Lexington, Ky. – The Transylvania baseball team opened up conference play in rousing fashion, using a go-ahead run in the eighth inning to forge a 5-4 victory against the Hanover College Panthers Tuesday at Marquard Field.
The Tuesday afternoon matchup marked the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference season opener for both sides, with the Pioneers squeezing out a late-inning win. The Pioneers improved to 6-8 on the season and 6-3 at home.
For the first half of the game, the Pioneers held the momentum. Hanover led off the top of the first inning with a 1-0 lead after an error saw Hanover's Jack Shine advance into scoring position and eventually score on a two-out single.
Besides the lone score in the first inning, Transylvania's starting pitcher, sophomore Landon Lynch enjoyed a strong start, ringing up six Panther batters over the first three innings.
Lynch continued to hold the Panthers scoreless all the way through the sixth inning, before the Hanover bats heated up and knocked Lynch out of the game holding a 4-1 lead.
Hanover rallied for a three-run inning in the sixth to tie up the game at 4-4. Following the offensive response from the Panthers, both pitchers went back into their respective grooves, as freshman relief pitcher Collin Johnson settled down over the next 2.2 innings to eventually collect the win for Transylvania.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Pioneers got the lone run they needed; after the first two Pioneer batters were quickly retired in the bottom of the eighth, McAnelly collected a base hit to the outfield, and then stole second base. On the ensuing at-bat, freshman catcher Cole Ratliff drew a walk and McAnelly adeptly stole third base. As the Hanover catcher attempted to end McAnelly's base-stealing journey at third, his throw skipped errantly into left field and McAnelly came home for the go-ahead run.
Senior Adam Boone came into the ninth inning and retired the side to clinch the clutch win for the Pioneers. It was the fourth save of the 2017 season for Boone.
Henley led the Pioneers with two RBIs, including a solo home run in the fifth inning.
The Pioneers are back in action on Friday, March 24 as they open up a three-game HCAC series against the Franklin College Grizzlies. Transylvania faces Franklin Friday at 4:00 p.m., followed by a Saturday doubleheader at 12:00 p.m., with all three games taking place at Marquard Field.
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