Yeomen Sweep Doubleheader from Kenyon Lords

James Kriz

With the stakes as high as they’ve been all year, the Yeomen baseballers stepped up to the challenge, winning both contests in a crucial doubleheader against North Coast Athletic Conference foe Kenyon College by scores of 5–1 and 8–6 this past Sunday.

It was a sunny but windy day at Dill Field, and this matchup had even more at stake on top of this fierce rivalry. With both squads jockeying for playoff berths, it was a must-win on both sides.

The first game, while offering some suspense early on, was blown wide open by the Yeomen during the third inning. Oberlin scored a total of four runs in the frame, keyed by a two-run triple off the bat of sophomore infielder Eric Knight. Fellow sophomore outfielder Robin Witjes added a two-run single of his own, and the Yeomen were off and running with a five-run lead.

Those runs would be more than enough for senior pitcher Phil Brua, who delivered a very strong performance on the mound. Brua took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and ended up going the distance, allowing only three baserunners in the entire game.

The second game tested the resilience of the Yeomen, as the Lords would not go down quietly. Oberlin again jumped out ahead, scoring twice in the second inning. The Lords weren’t finished, though, as they touched up senior starter Grady Campion to tie the game at three in the fourth inning.

Kenyon’s momentum was short-lived, however, as the Yeomen showed how badly they wanted the sweep. Oberlin produced five runs in the home half of the fourth. They were helped out by some shoddy Lords defense, as Kenyon turned a bunt by Witjes into a triple with a big throwing error. Senior outfielder Ben Kauder then laid down a beautiful squeeze bunt to score Witjes and cap off the rally.

The Yeomen would eventually hold on, taking the nightcap by a final of 8–6. Brua again came up big, notching his fifth save of the year.

Campion, though he didn’t have his best stuff, gutted out a solid performance. He scattered nine hits over 5.1 innings, seemingly always getting the big out that he needed to avoid a big Lords rally.

There was no rest for the weary, however, as Oberlin had another big doubleheader at home against Hiram College. Despite falling in game one by a score of 0–3, the Yeomen bats were able to retaliate with a massive offensive effort to take the nightcap 15–0.

In the opener, senior starter Brandon Cantrill was the hard-luck loser. Cantrill threw a complete game, surrendering just three runs while striking out five.

Oberlin’s offense managed just two hits, however, and timely hits by Hiram in the fourth and fifth innings were enough to seal the victory.

Game two was a completely different story. Ten different Yeomen recorded hits, as the runs came early and often. After putting up two runs in each of the first two innings, Oberlin exploded for six in the third behind RBIs from senior infielder Max Phinney, senior infielder Ben Puterbaugh, Cantrill and Knight.

Knight was the beneficiary of this offensive eruption, going four shutout innings to keep Hiram at bay.

Every game is a big one from here on out as the Yeomen hit the stretch run. Next up, the team takes on Allegheny College in a double-header on Friday at home at Dill Field. The first game is set to start at 1 p.m.