Yeomen Baseball Off to Hot Start

Shuntaro Shirota

Four away games and four wins. The Yeomen come out of last weekend as a perfect squad, completing a sweep over the D’Youville College Spartans in Avon, Ohio. Spirits are high for the Yeomen as they enter the week after being triumphant in two double headers.

The first set, on Saturday, featured impressive execution on offense combined with stellar pitching. Led by sophomore Andrew Hutson, who completed the day going six for seven with three runs and four RBIs, the Yeomen put up 10 and 14 run games, respectively. Although poor pitching and defense did not help the Spartans, Oberlin’s strong offense was sensational as it rallied runs consistently. “Our offense is one of our strengths. We hit the ball hard, [and] we pushed [D’Youville]’s defense,” explained Coach Abrahamowicz. Another notable contributor was sophomore Ben Whitener, who went four for six with two RBIs throughout the double header.

The offensive effort was backed up by strong pitching performances. Junior Mattie DeDoes got the nod for the start in game one and completed five perfect innings with an impressive six strikeouts and only two walks. Commanding game two was sophomore Justin Kidd, who only allowed two hits in four innings. Both games were closed out by first-years Henry Rice, Josh Newborn, Jordan Cohen and Machmud Makhmudov, who represent the Yeomen’s talented rookie class. Oberlin finished day one with 2–10 and 2–14 victories.

The Yeomen cruised through day one, but the double header on Sunday would prove to be a more difficult test. As it battled from behind in both contests, the team had to will its way to a win. The Spartans started out hot, but sloppy defense gave the Yeomen an opportunity to rally. It took until the fourth inning of both games for the Yeomen to hit the scoreboard. The offense on day two was led by sophomore Mitch Novak, who finished the day four for four and scored two runs. Despite the slow starts, the Yeomen completed their four-game sweep over D’Youville with day two victories of 4–6 and 5–11.

As it stands, the Yeomen roster looks complete. With most of their members from last season returning and the introduction of 18 first-year recruits, the Yeomen are poised for success. Competition for each position is high, but Coach Abrahamowicz believes that the added depth will help tremendously to the long and arduous season. Additionally, having many returning players gives the Yeomen the advantage of experience, coupled with strong team camaraderie.

“We all know our strengths and our weaknesses, and how we react to certain situations. [That familiarity] is going to play a big role in our success this season,” Hutson said. Performance in adverse situations is something that is improved with repetition. As evidenced by their come-from-behind wins on Sunday, the high experience level of this team will help it deal with the demands of the season.

The snowstorm on Wednesday postponed the Yeomen’s showdown with Siena Heights University and has left the team eager to play. While one might suspect that a cancellation would hamper Oberlin’s momentum from the weekend, this does not seem to be the case. “I can’t think of a single player that isn’t just waiting to get out on the field,” said Novak. Hutson added that they are “a hungry team. No matter what, we are going hard every practice to ensure we are the best that we can be.” Promising words to compliment a highly capable team; the future looks bright as Oberlin prepares for the battles ahead.