DC Baseball Takes Franklin Series for First Time Since 2006
Sunday, April 14, 2013 | by Robby Hamman
Franklin (13-15, 5-8 HCAC)
Defiance (14-9, 7-6 HCAC)
4/14/2013 | Defiance, OH | Attendance: 38
Win: Habecker (2-0) 2.010042
Loss: Cleveland (0-3) 0.211010
Ardizzone (FC) 503100
Masopust (DC) 402000

DEFIANCE, Ohio – After a hard fought-fought 3-2 victory in the series opener on Saturday afternoon, the Yellow Jackets needed only a split to claim the series with the Grizzlies. The Purple and Gold won the first game of its doubleheader on Sunday in dramatic fashion to win the regular season set against Franklin for the first time since 2006.

The Yellow Jackets found themselves down 3-0 after the first five innings and were in need of an offensive spark. Darin Waterman led off the sixth with a single followed by a base knock from Patrick Masopust to give DC runners on second and third with no outs. Andy Habecker followed with a sacrifice fly to right to put the Jackets on the scoreboard and cut the lead to 3-1.

The score remained unchanged heading into the bottom of the ninth, as both teams’ pitching staffs were dominant in the contest.

Defiance got things started in the last inning of regulation with a Jonathan Murphy walk. Ryan Kohlhofer then singled to left field and moved to second on the throw to third to put the tying run in scoring position.

After an Aaron Helland strikeout, Chris Donese grounded out to second, scoring Murphy and moving Kohlhofer 90 feet away from tying the game with two outs. With DC’s homerun leader in Waterman at the plate, the Franklin pitcher unleashed a pitch the catcher was unable to handle, allowing Kohlhofer to scramble home and tie the game at 3-3, sending the contest to extra innings.

Yellow Jacket reliever Habecker held the Grizzly offense scoreless in the top of the tenth to set up a walkoff opportunity in the bottom of the frame.

The first two Defiance hitters lined and grounded out and it appeared the game would push further into extras. Catcher Gary Levengood then drew a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. Murphy then reached first on an infield single while moving Levengood to second.

With runners on first and third, Kohlhofer hit a sharp grounder to shortstop. The Franklin infielder bobbled the ball and then fired over to first, but not in time as the umpire signaled safe on the bang-bang play at the bag allowing Levengood to score the game-winning run.

With the victory, the Purple and Gold are now 2-0 in extra inning affairs and have now outscored opponents 9-4 in the ninth inning of games.

In the final game of the series the Grizzlies came out with a chip on their shoulders and took it to the Yellow Jackets. Franklin scored four or more runs in four innings on its way to a 21-9 win in seven innings of play.

On the afternoon, the DC offense was led by Masopust, Habecker and Waterman, as each player recorded multiple hits between the two games and had on base percentages of .500 or better.

From the mound the Yellow Jackets received a great effort from Jake Taylor. The senior tossed eight innings and gave up just three runs before Habecker pitched two scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win.

Defiance’s season record moves to 14-10 with the split, just one shy of matching last season’s total of 15 victories. The Jackets are now 7-7 in conference games.

The Purple and Gold’s next game is at Bluffton University on Tuesday, April 16, as DC looks to win its second against the Beavers this season. First pitch is scheduled for 4:15 p.m.