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Jackets Split With Earlham

Jackets Split With Earlham

DEFIANCE, OHIO  --  On a day that saw a combined 54 runs scored and 67 total hits, the Defiance College baseball team came away with a doubleheader split against Earlham (Ind.) College in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play at Craig A. Rutter Field.  The Quakers defeated the Yellow Jackets, 14-9, in game one, but DC then captured game two, 19-12.

In game one, both teams scored a run in the first inning with Defiance's (9-19, 6-9 HCAC) score coming off the bat of junior Glen Collier (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville) who hit a single down the left field line scoring senior Zack Reed (Midland, Mich./Bullock Creek).

Earlham (14-10, 9-6 HCAC) then scored three unanswered runs to take the lead before DC tallied a run in the bottom of the fourth with a RBI-single by sophomore Michael Gilliland (Napoleon) making the score 4-2.  The Quakers then scored six straight runs that included a two-run home run in the seventh to extend the margin to 10-2.

Defiance ended the streak with a run of its own in the bottom of the seventh on a base hit by sophomore Troy Konwinski (Allen Park, Mich./Allen Park).  

The eighth inning saw the Quakers tally three more scores, but the Jackets looked to mount a rally by plating six runs in their half of the frame that included run-scoring hits by Gilliand, senior Nick Watkins (Lima/Central Catholic) and Konwinski making the score 13-9.

Earlham tacked on a final run in the top of the ninth and would get Defiance to record three straight outs to claim the 14-9 victory.

The two teams combined for 35 hits in the game with 16 posting 16 of those hits.  Watkins, Konwinski and Gilliland all ended the game with three hits to lead the Jacket offense.  Watkins finished three-of-four with a pair of runs scored and a RBI.  Konwinski and Gilliland both went three-of-five and both scored a run to go along with two RBI.

Reed also had a multi-hit game and finished two-of-five overall with a run and RBI.  Five other Jacket players each recorded a hit in the loss.

Senior pitcher Dave Blanch (Alliston, Ont./Banting Memorial) was one of four pitchers to see action and would get the start.  Blanch pitched six complete innings, giving up eight runs, six earned, on 12 hits and struck out nine batters.  He was also credited with the loss.

Momentum swung back-and-forth between the two teams throughout the nightcap with DC taking the early momentum by scoring four runs in the first two innings that included a solo home run by Collier in the second inning.

Earlham then looked to take over the game by scoring 10 runs with nine of those runs coming in the top of the fourth to lead 10-4.  But momentum quickly swung back in favor of Defiance as the Yellow Jackets crossed home plate eight times in the bottom of the fourth hightlighted by a three-run shot by Collier, his second of the game, and a two-run triple by Reed to regain the lead, 12-10.

The Quakers answered with two runs in the fifth, highlighted by a solo homer, to even the game at 12-12.  

The two runs by Earlham would be the final scores the rest of the way for the Quakers as Defiance scored six unanswered runs, including a five-run seventh inning that saw a pair of two-RBI hits by freshman Everett Kissel (Defiance/Tinora) and sophomore Tyler Weaver (Defiance) as DC went on to win, 19-12, in a scoring marathon.

Collier, Weaver and Kissel had three hits in the game.  Collier had three hits in five at-bats to go along with four runs and four RBI.  Weaver went three-of-four in addition to scoring a pair of runs and four RBI.  Kissel also posted a three-of-four effort at the plate and plated four runs in addition to scoring a run.  

Senior Quinten Harrington (Sandusky/Perkins) went two-of-two with four runs scored and a RBI.  Gilliland recorded his second multi-hit game finishing two-of-four with two runs scored.  Reed ended the game one-of-five at the plate and drove in three runs.

Defiance again sent four players to the mound with Watkins getting the start and going 3.2 innings while allowing eight runs, five earned, on nine hits and had a strikeout.  Konwinski would pitch 4.2 innings in relief to become the pitcher of record and claim the win after giving up two runs on five hits and struck out five batters.

Defiance will host Bluffton University in the second meeting of the season and a HCAC single game at Rutter Field on Tuesday, Apr. 18.  The game is scheduled to begin at 4:15 p.m.