HANOVER, Ind. – Sophomore Grant Larimore (La Grange, Ky.) homered during a three-for-five day at the plate as the Hanover College baseball team won its home opener against Eureka (Ill.) Tuesday, 10-3.
The Panthers (5-2) have now won three straight games, their longest winning streak since a six-game stretch early in the 2017 campaign. Hanover also tallied double-digit runs for the second time this spring.
Larimore led a potent offensive attack for the Panthers with three hits, while the trio of seniors Ty Stover (Galveston, Ind.) and Tyler Fitch (Crestwood, Ky.), and freshman Andrew Littlefield (Louisville, Ky.) added two hits apiece. Hanover outhit the Red Devils (2-1) by a count of 13-6. Stover also drove in a team-high four runs in the contest.
On the mound, sophomore Eli Copner (Zionsville, Ind.) drew his second start of the season, going 8.0 innings, allowing three runs on five hits. The sophomore went through a stretch of retiring 18-of-21 batters, including two periods of six or more consecutive outs.
Eureka opened the scoring after a leadoff single, followed by two stolen bases and a two-out hit gave the Red Devils a 1-0 advantage through half an inning. Hanover responded in the bottom of the second as a base hit from Littlefield scored junior Mark Walkenhorst (Fort Thomas, Ky.), who led off the frame with a single to left field.
Scoring continued into the third inning, with Eureka again taking a one run lead, 2-1. The Panthers though, received a single through the left side by Stover that scored two, classmates Josh Meszaros (Loveland, Ohio) and Chase Sizemore (Fishers, Ind.), giving HC a 3-2 lead through three full frames.
Larimore added to the lead in the bottom of the fourth with his blast to left field. Hanover then tacked on six additional runs in the sixth. Meszaros, single, and Stover, double, each drove in two runs, while Fitch and Littlefield added to the lead with a single and sac fly, respectively. The Panther advantage grew to 10-2 with three innings remaining.
Leading 10-3, junior Sam Crick (Seymour, Ind.) was called on to pitch the ninth. Crick struck out his first batter before allowing a base hit. The junior responded though by rolling a game-ending, 4-6-3 double play.
Hanover's victory marks just its second home-opening win in the past six seasons. The last occurrence came in 2017 when the Panthers got off a to 9-3 start.
The Blue and Red will look to continue their winning ways when they host Thomas More (Ky.) at 4 p.m., Wednesday, March 13.
Contact: Tyler Jester