Oberlin’s Errors Prove Costly
The baseball team had a tough outing this weekend, as the Yeomen found themselves in a four-game conference matchup with the Allegheny College Gators.
With the North Coast Athletic Conference Crossover Series on the line, the Yeomen entered the series in second place in NCAC East but dropped all the way down to fourth place after the four-game skid. The losses extended the Yeomen’s losing streak to six, and the squad has now dropped seven of its last eight games, making its overall record 13–20 and 5–7 in conference play.
The Gators, boasting an 8–4 conference record at the conclusion of the weekend, snatched second place from the Yeomen in the NCAC East.
In game one Saturday, the Yeomen were first to hit the scoreboard, earning all three of their runs in the top of the second inning to jump out to an early 3–0 lead. The first run came courtesy of a two-out RBI single by sophomore Quin Butler. Senior outfielder John Evans delivered the other two, bringing in Butler and senior catcher Blaise Dolcemaschio.
However, the Gators had a breakthrough inning in the fourth, scoring five runs and plating another five in the following inning. Neither team brought runners home after the fifth inning, giving Allegheny a comfortable 10–3 win in game one.
Game two took off to a rocky start for Oberlin, as Allegheny surged to an early 3–0 lead against sophomore pitcher Sean Kiley in the first inning. Before being pulled from the game, Kiley surrendered five runs, with four earned on six hits. A big sixth inning advanced the score to 10–0 in favor of the Gators.
The Yeomen showed signs of life in the top of the seventh, scoring three runs on a bases-loaded walk to first-year outfielder Jake Reynolds, an RBI single by senior outfielder John Evans and an RBI groundout by junior outfielder Justin Cruz to close the gap to 10–3. However, Oberlin did not find its way across the plate for the rest of the contest, leaving Allegheny College 2–0 on the day.
Evans said the Yeomen were off their game Saturday, but that he did what he could to help his squad.
“Baseball is one of those games where you can be hot one day and off the other day,” Evans said. “I try my best to stick to my approach and do what my team needs from me.”
The Yeomen took the field Sunday looking to bounce back and even up the series, but the Gators had other plans, scoring seven unearned runs on five Oberlin errors.
Sophomore pitcher Milo Sklar had his work cut out for him in leading the Yeomen’s struggling defense but only allowed two earned runs in the 9–6 loss.
Sklar said his job on the mound is to stay consistent regardless of how his teammates behind him are playing.
“As a pitcher, you always have to trust your team to make plays behind you. It doesn’t change if your team has one bad game on the field,” Sklar said. Sklar’s record as a starter now sits at 3–2 on the year.
Oberlin held onto a 4–2 lead until the bottom of the fifth inning, which saw five Allegheny runs stretch the lead to 7–4 in the Gators’ favor. The Yeomen battled back in the top of the sixth to bring the game within one on a two-run homerun by Butler, giving him his first career long ball.
Unfortunately for the Yeomen, Allegheny went on to score two more runs in the bottom half of the inning for insurance, making the lead 9–6. Junior Brian Carney singled with two outs in the bottom of the seventh for the Yeomen, but to no avail.
Evans said that errors and losses aside, the Yeomen were extremely prepared for this weekend. “Our coaches do a great job preparing us on a week-to-week basis,” Evans said. “We just need to stay within ourselves and take everything one day at a time.”
In the last game of the series, both Oberlin and Allegheny were on the scoreboard in the first inning, each team having scored two runs.
Sophomore outfielder Sam Harris broke the 2–2 tie in the top of the second inning with a two-out RBI single to left field, but the Gators regained the lead in the fourth inning and never looked back. Oberlin went on to score just one more run in the seventh inning, and in the bottom half of that inning, Allegheny added two more insurance runs to put the game away 7–4.
The Yeomen host the College of Wooster Fighting Scots in a key league matchup this weekend, with the first pitch slated for noon Saturday.