Hanover, Ind. – The Transylvania baseball team continued its foray through the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference schedule with a doubleheader split against the Hanover Panthers at K.T. Young Ballpark on Wednesday afternoon.
Hanover held off the Pioneers 5-3 in game one before the Pioneers turned on the offense late in game two to grab a 6-1 win.
With the split, the Pioneers moved to 15-18 and 5-7 in HCAC play while the Panthers moved to 7-21 overall and 4-10 in the HCAC standings.
After yielding a four-run third inning to the Panthers in game one, the Pioneers responded with a three-run fifth inning to cut Hanover's lead to 4-3. Hanover tacked on one more run in the seventh inning to stave off the Pioneers for the two-run victory.
Freshman starting pitcher Joey Yancey was saddled with the loss in game one, going five innings and yielding four earned runs on four hits and two walks. Yancey produced six strikeouts in his Tuesday appearance. Sophomore pitcher Collin Johnson picked up two strikeouts in a relief appearance to finish off the Wednesday opener.
The Pioneers' fruitful fifth inning charge was led off by a solo home run from senior infielder Taylor Henley that cut Hanover's lead to 4-1. Henley's big hit sparked a second run on a sacrifice fly RBI from junior outfielder Isaac Taylor to score freshman infielder Henry Molloy for the second run. Sophomore catcher Cole Ratliff smacked a single to centerfield to score sophomore outfielder David McAnelly for the third run of the game for the Pios.
Hanover mustered eight hits to three for Transylvania in the first game in a game that featured long defensive stretches of excellence. Of the game's eight runs, all were scored in three frames.
Game two featured another early go-ahead run by Hanover in the first inning before both teams settled in for three scoreless innings with the Panthers nursing a 1-0 advantage into the fifth inning.
Transylvania obtained its first lead of the afternoon in the top of the fifth inning with a two-run burst. With one runner on, senior outfielder Rex Rogers speared a single into centerfield to move the lead baserunner Molloy over to third. Taylor walked to load the bases with two outs before Ratliff drove in Molloy. Rogers took advantage of an infielding error to come home on the play for the second run.
As the Pioneers went in front, the duo of sophomore pitcher Robert Young and freshman pitcher Nick Craddock worked in tandem to hold the Panthers in check. Young went the first four innings, allowing one earned run over that stretch, followed by Craddock, who held the Panthers scoreless over the following three innings. Young struck out two while Craddock fanned four over his three-inning stint, the latter picking up his second victory of the season.
In the ninth inning, the Pioneers established their afternoon-ending cushion with a four-run explosion. Freshman Wade Lopiccolo led off the fireworks with an RBI double to centerfield to score sophomore designated hitter Austin Butts to hand the Pioneers a 3-1 lead. Henley was then hit by a pitch following a pitching change to join Lopiccolo on the base paths. Molloy then grounded out to score Lopiccolo on an RBI, and Taylor scored McAnelly and Henley on a two-run double to finish off the scoring.
Taylor went 2-for-4 in the game two win, adding a walk and two of the Pioneers' five RBI.
The Pioneers return to the field on Saturday, April 28 as they host the Manchester University Spartans for a 12:00 p.m. doubleheader at Marquard Field in Lexington. The doubleheader will also feature a Senior Day celebration as the Pioneers salute their three seniors: Taylor Henley, Jared Williams, and Rex Rogers.
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