The Oberlin Review

Baseball Earns Pair of Wins on Senior Day

Marissa Clardy, Staff Writer

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The Oberlin baseball team capped off its season this past weekend with a trio of doubleheaders. Although the weekend was bookended by two pairs of losses to the Ohio Northern University Polar Bears on Friday and the Allegheny College Gators on Sunday, the Yeomen rallied to sweep both games on senior day Saturday against the Hiram College Terriers.

Against the Polar Bears, Oberlin dropped two heartbreaking pitching duels by identical 3–2 scores. The team started off strong in the opener, taking a 2–0 lead after three innings on RBIs in the first and third by senior catcher Brandon Cantrill and senior outfielder Max Phinney, respectively.

Senior starter Phil Brua was again a hard-luck loser, going the distance allowing just two hits. Brua ran into trouble in the fourth, as a leadoff walk and an Oberlin error led to a two-run double to even the score.

After ONU eked across another run to take a lead, the Yeomen were in business in the seventh and final frame, as sophomore infielder Matt Fish led off with a walk and was sacrificed to second. The next two hitters hit harmless fly balls, however, and the rally was quelled.

Oberlin was similarly frustrated in the nightcap, as senior starter Ryan Mouch surrendered just two runs in 4.2 innings, with ONU scratching across one run each in the third, fourth and fifth innings.

Down in a 3–0 hole, the Yeomen tried to fight back, as senior infielder Ben Puterbaugh hit an RBI single in the fifth and first-year Steve DiNanno scored on a throwing error in the sixth to pull his team within one. Oberlin would end up going quietly into the night, however, as it went 1–2–3 (all three batters retired in order) in the seventh to end the game.

Saturday marked the final home games for a very successful class of seniors, as Oberlin went on to take both from Hiram College 15–2 and 4¬–3.

The Yeomen came out inspired in the afternoon tilt; Phinney highlighted the offensive barrage with a 3-for-3 effort that included a mammoth home run and four RBIs.

“I was really excited when I hit my home run,” Phinney said. “I saw that it was an inside pitch so I hit a bomb. We were already up at that point but it was still special to put one out in one of my final at-bats. I tried not to smile until I stepped on home plate but I broke into a huge grin rounding third.”

Senior starter Grady Campion was the beneficiary of the huge run support, spinning four innings of one run baseball in the win.

Game two was a whole different ball game, no pun intended. Ben Puterbaugh kicked off the scoring with an RBI double in the first, but both pitchers would settle in as the game went into the seventh a 1–0 affair.

Junior Jason James was one out away from a no-hitter, but the Terriers’ Ian Sewolch broke up the bid with an infield single. After a Hiram walk, Phil Brua was brought in to get the final out. However, Hiram’s Doug Adkins was able to hit a three-run home run to give the Terriers the lead.

But the Yeomen would rally for the win in their final home game. Sophomore infielder Eric Knight reached on an error and sophomore outfielder Zach Jaspers followed with a walk. After first-year infielder Sean Cohen delivered a textbook sacrifice bunt, running on contact, was caught in a rundown between third and home.

Luck was on Oberlin’s side though, as the Terriers’ catcher dropped a perfect throw allowing Blumenthal, a first-year outfielder, and Jaspers to score to tie the game. With Fish on third, Hiram pitcher Mike Lalonde uncorked a wild pitch that went to the backstop allowing Fish to score the winning run.

The Yeomen couldn’t carry their momentum over to Sunday, dropping two close road contests to Allegheny. In game one, the Gators were able to score the eventual winning run on a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning en route to a 4–3 win. Phinney recorded the 100th hit of his career in the losing effort.

In game two Campion threw a complete game, although he did give up five runs (four earned). The offense didn’t do him any favors, managing only two hits in a 5–2 defeat.

The Yeomen, although they can still schedule a game this week to reach the NCAA maximum of 40 games per season, will most likely end the year with a 16–23 (5–10 North Coast Athletic Conference) record. Although the team will lose a lot of senior talent, the cupboard is far from bare. Eric Knight and first-year outfielder Zach Kisley highlight a returning group loaded with talent and ready to make another run at what would be its first-ever playoff appearance next season.

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