Baseball closes regular season with five road games this week

Mark Walkenhorst

HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover College baseball team concludes its 2019 regular season slate with five road games this week, including four in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play.

SETTING THE SCENE: The stretch opens for the Panthers (13-17, 5-9 HCAC) with a doubleheader at current HCAC-leader, Rose-Hulman, with first pitch set for 4 p.m., Wednesday, May 1. Hanover then travels to the Greater Cincinnati area for the final three games of the week, beginning with a 4 p.m. non-conference game at Thomas More (Ky.) on Thursday, May 2. The weekend conference series will be at Mt. St. Joseph, with a noon start, Saturday, May 4.

LAST WEEK RECAP: The Blue and Red are coming off a 3-3 week, with doubleheader conference splits against Bluffton, Transylvania and Defiance. Senior David Herrmann (Fishers, Ind.) was named HCAC Pitcher of the Week for his efforts, as he went 2-0, allowing just two runs over 16.0 innings of work and striking out 21 batters. Herrmann tied the single game school record by fanning 14 during a 5-2 win at Bluffton.

At the plate, freshman Andrew Littlefield (Louisville, Ky.) batted .450 with five runs scored and five RBI, while also logging a pair of home runs. Littlefield also picked up the win on the mound against Transylvania and in the night cap against the Pioneers, went 3-4 with one of his two long balls.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Junior Mark Walkenhorst (Fort Thomas, Ky.) has been HC's batting leader for most of the season and is currently fourth in the HCAC with a .393 average. Walkenhorst has added 23 runs scored and 19 RBI. The junior enters the week having reached safely in 19 straight games, a stretch that features all five of his team-high home run count.

Senior Tyler Fitch (Crestwood, Ky.) has hit safely in 14 of the last 16 outings, including nine multi-hit performances during the run. For the season, Fitch has a career-high .354 average and is one RBI shy of tying his collegiate best mark of 22. During HCAC play, Fitch is batting .386 with 16 RBI.

Littlefield's stellar week at the plate has raised his season average to .350, which is the highest among HCAC freshmen. The first-year has recorded 24 RBI, 20 runs scored and four home runs as well. With six sac flies, Littlefield leads the HCAC and ranks among the top 20 in NCAA Division III.

Also batting over .340 this season are senior Ty Stover (Galveston, Ind.) and junior Spencer Coop (Lexington, Ky.). The duo has combined for 54 runs and 36 RBI this spring.

PANTHER PITCHING: Herrmann's 2-0 week moves him to an unblemished 5-0 this season. His win total ties a career high and is tied for fourth most in the HCAC in 2019.T The senior leads HC and ranks third in the HCAC with a 2.25 earned run average and has a strikeout-per-nine-inning clip of 9.19.

Sophomore Grant Larimore (LaGrange, Ky.) pitched well in relief last week, striking out seven batters over 3.2 innings of work. Larimore has a 3.20 season ERA and recorded both of his collegiate saves last week.

TEAM COMPARISON:

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Contact: Tyler Jester

jestert@hanover.edu