Baseball Ready for NCAC Crossover Play

Junior Mitch Novak fires the ball toward first base in a game at Dill Field. Novak is second on the
team with 22 RBIs.

Courtesy of Ryan Baker

Junior Mitch Novak fires the ball toward first base in a game at Dill Field. Novak is second on the team with 22 RBIs.

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The Yeomen split their doubleheader against The College of Wooster Fighting Scots on their Senior Day this past Saturday. The Yeomen won the first game 3–2 but fell to the Scots 4–2 in 10 innings in the second game.

In the opener, senior Mike McDonald secured his sixth win of the year by striking out eight and allowing only six hits and two runs in what was his team-leading fifth complete game. Saturday’s game marked McDonald’s 15th career win for Oberlin, just one short of tying the school record held by Jack Dunn, OC ’10.

“I think my success this season is due to the work I put in over the summer and due to the support I have had from my team in the field and at the plate,” McDonald said. “We have been hitting great and a lot of young guys have stepped up to aid on the mound. It makes it a lot easier to pitch when we get a lead early.”

The Yeomen got off to a strong start as RBI singles from junior Andrew Hutson and Mitch Novak got the Yeomen on the board first and gave them a quick 2–0 lead.

The Scots quickly responded as they scored a run in the top of the second, but the Yeomen got the run back when junior Benjamin Whitener came around to score on two-out RBI single to left field by junior Ryan Bliss.

The Scots scored a second run and put the potential tying-run on third base in the sixth-inning, but their efforts fell just short, as McDonald held them scoreless in the seventh to secure the win.

Before the start of the second game, the Yeomen held a ceremony to honor the five graduating Yeomen, as well as to officially recognize the donors that helped pay for the turf infield that was installed this past fall.

The second game was also a nail-biter. The Yeomen took a 2–1 lead in the third inning on RBIs from junior Jeff Schweighoffer and Hutson.

The Yeomen couldn’t hold the lead, though, and allowed the Scots to tally another run in the fourth inning, tying the game at two.

Junior Ben Whitener then traded zeros with several Scots pitchers until the 10th inning, when they got to him for two runs, ultimately saddling him with his third loss of the year.

Despite splitting the doubleheader, the Yeomen were pleased with their efforts, particularly with regard to their pitching performances.

“Wooster is always one of the better hitting teams we have to face,” Novak said. “Our pitchers were able to keep them in check and really helped to keep us in each game and give us a chance to win.”

Last weekend wrapped up the Yeomen’s Conference games, where they finished with a record of 7–9 in the NCAC East and an overall record of 14–16.

With two non-conference teams left to play, the Yeomen are determined to solidify their play to earn more victories.

“Our team has the talent, but we haven’t put it all together at times,” Schweighoffer said. “When the pitching has been there, the hitting has not, and vice versa. I’m hoping that we make strides to be a more complete team against Case this weekend and carry some momentum into the NCAC crossover series.

The Yeomen will return to play at home this Sunday as they take on the Case Western Reserve University Spartans with a doubleheader starting at noon.