ANDERSON, Ind. – Behind its best offensive output during conference play, the Hanover baseball team earned a split at league-leading Anderson Friday afternoon.
The Panthers tallied 23 hits and 16 runs, both of which are season-highs during conference doubleheader days. Hanover (5-19, 2-8 HCAC) dropped the opener, 8-5, but eight runs late in the night cap rallied the squad to an 11-4 victory, giving Anderson (18-12, 7-1 HCAC) its first conference loss of the spring. The 11 runs tie a single-game high for HC this season.
A bevy of Panthers enjoyed success at the plate Friday, including junior Ty Stover (Galveston, Ind.), who went 5-for-8 with six RBI and two runs scored. Stover also recorded a triple, a home run and a pair of walks during the twin bill.
Junior Chase Sizemore (Fishers, Ind.) added three of his four hits during the opener, while senior Jack Shine (New Albany, Ind.) tallied two hits in each contest. Shine also drove in two runs, as he, Stover and junior Josh Meszaros (Loveland, Ohio) combined to have 11 of the team's 13 RBI Friday. Meszaros' day was highlighted by a 2-for-4 effort in the second game, where he drove in all three of his runs, while also crossing home plate three times himself.
Meszaros got the Panthers on the board with a bang in the first inning of Game Two, hitting a two-out moonshot to left field. Shine and sophomore Spencer Coop (Lexington, Ky.) each drove in a run with singles in the third, as HC was tied 3-3 heading into the final three frames.
After leaving four runners stranded over the middle-third innings, Hanover received three consecutive hits with one out in the seventh, including triples from Shine and Stover to recapture the lead. With two outs, Stover scored on a wild pitch, giving HC a 6-3 advantage.
The Panthers appeared to be on their way to a scoreless eighth after a strike out and a runner caught stealing left the bases empty with two outs. However, three walks and a single gave HC one run and loaded the bases for Stover. The junior proceeded to send his first home run of the season over the left field fence, as the grand slam gave the Blue and Red an 11-4 lead.
Sophomore Zach Chapman (Loveland, Ohio) pitched the final 2.2 innings in relief, working through three hits over the last two frames to keep the Ravens scoreless. Junior Garett Zorb (Medina, Ohio) started the contest, going 6.1 innings, allowing four runs on nine hits, while improving to 4-1 on the season.
Two-out rallies were the theme early for Hanover in Game One, as the Panthers tallied a two-out run in each of the first three innings, taking a 3-2 lead. The Blue and Red's early offensive efforts were highlighted by an RBI single from freshman Grant Larimore (LaGrange, Ky.) in the first and an RBI double from Shine in the second.
Sizemore and senior John Scheil (Indianapolis, Ind.) both scored in the top of the fifth, responding to a three-run fourth by Anderson, tying the contest at five-all. The Ravens though, tacked on one run in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to secure the 8-5 win.
Despite the success with two outs early, the Panthers finished with 14 runners left on base throughout the game's entirety. Anderson, on the other hand, left just seven stranded over nine innings.
The Panthers will return to action next Saturday, April 21, when they host Bluffton (Ohio) for a conference doubleheader, beginning at noon.
Contact: Tyler Jester