DC Baseball Completes Sweep of MSJ to End Season
CINCINNATI – Defiance College wrapped up its 2012 baseball season on a positive note, handling Mount St. Joseph by a 5-4 margin to complete a series sweep of the Lions. DC won four of its last five games, including its last four in league play, and ended the season with a 7-6 record over the final 13 contests.
The late-season surge helped the Jackets log a nine-win improvement over last year, as Defiance more than doubled its 2011 win total with 15 overall victories. Along with the improved record, DC set a new program record for team fielding percentage with a mark of .964 to best the previous record of .958 set during the 2010 campaign.
Defiance will enter the 2013 season poised to continue its improvement, as the Jackets expect to return six starters on offense and nearly 80 percent of its innings pitched, including the entire rotation. The experience should help DC reverse a trend that saw the squad suffer 13 of its 24 losses by two runs or fewer this season.
The Jackets came out on top of one of those close contests on Saturday, as Stephen Leskow, Clint Hoskins and Alex Schomaeker entered out of the bullpen for Defiance to hold MSJ to one run on six hits over the final 6.1 innings.
Defiance capitalized on the solid showing from its bullpen, scoring two runs in each of the second and third frames and adding the game-winning run in the top of the ninth to secure the 5-4 win.
Leskow stemmed the early tide by entering in the third inning and tossing four frames, while holding the Mount to five hits and only one run. Hoskins then finished the seventh and worked a perfect eighth to pick up his first collegiate win on the mound and Schomaeker netted his sixth save of the year with a scoreless bottom of the ninth. Schomaeker's six saves tied him with Bob Eaton (1989) for the second-best, single-season tally in DC history.
DC's offense got on the board with a successful double steal in the top of the second, with Jonathan Murphy stealing second base and Brent Kremer swiping home to trim MSJ's early lead to 2-1. Aaron Helland then doubled home Murphy to tie the game at 2-2.
In the top of the third inning, Darin Waterman ignited another rally with a leadoff double, before Brad Kremer singled. Both would come around to score later in the frame, on a two-run single off the bat of Brent Kremer to give Defiance the 4-3 lead.
MSJ drew even with a run in the bottom of the seventh to set the stage for DC's ninth-inning rally. A one-out double from Bryn Lehman was followed by three-straight walks to push Lehman across for the 5-4 Yellow Jacket advantage, which they would maintain for the one-run victory.
Brent Kremer led the attack in his final game with the Purple and Gold, collecting two RBI and scoring a run in the win. Waterman, Brad Kremer, Murphy and Lehman also scored a run for the Jackets.
Along with another strong day with the bat, Lehman notched two more assists from his shortstop position to end the season with 105 for the third-highest, single-season total in DC history. Lehman's career total of 313 put the senior in fourth place in DC's record books and only 33 assists shy of the all-time mark of 346 held by Tim Pitro (2007-2010), despite only playing three seasons with the Purple and Gold.
Lehman joined Brett Belew, Nicholas Bratt, Braden Brugler, Clint Hoskins, Brent Kremer, Levi Pauli, Dave Riley and Nate White as part of DC's nine-man senior class in 2012. The group helped the Jackets to a 15-24 overall clip and an 8-15 mark in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.