Senior pitching propels Panthers in season finale

Senior pitchers

ALEXANDRIA, Ky. – The Hanover College baseball team received complete-game pitching performances from seniors David Herrmann (Fishers, Ind.) and Garett Zorb (Medina, Ohio) Friday afternoon, as the Panthers closed the 2019 season with a pair of wins over Mount St. Joseph.

Hanover took the opener 1-0, before cruising to a 7-1 decision in Game Two. Herrmann and Zorb combined for 18.0 innings on the mound, allowing 10 hits and just one run, while striking out a total of eight batters. At the plate, HC tallied 18 hits over two games, including seven for extra bases.

Herrmann struck out just three batters in the first game but scattered four hits and did not allow the Lions to score in his first complete-game shutout since April 21, 2018. In his final three collegiate appearances, Herrmann went 25.0 innings, allowing 14 hits and two runs, while fanning 24. The senior finishes the season 6-0 with a team-best 1.89 earned run average and 52 strikeouts.

Fellow senior, Josh Meszaros (Loveland, Ohio) went 2-for-3 in Game One, assisting in a 7-4 edge in hits for the Panthers. Junior Spencer Coop (Lexington, Ky.) scored the game's only run. Coop led off the top of the eighth with a triple and then crossed home plate in the next at-bat on a double from sophomore Grant Larimore (LaGrange, Ky.).

Herrmann induced a groundball double play in each of the first three innings to keep MSJ (9-22, 2-11 HCAC) off the scoreboard. The senior then retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced to secure his ninth collegiate complete game and second career shutout.

Coop, along with seniors Tyler Fitch (Crestwood, Ky.) and Chase Sizemore (Fishers, Ind.) tallied multiple hits in Game Two, as the Blue and Red outhit the Lions 11-6. Coop scored three times in the night cap, giving him four of HC's eight runs on the day.

Zorb nearly matched Herrmann's effort on the mound, allowing six hits and one run, while striking out five MSJ batters. The senior, who started 2019 dealing with an injury, caps his career with a 9-7 record. Friday's performance marked his second career complete game.

Coop and Larimore connected again for HC's first run of Game Two. The junior led off the top of the first with a walk and scored on Larimore's double. Fitch plated both Coop and Larimore with a double in the third to extend the Panthers' lead to 3-0.

Zorb's lone blemish came in the fifth, as the Lions took advantage of two hits and a walk to make the score 3-1.

Back-to-back, two-out base hits by Sizemore and freshman Andrew Littlefield (Louisville, Ky.) made HC's lead 5-1 in the top of the eighth. Sizemore and senior Ty Stover (Galveston, Ind.) would score on Littlefield's single.

Herrmann then plated Coop in the top of the ninth with a pinch hit, two-out double. The senior then scored on the next at-bat to make it 7-1 in favor of Hanover.

The Lions had the bases loaded in the ninth but Zorb worked around the runners to not allow a run and give the Panthers their first conference doubleheader sweep of the season.

Hanover went 5-5 during the final two weeks of the season to finish with a 15-19 overall mark, nearly doubling last spring's win total. Under first year head coach Grant Bellak, the Blue and Red finished 7-11 in HCAC play, which gives the program its highest conference winning percentage since 2015.

Contact: Tyler Jester