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Baseball Goes 4-1 on 10 day stretch

JAKE CHRISMAN ’20 | STAFF WRITER •The Little Giant baseball team (18-6, 5-1 NCAC) swept the past week of conference play by defeating Kenyon College and sweeping Wittenberg University on Tuesday. “We are playing good team baseball right now and we look pretty solid in all parts of the game,” Cody Cochran ’18 said. “We just need to keep this rolling and we will be good.”

The Little Giants outscored the Lords 15-1 over the weekend, winning 12-1 in game one and 3-0 in game two. Following up with the strong weekend performance, Wabash defeated a tough opponent in Wittenberg 5-3 and 2-0.

The Little Giants got off to a slow start on Saturday, but managed to put up the first run
of the game in the third inning when Jackson Blevins ’20 plated a run on a fielder’s choice. Bryce Aldridge ’19 added on the Wabash lead with a
RBI triple in the fifth inning. Andrew Jumonville ’21 followed with a single, scoring Aldridge and increasing the lead to 4-0. Aldridge struck again
in the sixth inning with a three RBI double. To close out the game, the Little Giants exploded for five runs in the sixth off the bats of Matthew Annee ’21, Eric Chavez ’19, Henry Wannemuehler ’20, and Jared Wolfe ’19 (2). On the mound, Bryan Roberts ‘18 improved to 6-0, throwing 7.2 innings, recording seven strikeouts and allowing one run on five hits. Kevin O’Donnell ’19 and Sean Smith ’21 worked together to close out the game.

On Sunday, the Little Giants dominated defensively. Cochran started on the mound for the Little Giants. After a rough start on Easter weekend, Cochran came back strong, throwing seven innings allowing only four hits and no runs while recording five strikeouts. Zach Moffett ’20 closed out the game, throwing two innings and recording his third save of the season. “I think the pitching staff is doing really good right now,”

Cochran said. “We only gave up four runs this week in conference play, which is outstanding.”

At the plate, the Little Giants scored twice in the fifth inning on a RBI single off the bat of Annee. The Little Giants added to the lead with an error by the Lords in seventh inning off the bat of Wannemuehler. The Little Giants had eight hits in the 3-0 performance.

In the first game on Tuesday, Wittenberg struck first in the second inning with one run. The second came in the fourth, but did not go unanswered as the Little Giants retaliated with three of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Aldridge, Chavez, and Wolfe had three RBIs total. The Tigers tied the game in the fifth inning but were unable to hold off the Little Giants, who put two more runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 5-3 lead. The game winning RBI came off the bat of Joe House ‘19 and Chavez followed up with a RBI to add to the lead.

A host of Little Giants pitched in game one. Smith started on the hill for the Little Giants throwing four innings. Eric Murphy ’20 followed up with three strikeouts of his own. O’Donnell was credited with the win and Moffett recorded his fourth save of the season.

Wabash struck early in game two with a two run homerun in the top of the first off the bat of Blevins. Offensively, the rest of the game was quiet. Wabash recorded seven hits in the 2-0 win. On the mound, Kurt Lange ’21 got the start, going six innings and recording three strikeouts while holding the Tigers to only three hits. Lange handed the reins to his older brother, Erich Lange ’19, in the seventh, who threw one inning and struck out the side. O’Donnell threw in the eighth, setting up Moffett for another save (5) in the ninth.

“I think we have been are doing well at putting both components of the game together. We still aren’t quite playing our best baseball yet,” Aldridge said. “We struggled on offense today, but we were able to get enough out of it to come out with two wins. We’re hitting the ball hard, but they just weren’t falling when we needed them too.”

After the sweep of Wittenberg, the Little Giants traveled to Richmond, Indiana to take on Earlham College this past Wednesday. Earlham struck first in the bottom of the first inning with a single run. The Little Giants, however, were able to rally in the top of the sixth, scoring three runs. Tyler Downing ’18 (2) and House recorded RBIs.

The Big Earls were able to answer on the bottom half of the inning with a second run. Earlham added two runs in the bottom of the eighth to take a 4-3 lead. In the top of the ninth, the Little Giants tied the game with a single off the bat of Downing. Tyler Cooper ’18 started the game, going five innings and allowing two runs on three hits and recording one strikeout. Ryan Thomas ’19 relieved Cooper in the sixth. Thomas went 3.2 innings and gave up two runs on four hits. The Little Giants come up just short in 11th inning, dropping the game, 4-5.

Wabash takes the field again tomorrow at Goodrich Ballpark to take on the College of Wooster Fighting Scots (16-3, 6-0 NCAC). Wooster comes to Wabash with an overall record of in conference. “Even though its conference play and it’s a little more important, each game is another game,” Aldridge said. “We just want to take it one game at a time and keep playing as hard as we can.” Game one of the double header is scheduled to start at noon, with game two to follow.