Hanover, Ind. – The Transylvania baseball team used a hot start and a powerful finish to take a 7-4 win against the Hanover College Panthers Tuesday night at KT Young Ballpark.
Seizing a 5-0 lead after three innings allowed the Pioneers to build a big offensive cushion that assisted in weathering four unanswered runs from the Panthers midway through the game.
The Pioneers enjoyed nine hits on the evening, receiving a 2-for-4 day from junior designated hitter Blake Hart and a 2-for-3 day from freshman catcher Cole Ratliff in the cleanup spot. Transylvania racked up nine hits to six for Hanover.
The Pioneers improved to 11-15 overall, and 6-7 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play, halting a four-game losing streak in the process. Hanover dropped to 15-10 overall, and even with the Pioneers in the HCAC standings at 6-7.
Transylvania jumped out to a quick start on the road by loading the bases. With two outs, all the runs poured in as freshman outfielder Riley Willbur drew a bases-loaded walk. On the next at-bat, junior outfielder Rex Rogers powered a single into left field to score Ratliff and Hart for the 3-0 lead.
The Pioneers kept up the hot bats in the third inning with two more runs. Willbur delivered a sacrifice fly RBI to score Ratliff for a 4-0 lead. Then, sophomore infielder Kyler Dugle replicated that effort with another sacrifice fly RBI that drove in freshman infielder David McAnelly to raise Transylvania's lead to 5-0 after three.
Hanover threatened the Pioneers in the fourth and fifth innings, nearly tying up the game against sophomore starting pitcher Daniel Seitzinger, who went six innings on the night with four strikeouts.
After a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning, Hanover tacked on three straight runs in the bottom of the fifth to cut Transylvania's lead to 5-4. Seitzinger induced the final two Panther batters into flyouts to get out of the inning with the lead.
Transylvania responded by holding Hanover scoreless over the final four innings, while discovering some insurance runs of its own. In the top of the eighth inning, Hart blasted a double into right field to score Dugle and sophomore outfielder Isaac Taylor for a three-run Transy cushion at 7-4.
Seitzinger picked up the win for Transylvania, his third of the season, while Landon Lynch earned a three-inning save.
The Pioneers continue their road trek as they head to Anderson, Indiana to take on Anderson University in a three-game series beginning Friday, April 14. First pitch of their Friday meeting is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.
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