Defiance, Ohio – A complete-game performance from senior pitcher Tom Banahan and a 12-hit day from the Pioneers battery lifted the Transylvania baseball team to an 8-1 victory over the Defiance College Yellow Jackets Saturday afternoon at Rutter Field.
The Pioneers witnessed one of the finest career performances from Banahan, a Lexington, Kentucky product, to grab the series-opening victory against the Yellow Jackets on Saturday.
Transylvania improved to 4-2 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play and 9-10 overall as it led Defiance in a wire-to-wire win.
Banahan got the start in Saturday's lone game of the ensuing three-game series and looked comfortable as soon as the senior toed the rubber. Banahan retired the side in the bottom of the first inning, collecting the first two of nine total strikeouts on the afternoon. Banahan went on to tally nine strikeouts versus four walks, four hits, and one earned run.
While Banahan stood strong on the mound, the Pioneers' offense joined forces with their veteran hurler in the third inning. The Pioneers put the first run of the game on the scoreboard with a two-out RBI single from senior outfielder Connor Blevins for a 1-0 lead.
Banahan went on to retire the next six consecutive batters before Transylvania went back on the offensive in the top of the fifth. A sacrifice fly RBI from sophomore outfielder Daniel Seitzinger scored freshman outfielder Riley Wilbur, and junior infielder Jared Williams followed with a sacrifice fly RBI of his own to make it a 3-0 Transylvania advantage after five.
The Pioneers added another power punch in the following inning, adding three more runs to take a 6-0 lead. Wilbur was heavily involved in the scoring affair, driving in two runners on a double, and then stole third and made his way home after a throwing error from Defiance's catcher.
Defiance made its only dent in Banahan's armor in the bottom of the inning by gaining a two-out sacrifice fly RBI, but the senior was unfazed the rest of the way.
The Pioneers were led on offense by junior first baseman Taylor Henley, who went 3-for-4 from the plate. The number 5 through 7 batters in the starting lineup for Transylvania combined to hit 7-for-11 on the day. The Pioneers collected five doubles on the afternoon, with Wilbur smacking two of them.
The Pioneers and Yellow Jackets will reprise their series tomorrow, beginning at noon as they commence a Sunday afternoon doubleheader at Rutter Field.
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