April 6, 2012

Pitching Performances Highlight a Yeomen Split

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Gambier, Ohio – The Oberlin College baseball team lost game one in walk-off fashion 1-0, but bounced back by winning game two 6-0 against the Kenyon College Lords on Friday afternoon at McCloskey Field to remain atop the NCAC East.

Jason James' second straight masterful pitching performance guided the Yeomen to the victory in the nightcap. The senior from Boulder, Colorado, shutdown the Lords' hitters through eight innings of work as he struck out three and walked just one. He threw 106 pitches, 65 of which went from strikes. It is the second straight shutout he has been a part of.

Unlike in game one, the Yeomen bats also did their job in providing James with some run support. Junior leadoff hitter Robin Witjes led the way with three hits, while Sean Cohen, Ben Whitener and Steve DiNanno each had two. All-in-all the Yeomen belted out 13 hits in the game.

Oberlin posted one run in the second on DiNanno's two-out single and would then add three more in the third. Eric Knight sent the first run of the inning across the dish as his double down the left field line drew some chalk to score Witjes. A squeeze bunt by Zach Kisley and a single by Whitener made it a 4-0 Yeomen advantage.

A sac fly from Knight in the fourth and single by DiNanno in the seventh resulted in two more Oberlin runs to come across the plate.

The Lords used five different pitchers in the game. Josh Jacobvitz was chased after just 2.2 innings as he took the loss. With the win, James improved to 3-3.

Game one proved to be an old fashion pitcher's duel, but in the end the home Lords were able to earn a 1-0 walk-off win in the bottom of the seventh.

Yeomen starter Knight threw a gem, but ended up on the wrong side of the ledger as the Lords were finally able to push one across in their last at-bat. The Scottsdale, Arizona, native allowed just four hits in 6.1 innings of work. He struck out five and walked five (one intentional), while hitting one. Knight entered the seventh having surrendered just two hits.

The Yeomen, who were shutout for the first time all season, stranded seven base runners in the contest. Witjes and Cohen each had two hits, accounting for four of Oberlin's six hits in the game.

In the home half of the seventh, Jack Graham led off the inning with a single through the right side and pinch runner Matt Wagnitz was sacrificed over to second. Following an intentional walk to leadoff hitter Jack Dunn, Devin Ensing drew another a walk to load the bases with one out. Nate Lotze then came up and delivered the game-winner with hit to center field.

Oberlin had prime scoring opportunities in the second, fifth and sixth innings, but came up empty. In the second the Yeomen had runners at the corners with one out, but Lords' ace pitcher Tyler Dierke was able to get out of the jam unscathed.

In the fifth back-to-back two-out singles by Witjes and Cohen posed another threat and in the sixth Knight tried to help his own cause as he led off the inning with a double. After being sacrificed over to third, Dierke got rookie Ben Whitener to line and induced a ground out off of the bat of Jeff Schweighoffer.

Dierke, who improved to 6-1, fanned five Yeomen hitters. With the loss, Knight fell to 3-4 on the year.

Oberlin (16-6, 5-1 NCAC) and Kenyon (17-7, 6-2 NCAC) will do it all over again tomorrow. First pitch is set for high noon.

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