AUBURNDALE, Fla. – The Panthers and Northern Vermont-Lyndon met for the third time this week with the Blue and Red sweeping the three-game series by a score of 16-1.
The Panthers (5-3 overall) displayed an offensive explosion plating 16 runs on 12 hits with 13 RBI. Hanover saw 10 players chart RBI in the contest paced by senior Mark Walkenhorst (Fort Thomas, Ky.) with a game-high three, while teammate freshman Jake Brackett (Brownsburg, Ind.) added two RBI.
On the mound, sophomore Andrew Littlefield (Lousiville, Ky.) claimed the win moving to 2-0 overall with seven strikeouts through seven complete innings of work.
The Blue and Red wasted little time getting on the board as junior Zeke Porta (Louisville, Ky.) drew a leadoff walk followed by a Littlefield base on balls setting the stage for senior Spencer Coop (Lexington, Ky.). Coop singled to left field loading the bases for Walkenhorst. The senior provided as he connected for a sacrifice fly to center field scoring Porta. Hanover plated on more run in the inning as Littlefield reached home on a Northern Vermont-Lyndon hiccup, 2-0.
NVU-Lyndon's bright spot came in the bottom half of the second as they were able to cut the deficit to 2-1. However, the top of the third saw an offensive explosion as the Panthers scored eight runs on five hits. The inning opened with a single from Coop before Walkenhorst again deemed clutch with a single to right field sending another Hanover base runner to the plate. Freshman Drew Kelly (Carmel, Ind.) and freshman Jacob Dupps (Louisville, Ky.) used patience at the dish drawing back-to-back walks for an RBI a piece. Porta continued his impressive day at the plate as he hit a shot to shortstop before Littlefield singled to right field pushing the HC advantage to 7-1. Hanover went on to score three more runs in the inning all on walks.
The top of the fifth inning opened with a single to left by Coop before a Walkenhorst walk and a Lyndon miscue advanced the runners to scoring position. Freshman Nash Murphy (Columbus, Ind.) garnered the RBI with one out as he hit a grounder to short, scoring Coop. The final run of the inning came off another NVU-Lyndon mishap.
The domination continued for Hanover as they plated four runs on two hits in the bottom of the seventh inning en route to the run rule victory. The inning saw freshman Dakota Metzinger (Vail, Ariz.) and Brackett chart RBI to close out the contest.
The Blue and Red return to action on Saturday, February 29 as they conclude their spring break trip with Gwynedd Mercy. First pitch is set for 9:15 AM.