Hanover, Transylvania split HCAC baseball doubleheader

Eli Copner pitching

HANOVER, Ind. - After the games were postponed twice this week, the Hanover baseball team finally played its Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader against Transylvania (Ky.) and won game one 5-3 before falling 6-1 in game two Wednesday afternoon at K.T. Young Ballpark. 

Game one was scoreless until the bottom of the third. After the first two outs were recorded within the first two batters, senior Jack Shine (New Albany, Ind.) was hit by a pitch. Juniors Josh Meszaros (Loveland, Ohio) and Ty Stover (Galveston, Ind.) each walked to load the bases. Junior Sam Orem (Greenwood, Ind.) then delivered a bases-clearing, three-run triple down the right field line for a 3-0 lead.

Orem did not last long at third as junior Chase Sizemore (Fishers, Ind.) followed with an RBI single back up the middle to score Orem and make it a 4-0.

The Pioneers (15-18 overall, 5-7 HCAC) got all three of their runs in the third on a pair of hits, two walks and an error to cut the lead to one at 4-3.

Shine gave Hanover an insurance run in the seventh when he led off the inning with a home run, his second of the season, to right field to give the Panthers a two-run cushion.

The pitching and defense did the rest as three hurlers combined to allow three runs - two earned - over nine innings. Freshman Eli Copner (Zionsville, Ind.) recorded his first collegiate victory with five innings of work. He allowed the three runs on three hits with three walks and two strikeouts.

Sophomore Zach Chapman (Loveland, Ohio) and freshman George Dant (Indianapolis, Ind.) tossed the final four innings of scoreless baseball with Chapman striking out five and not allowing a hit over three innings, and Dant closing the game with two strikeouts in the final inning for his first collegiate save. 

The Panthers finished with eight hits by eight different players, including a double in the fifth by Meszaros to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.  

Hanover (7-21 overall, 4-10 HCAC) jumped out to an early lead in the second game with a first inning run. After Meszaros singled in his first at-bat to move Shine to third and push his streak to 13 games, Stover scored Shine with an RBI ground out for a 1-0 advantage.

The score remained that way until the fifth when the Pioneers scored a pair of runs to go in front 2-1.

Following three more scoreless innings by the two teams, Transylvania pulled away in the top of the ninth with four runs to finish with the 6-1 victory.

Freshman Grant Larimore (LaGrange, Ky.) took the loss. He allowed two runs - one earned - on three hits with three walks and five strikeouts. 

Along with his first-inning single, Meszaros also tripled in the sixth to finish the game 2 for 3. Sophomore Spencer Coop (Lexington, Ky.) had another multi-hit game with two hits in four at-bats. 

Next up is a trip to Defiance, Ohio Saturday, April 28 to play the Defiance Yellow Jackets. The HCAC twin bill is slated to begin at 12 p.m. at Craig A. Rutter Field. 

Contact: Mike Pritchard