Extra innings unkind to Panthers for second straight day

Ty Stover

RICHMOND, Ind. – For the second consecutive day, the Hanover baseball team found itself in extra innings, but for the second straight day they fell in both halves of a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader, this time to Earlham, 2-1 (11 inn.) and 8-3.

The Panthers (4-16, 1-5 HCAC) and the Quakers (18-6, 4-2 HCAC) concluded the regulation, nine-inning opener in a 0-0 stalemate, forcing extra frames. Earlham had a chance in the ninth to win, but failed to execute on a suicide squeeze attempt.

Neither side was able to scratch across a run until the 11th, where junior Ty Stover (Galveston, Ind.) ripped a single up the middle with two outs, scoring freshman Zeke Porta (Louisville, Ky.).

Hanover took the 1-0 lead into the bottom half of the inning. Earlham though, opened up their chance at the plate with back-to-back singles, placing runners on first and second with no outs. In the next at-bat, the Quakers then attempted a sacrifice bunt to move the runners over. However, the play returned a more favorable result for EC, as a throwing error by HC, that saw the ball go out of play, scored two runs, giving the Quakers the win.

Junior Garett Zorb (Medina, Ohio), fresh off being named HCAC Pitcher of the Week, continued his strong start to the season, conceding three hits and no runs over 8.1 innings. Zorb also worked around five walks and added four strikeouts.

Each side logged just five hits in the opener, as Stover was the only Panther batter with multiple hits.

The night cap saw Hanover fall behind early and create a deficit it could not climb back from. Trailing 4-0 in the top of the sixth, the Panthers got on the board with senior Jack Shine (New Albany, Ind.) scoring on a groundout by junior Tyler Fitch (Crestwood, Ky.).

Earlham would tack on four more runs in the eighth though to secure an 8-1 advantage heading into HC's final offensive frame. Sophomores Jay Lorenz (New Albany, Ind.) and Spencer Coop (Lexington, Ky.) each drove in a run with base hits in the ninth, cutting the deficit to five runs. Unfortunately for HC, consecutive strikeouts followed the latter of the two RBI singles, ending the comeback attempt. Senior John Scheil (Indianapolis, Ind.) scored one of the two ninth inning runs as he finished the second half of the twin bill 2-for-4 at the plate.

On the mound, junior David Herrmann (Fishers, Ind.) took the loss, allowing four runs over 6.0 innings of work. Herrmann though, did strikeout seven Earlham batters.

Hanover will return to action Tuesday, April 10, when they welcome Rose-Hulman for a 1 p.m. conference doubleheader at K.T. Young Ballpark.

Contact: Tyler Jester