FT. MYERS, FLA. -- The Defiance College baseball team concluded its annual Florida spring training trip with a pair of losses against Alvernia (Pa.) University, 7-1 and 6-4, in Ft. Myers, Fla.
In game one, Alvernia (9-0) jumped out a sizeable lead with four runs in the top of the second inning that included a RBI-triple and a pair of RBI-doubles to lead, 4-0.
The score remained, 4-0, until the sixth inning when both teams traded runs with Defiance's (2-7) run coming on a defensive error that allowed sophomore Michael Gilliland (Napoleon) to score from second base. But the deficit remained four runs for the Yellow Jackets, 5-1, heading into the seventh inning.
The Crusaders then put the game away with two more runs in the seventh en route to the 7-1 final.
Defiance recorded one hit in the game which came off the bat of sophomore Troy Konwinski (Allen Park, Mich./Allen Park) who went one-of-three overall.
Senior Nick Peters (Macomb, Mich./Eisenhower) started on the mound for the Jackets and pitched 6.1 innings and allowed seven runs, six earned, on 11 hits and had a career-high nine strikeouts. Junior Izzy Martinez (Defiance/Tinora) came on to pitch the final two-thirds of an inning and allowed just a hit.
In the nightcap, Alvernia again grabbed the early lead, this time with three runs in the bottom of the second inning. The Crusaders tacked on two more runs in the fourth to extend the margin to 5-0.
Defiance chipped away at the deficit with two runs in the fifth on a RBI-single by sophomore Kody Fuller (Wabash, Ind./Wabash) and a fielder's choice with runners at first and third, narrowing the gap to 5-2. But Alvernia got one of the runs back in the bottom half of the fifth on a sacrific fly to make it a 6-2 ball game.
The Jackets looked to rally again, scoring two more runs in the top of the sixth that came on a double by senior Quinten Harrington (Sandusky/Perkins) and a sacrifice fly by sophomore Tyler Weaver (Defiance), making the score 6-4.
Following a scoreless bottom of the sixth to keep the margin at a pair of runs, DC would record three straight strikeouts to end the game as Alvernia remained unbeaten with a 6-4 victory.
The DC bats faired better in game two with six hits. Harrington led the way as the only player to record a multi-hit game, going two-of-three with a run scored and a RBI. Four other Jackets each recorded a base hit in the loss.
On the mound, senior Dave Blanch (Alliston, Ont./Banting Memorial) got the start and went four innings, giving up five runs, three earned, on five hits and had four strikeouts. Freshman Jon Brown (Haskins/Otsego) pitched the final two innings and allowed one run on three hits.
Defiance will return North and is scheduled to travel to Albion, Mich. for a non-conference doubleheader against Albion College on Saturday, Mar. 18. The first game is set to begin at 1 p.m.