led the team.
Hanover will be back in action at Grand Park, in Westfield, Ind., again Sunday afternoon. The Panthers will take on Alma (Mich.) in a doubleheader that is slated for a 2 p.m. start.
Contact: Tyler Jester