Springfield, Ohio – The Wittenberg University Baseball team jumped over the .500 mark in NCAC play on Saturday (4/6) with a pair of home wins over visiting Hiram College at Carleton Davidson Stadium. Wittenberg's bats erupted in game one, leading to a 12-2 run-rule victory over the Terriers, before jumping out on top early and hanging on late for a 9-7 win in game two. The Tigers extended their NCAC winning streak to four-straight and now sit at 4-2 overall in league play, while the two wins on Saturday also pushed their overall record to 12-8 on the season.
Game One Breakdown
After a scoreless first inning in game one, junior Jack Siefert opened the second inning with a towering blast over the centerfield wall to give the Tigers the early 1-0 lead. The two squads then played a pair of scoreless innings in the third and fourth, before each striking for a run in their half of the fifth inning. Wittenberg's run came on another towering solo blast, this time off the bat of senior Matt Baker right down the left field line. The Tigers than posted five spots up on the scoreboard in each of the next two innings to seal the 12-2 win over the Terriers. After sophomore Jack Hollinshead led off the sixth with a single to left field, Siefert blasted his second homer of the game, this time sending a shot over the left field wall to give the Tigers a 4-1 lead. Three additional Tigers smacked RBI singles in the sixth to push the lead out to 7-1, including Baker, sophomore David Hamrick and sophomore Hayden Knox. Hiram did get one run back in the top of the seventh to make the score 7-2, but Wittenberg pushed five across in the bottom half of the inning to reach the 10-run rule benchmark. Baker recorded another RBI in the seventh on a sacrifice fly to right field, while Knox was credited with an RBI after drawing a bases-loaded walk and Hollinshead ultimately ended the game with a two-run single into right field. Sophomore right-hander Tanner Griggs improved to 2-1 on the season on the mound after he struck out one and allowed just the one earned run on four total hits over the first 6.0 innings of action against the Terriers.
Game Two Breakdown
Hiram went ahead early in game two with a solo run in the top of the first inning, but Wittenberg got two runs of its own in the bottom of the second to take a 2-1 lead after two innings of play. Junior Patrick Kenny roped a single to right in the second and was driven home on a double over the center fielder's head off the bat of Baker, while Hamrick drove in Baker later in the inning on a sacrifice fly to center. Hiram went back ahead, 3-2, with a two-spot in the top of the third, but the Tigers quickly evened the score back up at 3-3 in the bottom of the frame on an RBI single to center off the bat of Kenny. After a scoreless fourth inning, the Tigers appeared to put the game out of reach over their next two at-bats with two runs in the fifth and three runs in the sixth. Hollinshead and Siefert each smacked RBI singles in both the fifth and sixth innings, while Kenny drove home the final run of the sixth on another sacrifice fly, this time to left field. However, Hiram's bats came back to life in the eighth inning as the Terriers plated four runs in the frame to make the score 8-7, which included back-to-back homers from Alex Perrella and PJ Suso. The Tigers did get one of the runs back in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single from junior Ryan Probst, while junior right-hander Adam Mays retired the side in order in the ninth to secure the 9-7 win for the Tigers and his second save of the season. Sophomore left-hander starter Michael Martin earned his first win of the season on the hill for the Tigers as he set five batters down on strikes and allowed just three earned runs on five total hits over in 7.0 innings of work.
Wittenberg hits the road for three games next week, starting with a single nine-inning, non-conference game at Thomas More on Tuesday (4/9) at 4:00 p.m., before making the trek up to Oberlin next Saturday (4/13) for an NCAC DH against the Yeomen at 12:00 p.m. The Tigers then return home on Sunday (4/14) for a 2:00 p.m. non-conference game against Adrian College.