DC Clinches Postseason Berth For First Time Since 2004
Sunday, May 5, 2013 | by Robby Hamman
Defiance (20-13, 13-10 HCAC)
Transylvania (19-18, 12-12 HCAC)
5/4/2013 | Lexington, KY | Attendance: 165
Win: Taylor (6-2) 7.093322
Loss: King (2-5) 7.044234
Habecker (DC) 513100
Riney (TRANSY) 502000
Travisano (TRANSY) 422000
Winchester (TRANSY) 412000

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Defiance College baseball program reached the 20-win plateau for the first time in almost 20 years on Saturday with a 6-3 game one win at Transylvania and qualified for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament for the first time since 2004. The last time the Jackets won 20 or more games was 1995. DC dropped the final game of the series by a final of 3-0.

The Purple and Gold bats took a while to get going in the first game of the afternoon, as the hosts led DC 1-0 heading into the fifth inning.

The Yellow Jacket offense managed to record its first hit and give the team its first lead in the top of the fifth. Andy Habecker got things started for the visitors with a single to lead off the inning followed by Joel Musser’s infield single.

After a Jonathan Murphy walk loaded the bases with one out, Ryan Kohlhofer drove in Habecker from third by grounding into a fielder’s choice. On the play was an error from the second baseman which scored Musser to put the Jackets up 2-1, a lead the team would not relinquish.

The Purple and Gold hitters continually put pressure on Transylvania by scoring a run in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings to total six runs.

The Pioneers attempted comebacks on multiple occasions by cutting the DC lead to one at 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth and 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh but could never draw even with Defiance.

Jake Taylor, the Jackets’ starting pitcher, kept the Transylvania batters in check all game, as the senior pitched seven innings of three run baseball on nine hits and two walks. Taylor picked up his team-leading sixth win of the day.

Aaron Patterson and Alex Schomaeker closed the door on the Pioneers for the second straight game. Patterson tossed a scoreless eighth followed by Schomaeker throwing a perfect ninth to secure his tenth save of the season.

Defiance was unable to replicate its success at the plate in the final game of the series. Transylvania’s trio of pitchers in Shelby Dixon, Royce Neeley, and Elliot Desilets combined to pitch nine shutout innings and only allow three hits and one walk while striking out 11 DC batters.

Ryan McLaughlin, the Jackets starting pitcher, had a strong performance of his own, as the senior went seven innings, giving up just one run.

The Pioneer hitters added two runs in the eighth to go on to win by a final of 3-0.

The two Defiance wins in the three game series with the Pioneers mark the first time the Purple and Gold has won a series against Transylvania since the spring of 2006. DC’s 13 wins in the Heartland mark the most in program history since the college joined the conference in 2001.

The Jackets finished the regular season with a record of 20-14 and are set to play in the first round of the HCAC Tournament. The Purple and Gold will face top-seeded Manchester in the first round at Manchester University. The game is scheduled to be played on Thursday, May 9 at 12:00 p.m.