Richmond, Ind. – The Transylvania men's baseball team took on the Earlham College Quakers Friday afternoon, enduring a pair of 8-2 and 7-4 defeats at Sadler Stadium.
The Pioneers dropped to 13-22 overall, and 8-14 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
Earlham improved to 16-6 in the conference standings with the pair of wins over the Pioneers.
The Pioneers ventured to Richmond on Friday, looking to upend one of the top two teams in the HCAC. Transylvania had its hopes for a game one victory dashed by three errors as the Quakers pulled away by an 8-2 margin. In the nightcap, the Pioneers began a late-game comeback, but Earlham tacked on two runs towards the end to hold the Pios at bay for the 7-4 final.
The Pioneers began game one with promise as they tacked on one run to commence the game. In the top of the first inning, sophomore outfielder Isaac Taylor led off by getting aboard after an Earlham infielding error. Taylor took advantage by stealing second and advancing all the way to third on a consecutive Quakers error.
Junior designated hitter Blake Hart drove in Taylor with a hard-hit grounder to the left side to give the Pioneers one of their two runs of the first game.
Earlham got back the Pioneers twice with two runs each in the third and fourth innings to claim a 4-1 lead. The Quakers delivered Transy a taste of its own medicine by scoring the go-ahead runs on an error with two men in scoring position.
Transylvania cut the Earlham lead to 4-2 in the top of the seventh as senior first baseman Connor Blevins hit an RBI base hit to score sophomore outfielder Daniel Seitzinger. But Earlham punched back again with four runs in the bottom of the seventh to craft the final score of 8-2.
Banahan took the loss, yielding two earned runs, four walks, and issuing two strikeouts in the performance. Freshman pitcher Collin Johnson worked the final 2.1 innings of the game.
Earlham outhit Transylvania 11 to 3 in game one, with Seitzinger and freshman infielder David McAnelly registering the other hits.
Earlham got on the board first in the second game of the day with an RBI bunt single in the third inning for a 1-0 lead, and tacked on another run in the fifth inning.
Transylvania scored for the first time in the game in the top of the sixth inning, when McAnelly stole home in a thrilling moment to cut Earlham's lead to 2-1.
But the Quakers struck back quickly in the bottom of the frame with a three-run burst to grab a 5-1 advantage.
However, the Pioneers did not back down and mustered a valiant comeback in the top of the eighth inning. Still trailing by four runs, Taylor and Seitzinger got on base with back-to-back singles. The next batter, Blake Hart, stepped up to the plate and drove a three-run homer for a dwindling 5-4 Earlham lead.
Earlham answered again in the bottom half of the inning, collecting two RBI singles to grow its lead back to three runs with a 7-4 lead. The Quakers struck out the final two Pioneer batters to finish out the game with the three-run victory.
Johnson took the loss in game two, issuing six strikeouts versus two walks over eight innings of play. Taylor led the way with a 3-for-4 day at the plate, while freshman outfielder Willbur went 2-for-4 at bat.
Transylvania and Earlham wrap up their series tomorrow at 12 p.m. noon. The Pioneers have five games remaining in their regular season.
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