Defiance Uses the Long Ball to Notch Road Win
RICHMOND, Ind. – Defiance pounded out four home runs and scored nine of its 14 runs in the first two innings of Wednesday’s non-conference game at Earlham. Nick Picciano handled the rest, pitching seven strong innings in the 14-3 victory.
Michael Dushane set the tone early, sending the first pitch of the evening over the fence for his first collegiate home run and the 1-0 Defiance advantage. The Jackets would add four more runs in the inning to take the 5-0 lead. The first-inning rally was highlighted by another homer, the first of Brad Rittner’s career, a Tim Pitro triple and a double off the bat of Keith Wade.
DC kept the pressure on in the second inning, as Ben Gates and Kirk Jesse earned one-out walks to start rally. After Pitro was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Casey Kahsen cleared the bases with a grand slam that extended Defiance’s cushion to 9-0.
The Jackets would push the lead to 11-0 with a two-run single from Pitro in the top of the third and the added a pair in the seventh on Alex Timofeev’s first career home run. Brandon Belew then capped the 14-run outburst with an RBI safety in the eighth.
The Defiance offense was clicking on all cylinders and rapped out 14 hits in the win with eight of them coming via the extra-base variety. All nine starters had at least one hit and scored at least once, with six different players collecting at least one RBI.
The ample offense was more than enough for Picciano (2-3), who picked up his second win of the season by holding Earlham to just two runs on seven hits in seven innings on the mound.
Todd Odell and Aaron Stewart each pitched one inning in relief to close the game and preserve the Yellow Jacket victory.
Defiance moves to 5-18 with the win and will look to carry the momentum into the weekend series with Mount St. Joseph. The teams will play a doubleheader at Rutter Field on Friday at 1:30 pm, before wrapping up the three-game series on Saturday at noon.