HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover College baseball team honored its seven seniors prior to Saturday's doubleheader against Defiance before splitting with the Yellow Jackets in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
The Panthers (13-17, 5-9 HCAC) used a three-run sixth to capture a 3-2 victory in the opener. Defiance rallied with a late home run to take the night cap, 5-4.
Senior David Herrmann (Fishers, Ind.) improved to 5-0 on the season after pitching a complete game in the opener. Fresh off tying the program record with a 14-strikeout game earlier in the week, Herrmann allowed five hits and two runs Saturday. The senior also fanned seven Yellow Jacket batters.
Defiance scored once in the first and again in the third to take a 2-0 lead. The Panthers were held to just two hits through five innings, as they still trailed by two runs with four innings to play.
In the sixth, HC used four hits to score all three of its runs. Senior Tyler Fitch (Crestwood, Ky.) drove in the first run with a groundout. Junior Mark Walkenhorst (Fort Thomas, Ky.) then scored sophomore Grant Larimore (LaGrange, Ky.) and junior Spencer Coop (Lexington, Ky.) with a double in the next at-bat. Larimore and senior Chase Sizemore (Fishers, Ind.) each went 2-4 at the plate to lead the Blue and Red.
After the Panthers captured the lead, Herrmann did not allow a hit over the final three frames to secure the 3-2 decision. Herrmann's fifth win ties his single season career high, which he also set in 2017.
The Yellow Jackets jumped out to another early advantage in Game Two, scoring one run in the top of the second.
With freshman Andrew Littlefield (Louisville, Ky.) and sophomore Austin Crouse (Fishers, Ind.) each reaching to lead off the bottom of the fifth, freshman Charlie Burton (Columbus, Ind.) laid down a sacrifice bunt. The Defiance throw though, went into the outfield, allowing both runners to score and place Burton on third. Larimore followed in the next plate appearance with a sac fly to left, giving HC a 3-1 lead.
The Yellow Jackets answered with three runs in the next half inning to recapture the lead. Hanover though, tied the game at four-all in the bottom of the sixth as a two-out double from Littlefield plated Walkenhorst.
Senior Garett Zorb (Medina, Ohio) started on the mound going 6.0 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, while striking out three. Sophomore Justin Pope (Fishers, Ind.) entered to pitch the final three innings in relief. Pope allowed just two hits, but one came on a home run in the eighth, which gave DC a 5-4 lead, an advantage they would not relinquish.
Scoring four runs on just five hits, the Blue and Red were led by Littlefield, who went 3-4 with one run scored and one RBI.
Hanover will begin the final week of the regular with a doubleheader at Rose-Hulman, which is set for a 4 p.m. first pitch, Wednesday, May 1.
Contact: Tyler Jester