HANOVER, Ind. - With the season set to wrap up this weekend, the Hanover baseball team will honor its three graduating seniors on Senior Day when the Panthers host Mount St. Joseph in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader Saturday, May 5 at 1 p.m. at K.T. Young Ballpark.
LAST WEEK: Hanover played six games last week, including a doubleheader at home against Transylvania (Ky.) and road twin bills at Defiance (Ohio) and Thomas More (Ky.). The Panthers earned splits against Transylvania and Defiance and dropped both contests to the Saints.
In the 5-3 win over Transylvania Wednesday, freshmen Eli Copner (Zionsville, Ind.) and George Dant (Indianapolis, Ind.) achieved collegiate firsts. Copner tossed five innings and allowed two earned runs to earn his first collegiate victory, while Dant closed out the game with a scoreless inning in the ninth to record his first career save.
After dropping the first game Saturday to Defiance, the Panthers hung on for a 4-3 win in game two as junior Garett Zorb (Medina, Ohio) threw seven strong innings of one run baseball to pick up his fifth win of the season to only one loss. Dant entered with runners on in the ninth and finished the game for his second save of the week.
SCOUTING MOUNT ST. JOSEPH: The Lions will enter Saturday's games with a 13-21 overall record and a 4-11 mark in the HCAC. Mount St. Joseph has lost eight straight, including dropping both ends of a doubleheader to Defiance (17-6, 11-9) Tuesday in Cincinnati.
Through 34 games, the Lions are hitting .280 as a team, which is tied for fifth in the HCAC. Their pitching staff has posted a 4.08 earned run average to rank third, and they are eighth in fielding percentage at .942.
ZORB DOES IT AGAIN: Garett Zorb has been a model of consistency for the Panthers this season. In nine starts, the junior hurler has gone at least six innings seven times, including a seven-inning effort last weekend against Defiance. He has allowed one earned run or less in six of those nine starts, including four games in which he did not allow an earned run over 30.0 innings of work.
For the season, Zorb's five wins are one less than the HCAC leaders (6), while his ERA of 1.98 is good for third overall. In conference play, he has been even better. Zorb is tied for third with 36.2 innings pitched and has the lowest ERA in league games by any HCAC starter at 1.23, which is second best among all pitchers with 18.0 innings or more.
In addition, he has set new personal bests in innings pitched (59.0), strikeouts (34), ERA (1.98) and wins (5).
MESZAROS LOOKING TO FINISH STRONG: Although his 13-game hitting streak came to an end at Defiance, junior Josh Meszaros (Loveland, Ohio) continues to be one of the top hitters in the HCAC. In 14 conference games, the third-year outfielder has hit safely in 13 of them with six multi-hit games. With two games to play, he currently ranks third among all HCAC players with a .432 average in conference games, including eight extra-base hits, 11 runs scored and 12 RBI.
Like Zorb, Meszaros has also set new season highs for himself in games played (29), at-bats (99), runs (17), hits (30), doubles (6), walks (18), average (.303), on-base percentage (.415) and slugging percentage (.475).
SENIOR DAY: This weekend's games will serve as the final games both at home and for their careers for three Hanover seniors. John Scheil (Indianapolis, Ind.), Drew Shafer (Ashley, Ohio) and Jack Shine (New Albany, Ind.) will each be honored Saturday for the efforts they've made over their four years at Hanover.
Scheil and Shine have each appeared in over 100 games in their careers, while Shafer has proven to be a team-first guy his entire four years in a Hanover uniform.
The Panthers will look to do what they have done in four of the last five years, and that is send the seniors off on a high note with a win in their final day at K.T. Young Ballpark. Hanover defeated Transylvania 10-5 on Senior Day a year ago.
CONTACT: Mike Pritchard