Stewart’s Shutout Lifts DC to Senior Day Victory
DEFIANCE, Ohio – Defiance College pounded out eight runs on 11 hits and played dazzling defense behind a determined Aaron Stewart on the mound, as the Yellow Jackets celebrated Senior Day with an 8-0 victory against Hanover on Sunday at Craig Rutter Field.
With rain looming, the Purple and Gold controlled the action from the opening pitch behind an aggressive approach in all aspects of the game. Stewart set that tone from the opening pitch, as the senior hurler worked quickly and pounded the strike zone relentlessly through all nine innings of the shutout victory.
Stewart (2-3) threw 83 of his 123 pitches for strikes and did not issue a free pass until walking the first two Panthers to start the top of the eighth inning. For the game, Stewart held Hanover to only five hits, while striking out four and blanking HC for all nine innings.
The Yellow Jacket hitters were equally impressive, capitalizing on five Hanover errors and using timely hitting to score at least two runs in three separate innings.
The heart of the order did much of the damage for DC, as Braden Brugler, Kirk Jesse, Tim Pitro, Keith Wade and Brad Rittner went 9-24 at the plate and combined to score and drive in all eight tallies for the Jackets.
Jesse put Defiance on the board in the bottom of the first inning, lacing a single into right field to score Brugler for the early 1-0 advantage. Jesse then raced home for the 2-0 lead when Wade knocked a single through the left side.
The Jackets would strike again in the third inning when Brugler and Jesse each singled and scored on a two-run double off the bat of Pitro. Rittner would later score Pitro with a single, before eventually scoring on a balk to extend DC’s cushion to 6-0 after three innings.
A pair of insurance runs were added by Defiance in the sixth to push the spread to its final mark of 8-0. The middle of DC’s order was involved once again, as Jesse knocked in Brugler and scored on another Pitro double.
Jesse led four Yellow Jacket hitters with multiple-hit games, going 3-5 at the plate with three runs and two RBI in the win. Brugler went 2-5 with three runs, Pitro was 2-4 with a run and three RBI and Brandon Belew reached three times with two hits and a walk.
Defiance (6-24, 2-12 HCAC) will look to stay on the winning track when it takes on Bluffton (10-19, 4-11 HCAC) on Tuesday. The first pitch is slated for 4:00 pm at Bluffton.