Larimore, Walkenhorst go deep against HCAC-leading Rose-Hulman

Grant Larimore

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The Hanover College baseball team received home runs from junior Mark Walkenhorst (Fort Thomas, Ky.) and sophomore Grant Larimore (LaGrange, Ky.) but fell in both sets of a road doubleheader at Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference leader, Rose-Hulman, Wednesday evening.

The Panthers (13-19, 5-11 HCAC) dropped the opening game 16-11. Rose-Hulman (24-9, 13-1), who is ranked No. 9 in the NCAA Division III Mideast regional rankings, then took the night cap, 3-2.

Walkenhorst and Larimore each posted four hits on the day, with each Panther tallying three hits in the opener. The two were apart of six multi-hit performances for HC in Game One, a contest they outhit RHIT in, 17-16.

Walkenhorst hit a leadoff home run in the top of the second for his team-leading sixth long ball of the spring. Larimore tacked on four runs in the fifth, as he hit a grand slam for his fourth home run of the season. The Blue and Red though, trailed 12-5 after five complete.

The Panthers scored in each of the final five innings, but outside of the fifth frame, the seventh was the only other inning they came across home plate more than once in. Senior Ty Stover (Galveston, Ind.) drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in one run in the seventh and classmate Chase Sizemore (Fishers, Ind.) followed in the next at-bat by plating two with a base hit. Freshman Charlie Burton (Columbus, Ind.) added a RBI single in the eighth but it was not enough as the Fightin' Engineers posted a four-run sixth to capture the 16-11 decision.

After the two sides combined for 27 runs on 33 hits in Game One, the night cap saw the pitchers take center stage. Junior Zach Chapman (Loveland, Ohio) started on the mound for HC, allowing two earned runs on four hits, while striking out four over 7.0 innings of work.

Stover brought in another run with his second bases-loaded walk in as many games, giving HC a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Rose-Hulman scored once in the second and again in the third to secure a 2-1 advantage.

The Engineers added another run in the eighth to go in front 3-1. Larimore entered in relief with runners on second and third and no outs. The sophomore did not allow a runner to cross home plate, dialing up two groundballs, including a 5-3 double play to cap the inning.

Feeding off the momentum, Stover, Walkenhorst and senior Tyler Fitch (Crestwood, Ky.) started the top of the ninth with three consecutive hits to load the bases. Two fly outs followed, but only freshman Andrew Littlefield's (Louisville, Ky.) was deep enough to score a run. A walk loaded the bases with two outs, but a groundout followed to end the rally.

The Panthers are now scheduled to wrap up non-conference play with a road contest at Thomas More (Ky.). The game is slated for a 4 p.m. start, Friday, May 3.

Contact: Tyler Jester