The Hiram College baseball team captured both games of a North Coast Athletic Conference doubleheader against Kenyon College, 7-5 and 9-8, at McCloskey Field in Gambier. In addition, Head Coach Howard Jenter becomes the program’s all-time winningest coach with the two victories.
In game one, the contest remained scoreless until the top of the third inning when Hiram (14-20, 2-14) struck for six runs highlighted by a two-RBI base hit by junior Shane Haidet (Alliance/Marlington) and a two-RBI double by junior Tim Calhoun(Canfield) to give the Terriers a 6-0 lead. Kenyon (20-14, 7-9 NCAC) tallied a run in the bottom of the fourth and added four more runs in the fifth to pull to within a run, 6-5. Hiram posted an insurance run in the top of the seventh on a defensive error, giving the Terriers a two-run advantage heading into the bottom of the inning. The Lords would get the game-tying runs on base in the inning with one out, but the Terriers got Kenyon to hit into back-to-back outs to hang on for the 7-5 win.
Hiram had 10 hits in the game with four players recording multi-hit games. Haidet, Calhoun and sophomore Mark Leone(Boardman) all had a pair of hits in four attempts. Haidet also scored two runs and had two RBI. Calhoun added a run scored in addition to two RBI, while Leone tallied a run scored and a RBI. Sophomore Ron DeAmicis (Austintown/Fitch) rounded out the multi-hit performances going two-of-three with a run scored.
On the mound, freshman Evan Wutrick (Alliance/Marlington) got the start and pitched four and two-thirds innings allowing five runs on eight hits and had one strikeout. He was also credited with the win and improves to 3-1 overall for the season. Sophomore J.T. Taylor (Niles) came on to pitch two-and-a-third innings in relief giving up no runs and just one hit to go along with a strikeout. He was also credited with a save.
In game two, Hiram grabbed the early lead scoring a pair of runs in the top of the first inning on a two-RBI single by juniorJim Jaksa (Chesterland/West Geauga). Kenyon took over the lead with a four-run second to make the score 4-2. The Terriers pulled to within a run in the fourth thanks to a RBI groundout to make the score 4-3. But the Lords added to their lead with two runs in the bottom of the inning increasing the margin to 6-3. Hiram regained the lead scoring a run in the sixth, three runs in the seventh and two runs in the eighth with both runs in the eighth coming on a two-RBI single by senior Ian Sewolich (Cleveland/St. Ignatius) givng the Terriers a 9-6 lead. The Lords got one of the runs back in the bottom of the eighth and added another run in the ninth to pull to within 9-8. The Kenyon run in the ninth came with two outs and Hiram would get the Lords to hit into the game-ending out without allowing another run to go on to post the 9-8 victory.
Hiram had three players finish game two with multiple hits. Haidet and senior Lee Cancilla (Cleveland/St. Ignatius) both went two-of-three with Haidet scoring two runs and Cancilla scoring a run in addition to a RBI. Leone went two-of-four at the plate and also scored a run.
Senior Mike Lalonde (Willowick/South) started on the mound in game two and pitched four innings allowing six runs on 10 hits and had two strikeouts. Sophomore Tanner Gilchrist (Ellwood City, Pa./Lincoln) pitched two innings of relief and was given the win, improving to 2-0 overall for the season. He allowed no runs on two hits and struck out one batter. Sophomore Pat Rhodes (Girard) pitched the final three innings to get the save giving up two runs on three hits and had two strikeouts.
With the two victories, Coach Jenter has now recorded 287 wins in his career becoming the all-time winningest coach in program history. Jenter, a 1985 graduate of the College, is in his 22nd season as Head Coach and surpasses Bill Proverbs who previously held the all-time win mark with 285 career victories in 32 seasons.
Hiram will host a three-game series against Wabash (Ind.) College this weekend as part of the NCAC cross-over weekend. The Terriers and Little Giants will play a pair of nine-inning games on Saturday (May 4) beginning at noon at Robert O. Fishel Field. The two teams will then play a single nine-inning game on Sunday (May 5) which also starts at noon.