DEFIANCE, Ohio – The Yellow Jacket baseball teams late rally fell short as they dropped a twinbill with Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Earlham on a beautiful Friday afternoon at Craig A. Rutter Field. The Quakers claimed game one 8-7 and took game two by a score of 11-7.
Defiance (7-15 overall, 1-7 HCAC) was led on the day by junior Michael Gilliland (Napoleon) with three RBI on three hits and two runs scored.
In game one, the Purple and Gold found themselves in a hole early as the Quakers plated two runs in the top of the first inning following a homerun to left field.
However, Defiance would knot the score at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning as junior Tanner Stippich (Lima/Allen East) led off the inning with a single to right. Junior Tyler Weaver (Defiance) followed suit as he hit a single setting the stage for freshman Lucas Thomeier (Wickliffe) who connected for an RBI single. Sophomore Ben Bucklew (Archbold) scored the tying run on the next at bat as he reached on a fielder's choice scoring Weaver.
Earlham answered in the top half of the fifth inning as they posted a five spot to extend the lead once more, 7-2.
The Yellow Jackets went to work in the bottom half of the inning as junior Troy Konwinski (Allen Park) provided a timely hit to left field that scored senior Glen Collier (Zionsville) cutting the deficit to 7-3.
Again the Quakers responded scoring what would become the game winning run in the top of the sixth inning off a Danny Dopp homer to left center.
Defiance looked to rally in the bottom of the ninth inning as Bucklew led off with a single. Junior Garrett Sierra (Defiance) then reached on a single to center field, setting the stage once more for Gilliland who doubled to left center scoring two runs. DC continued to apply the pressure as Konwinski reached first on a Quaker error that scored Gilliland and advanced Collier to third. Collier would go on to plate the game's final run on a wild pitch before Earlham retired the side.
Konwinski got the call for DC in game one pitching 4.2 innings surrendering six earned runs.
In game two, the Purple and Gold found themselves trailing early once more as the Quakers scored three runs in the top of the second inning.
The Yellow Jackets continued to find hits at the plate as freshman Nate Kaffenbarger (DeGraff/Indian Lake) doubled before later scoring on a Bucklew single, 3-1. DC would then add another run in the bottom half of the third inning as Collier went yard for a solo homerun to cut the deficit to 3-2.
The Quakers deemed too much for the Purple and Gold as they responded with a one run fourth inning and a seven run seventh inning to blow the game wide open, 11-2.
DC attempted another late rally as they plated four runs in the sixth inning and one in the eighth before the Earlham pitching staff was able to retire the side and claim the win.
The Yellow Jackets return to action Tuesday, April 17 as they play host to Manchester. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.