DC Pitching Powers Jackets to Fourth in HCAC Standings
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Yellow Jacket baseball team traveled down to Lexington on Friday to wrap up its regular season with a crucial three-game clash against the Pioneers. The Defiance College pitching staff came through with a gem, as DC won a 2-1 pitcher's duel to take game one of the three-game set.Defiance entered the series as the fifth ranked team in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standings with Transylvania in the fourth spot. The top four teams go on to play in the HCAC Tournament.Neither team managed to produce a run in the first two innings of play, as the game was scoreless heading into the top of the third inning.A Transylvania error got things started for the Purple and Gold in the third, as Chris Donese reached first on an error by the second baseman with one out. Back-to-back two-out singles from Patrick Masopust and Andy Habecker gave DC a 1-0 advantage.After a scoreless bottom of the third from the hosts, the Yellow Jacket offense went back to work in the top of the fourth to increase their lead in an unconventional manner, as the visitors scored a run while not recording a hit in the stanza.Gary Levengood drew a leadoff walk to start the inning and then advanced to third on consecutive groundouts by Defiance hitters. The freshman catcher then bolted for home on a wild pitch to increase the lead to 2-0.DC's starting pitcher Darin Waterman continued to baffle the Pioneer hitters, as the junior did not allow a hit until the fifth inning and held Transylvania scoreless through the first six innings of play.The Pioneer bats finally plated a run off Waterman in the bottom of the seventh to cut the Purple and Gold lead to one run at 2-1. The pitcher finished his masterful performance with a line of seven innings pitched with three strikeouts, while allowing one run on three hits and three walks.The Jackets' bullpen of Aaron Patterson and Alex Schomaeker carried the squad to the finish line, as Patterson tossed a scoreless eighth to set up Schomaeker's ninth save of the season.The difference in the outcome proved to be the defense. Defiance played a flawless game in the field with no errors, while Transylvania committed three miscues which led to an unearned run.At the dish, the Yellow Jackets were led by their three, four and five hitters of Waterman, Masopust and Habecker, as the trio combined to record five of DC's six hits.With the victory, the Purple and Gold improve its overall record to 19-13 and its mark in the Heartland to 12-10. The Jackets are now in fourth place in the HCAC standings with Transylvania and Franklin right on their heels.Defiance wraps up the regular season on Saturday with a doubleheader against the Pioneers. The first game is scheduled to begin at 12:00 p.m. with final game of the series to follow.