DANVILLE, KY. -- The Defiance College baseball team officially began the 2017 season with a non-conference doubleheader against Centre (Ky.) College in Danville, Ky. The Yellow Jackets fell in game one, 10-6, and lost the nightcap, 6-1.
Senior Zack Reed (Midland, Mich./Bullock Creek) got off to a fast start going a perfect three-of-three in game one against the Colonels and also scored three runs in addition to a RBI.
Reed started of the top of the first inning with a base hit for Defiance (0-2). He then stole back-to-back bases to put himself at third base where sophomore Michael Gilliland (Napoleon) got Reed home on a single to right field.
The lead remained a run until the top of the fifth when the Yellow Jackets plated two more runs on a sacrifice fly by junior Glen Collier (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville) and a defensive error with runners at second and third base to make the score 3-0. But Centre (5-0) answered in the bottom of the inning with four runs to move ahead 4-3.
Both teams traded runs in the sixth with DC scoring on a RBI-single by senior Dave Blanch (Alliston, Ont./Banting Memorial) to keep the deficit at a run, 5-4. The Colonels tacked on another run in the bottom of the seventh to increase the margin to two runs, before Defiance evened the game at 6-6 thanks to a two-run top of the eighth that included a RBI-triple by Reed.
The difference in game one came in the bottom of the eighth when Centre recorded its second four-run inning to make the score 10-6. DC had one final chance in the top of the ninth and would get a runner in excellent scoring opportunity at third base. But the scoring chance came with two outs on the board and the Colonels managed the final out before any runs could score, sealing the 10-6 victory.
Blanch was the only other Jacket to record a multi-hit game going two-of-four with a run scored and RBI. Five other players each recorded a base hit as Defiance outhit Centre, 10-8, in the game.
On the mound, senior Nick Peters (Macomb, Mich./Eisenhower) got the start and pitched four and two-thirds innings giving up four runs on five hits and had one strikeout. Three other pitchers saw at least an inning of action, including sophomore Tyler Davie (Cincinnati/Anderson) who would end up with the loss after going a complete inning and allowing four runs, three earned, on two hits.
In game two, Centre grabbed the early lead with a run in the bottom of the first inning on a double play with bases loaded. Defiance answered the run with a run of its own in the third which came on a wild pitch that allowed Reed to score from third following a triple to set up the scoring chance.
The Colonels scored the final runs of the game beginning with what would turn out to be the game-winning run in the bottom of the fourth. Centre went on to add three runs in the fifth and another insurance run in the sixth en route to the 6-1 win.
Defiance tallied four hits, led by Gilliand who finished two-of-two. Reed and senior Quinten Harrington (Sandusky/Perkins) recorded the other two hits for the Yellow Jackets. Reed also added a run scored to finish with a combined four runs scored on the day.
At pitcher, senior Nick Watkins (Lima/Central Catholic) started the game and pitched five innings allowing five runs on eight hits and had two strikeouts. Freshman Kody King (Cecil/Fairview) pitched the final inning and gave up a run and had one strikeout.
Defiance will conclude its three-game series against Centre tomorrow (Sunday, Feb. 26) with a single nine-inning game in Danville, Ky. The first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.