Yeomen’s Season Comes to Close in Crossover Play

The baseball team ended its season with three consecutive losses of 14–2, 13–6 and 4–1 against the DePauw University Tigers this past weekend in the North Coast Athletic Conference Crossover Series. With the losses, the Yeomen were eliminated from the conference tournament, and the Tigers will advance to Chillicothe, Ohio this weekend for the playoffs.

“Obviously, it wasn’t the result we wanted,” junior outfielder Andrew Hutson said. “DePauw came out and played the best series of their season and beat us, simple as that. No reason for us to be too down about it.”

The Tigers set the pace in the first game of the series, scoring 14 runs before the Yeomen could get on the board.

“We scored in each game, but we just couldn’t hold them off defensively,” senior pitcher Mike McDonald said. “If our pitching was on, maybe we could have moved on.”

The second game got off to a better start as the Yeomen took a 2–0 lead on a Tiger error and an RBI single by sophomore catcher Blaise Dolcemaschio. The Tigers quickly took the lead back, though, as they gained five runs in the second and third innings. Junior infielder Danny Baldocchi hit a homerun in the sixth inning to bring the Yeomen within two, but the Tigers added three in the bottom half of the frame and five more in the eighth to put the game out of reach. The Yeomen tallied three runs in the top of the ninth, but the game was already out of reach.

“I thought we came into the weekend with a great shot of making it back to the final four,” senior infielder Kevin Verne said. “We ran into a team that played some very good baseball on a day that we did not have our best stuff. Clearly a tough way to go out, but I’m still proud of our team.”

The two teams ended their weekend on Sunday with the third game of the crossover series. Verne and junior infielder Jeff Schweighoffer had two hits, and Hutson added three, but only one of the eight went for extra bases, and as a result, the Yeomen were only able to put one run on the board.

For Verne, it was a difficult way to end his career, and the reality of having played his last game at Oberlin hasn’t set in yet.

“When you go through your athletic career, you never really think it’s going to end,” he said. “One season ends, but you have that safety net of the next season to fall back on. Playing in my last game, I tried to take in my surroundings and enjoy every second. I looked back at all the games I have played in my life, and how they all led to that final game. I’m pretty sure it hasn’t really hit me yet, but it is certainly a tough situation to deal with.”

The Yeomen ended their season with a record of 7–12 in the NCAC and 17–20 overall. Despite losing five graduating seniors, the team has high hopes for next fall.

“Obviously, we’re losing some very key pieces in our game with our seniors graduating,” Hutson said. “However, I think we have a very good shot at making a very strong playoff push next year and potentially being right in the mix to win the conference. We’re returning many of our top hitters and pitchers, and I expect us all to improve greatly over the next