Baseball earns doubleheader split at Defiance

Tyler Fitch

DEFIANCE, Ohio – Junior Garett Zorb (Medina, Ohio) picked up his fifth win and freshman George Dant (Indianapolis, Ind.) earned his second save of the season as Hanover baseball split a road doubleheader at Defiance Saturday.

Hanover dropped the opener 5-1 before holding on for a 4-3 triumph in the night cap. After going 1-1 Saturday, the Panthers go to 8-22 overall and 5-11 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play. Defiance now hoists 12-17 overall and 5-9 HCAC marks.

In the night cap, Zorb went 7.0 innings, working around seven hits and three walks to allow just one run. The junior also struck out three as he improved to 5-1 on the campaign, lowering his team-leading earned run average to .198.

Leading 4-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Dant entered the game with no outs and runners on first and second base. After a sac bunt moved the runners to second and third and Dant issuing a free pass, the bases were loaded with one out. The freshman though, worked out of the jam, getting a fly out to center and a line out to third to secure the win. The Yellow Jackets were able to score one more run on the fly out to center and had the tying run on third after an intentional walk loaded the bases again.

Offensively, Hanover tallied eight hits with juniors Tyler Fitch (Crestwood, Ky.) and Ty Stover (Galveston, Ind.) leading the way with two apiece. Fitch would finish the doubleheader 3-for-6 with a pair of walks.

Stover drove in the game's first run with a single to left field, scoring classmate Josh Meszaros (Loveland, Ohio), who led off the frame with a walk. Senior Jack Shine (New Albany, Ind.) scored on the next at-bat with sac fly from freshman Grant Larimore (LaGrange, Ky.) giving HC a 2-0 advantage.

Shine would score his second run of the contest in the sixth, as he crossed home plate on a wild pitch with two outs. After Defiance added a run of their own in the seventh, Hanover led 3-1.

In the top of the eighth, Fitch gave Hanover an additional insurance run, one that would prove vital, as his single to left center scored the pinch-running Zeke Porta (Louisville, Ky.).

In the opener, the Panthers conceded four of the game's first five runs over four innings of action. The lone Panther score would come in the fourth as junior Sam Orem (Greenwood, Ind.) doubled to right and later crossed home plate on a Larimore base hit.

Defiance did all of its offensive damage early, scoring all of its runs through the first five frames. Freshman Justin Pope (Fishers, Ind.) did a nice job of keeping the Yellow Jackets scoreless in his two innings of relief work. Pope allowed just one hit, while striking out two batters.

Hanover will break from conference play when they travel to face Thomas More (Ky.) in a make-up doubleheader, beginning at 2 p.m., Sunday, April 29. The Panther season will then conclude next weekend with a Senior Day doubleheader against Mt. St. Joseph Saturday, May 5.

Contact: Tyler Jester