Albion Outlasts Jackets, 15-13, in Slugfest
DEFIANCE, Ohio – The 2009 home opener for the Defiance College baseball team provided plenty of fireworks, as the Jackets batted around in two separate innings and put 13 runs on the board. The offensive onslaught would not be enough however, as Albion pounded out 15 runs on 20 hits for the victory.
DC built the early lead by sending 11 batters to the plate in the bottom of the second and striking for seven runs. The Jackets combined four hits with a pair of Albion errors to force open the floodgates. Kirk Jesse highlighted the rally by roping a two-run triple to the center field fence and Tim Pitro capped the scoring with a single to plate Jesse for the 7-1 cushion.
The Jackets held the 8-3 advantage entering the fifth, when a pair of costly mistakes helped turn the tide and allowed Albion to climb back into the game. After Tim Henneman had retired the first batter, the DC hurler got each of the next two Albion hitters to pop the ball up into foul territory. Defiance failed to capitalize on either opportunity and let each ball drop to give the Briton hitters new life.
Albion took full advantage, as Chuck DeClarke singled after being given the extra chance and Sam Prentice followed with a towering two-run homer on his second chance to cut the deficit to 8-5. AC would tack on another in the frame to narrow the margin to two runs.
After the Jackets added a run in the sixth, both teams batted around in the seventh with 10 runs being scored in all. Albion pushed across six runs on seven hits, including another blast. This time DeClarke cleared the left field fence for the third home run of the afternoon for the powerful Albion lineup.
Defiance answered by sending 10 men to the plate and scraping out four runs. Casey Kahsen, Aaron Stewart and Michael Dushane each drove in one run in three-straight at bats and Pitro worked a walk with the bases loaded to reclaim the lead for DC.
When the dust had settled from the seventh inning, Defiance was left clinging to a 13-12 lead with just two innings to play. Unfortunately for the Jackets, that would be the end of their scoring for the game, while Albion still had more offense in its bats.
The Britons tied the game with a run in the eighth, before piecing together a two-out rally in the top of the ninth to grab the 15-13 lead. With two men on and two outs, Josh DeLara beat out a bunt single. DC’s throw to first was errant, allowing one run to score and everyone to move up an extra base. Tyler Millward then dropped a bloop single into shallow right field to push across the insurance tally.
Defiance threatened in its final at bat, as Braden Brugler drew a walk to start the bottom of the ninth. Brad Timofeev then reached on Albion’s sixth error of the afternoon to put the potential tying runs on base but AC’s Ryan Gunderson escaped by striking out Keith Wade to end the game.
Pitro, Wade and Brandon Belew each had two-hit games in the 10-hit attack for Defiance, while Dushane, Pitro, Jesse, Belew and Ben Gates each drove in a pair of runs.
Defiance falls to 3-8 with the defeat and will be right back in action on Wednesday, with a road game at Adrian (4-5). First pitch is set for 5:00 pm.