HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover College baseball team picked up a doubleheader split Saturday afternoon against Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival Anderson.
The Panthers (10-14, 2-6 HCAC) dropped Game One by a score of 10-4. Hanover then rallied to beat the Ravens (13-10, 4-4 HCAC) in Game Two, 4-3.
GAME ONE RECAP (L, 10-4)
Hanover received all nine of its hits from just four players, led by senior Chase Sizemore (Fishers, Ind.), who went 3-for-4. Classmates Tyler Fitch (Crestwood, Ky.) and Ty Stover (Galveston, Ind.), as well as junior Spencer Coop (Lexington, Ky.) added two hits apiece.
The opener saw a combined seven runners score in the second inning, as Anderson led 4-3. Fitch led off the bottom of the frame with a single and Stover followed with a walk. After an out was recorded, Sizemore hit a home run to left field to clear the bases. Sizemore now has now recorded both of his collegiate home runs this spring.
The Panthers added their fourth run in the fourth on a two-out base hit by Fitch, which scored Coop. Hanover had tied the game at four-all with five innings to play.
The Ravens though, responded with a run in the next half inning, and later plated five in the seventh to secure the 10-4 victory. Senior Garett Zorb (Medina, Ohio) pitched 2.1 innings in relief, allowing one run on two hits.
GAME TWO RECAP (W, 4-3)
Despite being outhit 13-7 in the night cap, the Panthers used four extra-base hits to get past the Ravens and earn the split.
Each side tallied two runs in the first three innings to knot the contest at two-all one-third of the way in. Junior Mark Walkenhorst (Fort Thomas, Ky.) plated Coop on an infield single in the first for HC's opening run. Freshman Kevin Van Valkenburg (Georgetown, Ky.) then hit a double to left center in the second inning to score classmate Andrew Littlefield (Louisville, Ky.), who also doubled to lead off the frame.
Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth, the Panthers scored twice to capture a 4-3 advantage, a lead they would never surrender. Sophomore Grant Larimore (LaGrange, Ky.) drove in a run with a double down the left field line and Coop scored on a groundball double play to put HC in front.
Larimore, who started the game in center field, was sprung into action on the mound with one out in the top of the fifth after sophomore starter Eli Copner (Zionsville, Ind.) was forced to leave the game. Larimore allowed just the one run in the fifth before holding the Ravens scoreless over the final three innings to pick up his second win of the spring. The sophomore scattered seven hits and struck out five.
Anderson had a one-out single in the top of the ninth, with the runner advancing to second on a wild pitch. With the tying run in scoring position, the next at-bat saw a deep fly ball caught by Littlefield in right center, who lost his balance on the play, which allowed the runner on second to tag up and score. However, Hanover appealed the runner left early and the umpire agreed, calling the AU runner out and ending the game.
UP NEXT: The Panthers split four HCAC contests this week and will continue league play with a trip to Bluffton next Saturday, April 20. The doubleheader is set for a noon start.
Contact: Tyler Jester