Yeomen Take 3 of 4 From Kenyon Lords


Courtesy of Kristen McDonald

Senior captain Mike McDonald eyes his target in a game over spring break. McDonald is fourth on the team with a .394 batting average this season.

Bronwen Schumacher

This past weekend, the baseball team headed to Gambier, Ohio, to play the Kenyon College Lords in a four game league series. The Yeomen won the series 3–1, only dropping their third game by a score of 1–2. This win marks their fifth conference win of the season and is an improvement over last season’s series loss to the Lords.

In the first game on Saturday, the Yeomen defeated the Lords 11–1, as senior captain and pitcher Mike McDonald had a career-best performance, throwing a complete game while striking out 11 batters and walking none. The strong showing lowered his ERA to 0.93 and pushed his record to 4–1.

The second game proved more difficult, as the Lords scored six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, but the Yeomen ultimately closed things out and won 10–7. The second day, Kenyon nabbed its first North Coast Athletic Conference win of the season, scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to win 2–1.

Sophomore pitcher Harrison Wollman threw six strong innings, striking out two, walking one and allowing only two hits. A key throwing error by junior third baseman Jeff Schweighoffer led to the deciding runs, as McDonald was unable to successfully close the game out and allowed the tying and winning runs to score.

“We went 2–2 against Kenyon last year,” senior co-captain Mattie DeDoes said. “This year we really wanted to come out strong in the first game and set the tone for the rest of the series.”

Junior Danny Baldocchi agreed. “Last year they smoked us the first two games of the series, and I believe that that tough day lead us to our turning point last season,” he said. “The second day [last season], we beat them and were able to even up the season series. Even more importantly, we were able to show ourselves that we were better than them. That confidence carried over to this season where we went into each of those games expecting to win. Last year we figured out what we could accomplish, and this year we have made that discovery into more than just confidence. We have turned it into success.”

Both players also mentioned Mc Donald’s large contribution to the Yeomen’s wins this season.

“Mike pitched really well and got us off to a good start, and our lineup put some runs on the board early, which gave our team a lot of confidence,” DeDoes said.

Baldocchi echoed this sentiment. “As a senior, [Mike] has accepted the role of ace; but more than that, he does everything he can to help us win,” he said. “Each week he has thrown between 12 and 14 innings, a tough workload, and he has succeeded each time.”

Baldocchi also noted junior first baseman Ben Whitener’s influential role in the weekend series.

“Another guy who stepped up this past weekend is Ben Whitener,” he said. “In Ben’s previous starts, he showed potential, but either bad defense behind him or poor run support kept him from shining. Last Sunday, he gave us exactly what we needed to win the game, and we took his gift on the way to the series win.”

Whitener attributed his good game to a large improvement on defense.

“I had fantastic defense behind me,”he said. “Last year we picked up a transfer player, Kyle Decker, who has hit well and played fantastic defense at shortstop and second base. The team as a whole has stepped up their game.”

Whitener hopes to see the team continue to improve. “I’m hoping to see more consistent performances from our pitching staff, myself included,” he said. “We’re good, not great, and I think everybody has a small adjustment to make that will really improve their game.”

Unfortunately, the weekend momentum did not continue through this week, as the Yeomen dropped two games to the visiting Hiram College Terriers on Wednesday afternoon.

The team’s next games will come in a doubleheader against Allegheny College this weekend in Meadville, PA.

“Allegheny is always a very solid team who doesn’t make mistakes and does all the little things right. It should be a good test for us,” DeDoes said. “As long as we don’t beat ourselves, we should win at least two, if not three, games and be in great shape to get a home playoff series.”

The Yeomen will return home for a weekend series against the College of Wooster on April 18 and 19.