(photo credit David Rearic)
Lexington, Ky. – Senior outfielder Hunter Jones delivered a 3-for-4 day and the Transylvania baseball team received a consistent effort from their pitching corps to post a 6-2 victory against Hanover on Wednesday at Marquard Field.
Tom Banahan got the win for Transylvania, who went the first five innings of the game before exiting the midweek matchup with a 3-1 lead and six strikeouts registered against the visiting Panthers. The Pioneers sprinkled in one run in the first, third, and fourth innings to gradually build the 3-1 advantage.
Outfielder Connor Blevins put the Pioneers on the board in the bottom of the first with his base hit to right field to drive in Aaron Johnson from third. The agile Johnson again grabbed his second and Transy's second run of the game after he stole second base before Jared Williams drove him in in the bottom of the third inning. The run answered a tying score from Hanover in the second inning via a Kyle Kruer RBI single that drove in Travis Thompson.
Jones's bat began heating up in the bottom of the fourth inning when his two-out RBI single drove in Blake Hart to push Transylvania ahead, 3 to 1. Meanwhile Banahan continued dishing on the mound, retiring the side in the top of the fifth in a tidy and efficient five-inning appearance.
Reliever Adam Boone took the baton from Banahan and accelerated with grace through the next two innings as he induced all three batters in the sixth inning into infield groundouts, and made quick work of the order in the top of the seventh.
Matt Birkenhauer took over for Boone in the top of the eighth, allowing one run and tossing a strikeout as Hanover pulled back within one run at 3 to 2. But the Pioneers put any debate of a close game on the shelf as they responded with a three-run inning in the bottom half of the inning.
A Kody Ross double commenced the proceedings in the eighth, and Taylor Henley's groundout moved Ross to third. Hart then walked and advanced to second on a heartbreaking play at the plate in which Ross was thrown out sliding for the second out.
But with two outs, Jones again replicated his delivery from the fourth inning smacking an RBI double up the middle to score pinch-runner Isaac Taylor and move Rex Rogers to second base. Senior Trey Simpson then put the game on ice with a two-RBI double to give Transylvania their final 6-2 lead.
The Pioneers had an enjoyable day at the plate, hitting 13-for-33 as a team with Jones, Simpson, Johnson, and Williams all having multiple-hit days.
The Pioneers improved to 8-5 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play and 12-13 overall. Hanover fell to 2-11 in HCAC competition and 5-20 on the season.
Transylvania is back in action on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. at Marquard Field as they host the Anderson Ravens for the first of a three-game series. Their doubleheader gets underway on Saturday at 12:00 p.m.
For the latest on Transylvania's baseball program, follow their official twitter @TransyBaseball