FRANKLIN, IND. -- The Defiance College baseball team put up 27 runs in the first game of a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader against Franklin (Ind.) College and came away with a two-game split to begin the three-game series.
Offense was abundant for Defiance (7-16, 4-6 HCAC) in game one with a season-high 27 runs on 19 hits. The Yellow Jackets got the scoring started early with four runs in the top of the first inning that included a two-run scoring error, followed by a bases-loaded walk by senior Quinten Harrington (Sandusky/Perkins) and a sacrifice fly by freshman Everett Kissel (Defiance/Tinora).
Franklin (15-8, 7-3 HCAC) chipped away at the DC lead with pair of runs in the bottom of the second and then another run in the third to make it a one-run game, 4-3.
Defiance then broke the game open with a 10-run fourth highlighted by a two-run home run by junior Glen Collier (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville) early in the inning. The Grizzlies scored twice in their half of the inning, but still trailed, 14-5.
The scoring continued for the Jackets in the seventh by platting five runs and then four more runs in the eighth that included a two-run shot by Stippich, making the score 26-8. Franklin scored its final runs in the bottom of the inning with two scores.
The Jackets tacked on a final run in the top of the ninth on a sacrifice by senior Dave Blanch (Alliston, Ont./Banting Memorial) to end the scoring as DC cruised to the 27-10 final.
DC was led by Collier who finished the game with five hits in six at-bats to go along with five runs scored and six RBI. Stippich finished the game going four-of-five with three runs scored and five RBI. Sophomore Michael Gilliland (Napoleon) was three-of-seven in addition to scoring two runs and a RBI. Rounding out the double-figure hitters was sophomore Troy Konwinski (Allen Park, Mich./Allen Park) who was two-of-six with four runs scored and a pair of RBI. Five other players each recorded a hit in the game.
On the mound, senior Nick Peters (Macomb, Mich./Eisenhower) started the game and pitched six innings to get the win and improved to 4-1 on the season. He allowed eight runs, four earned, on seven hits and struck out three batters. Sophomore Paris Creek (Bryan), junior Parker Houk (Montpelier) and freshman Jon Brown (Haskins/Otsego) each pitched an inning of relief.
In game two, it was Franklin who jumped out early with four runs in the bottom of the first that included a three-run home run. Defiance got one of the runs back in the third on a RBI-single by Konwinski, but the Grizzlies answered the run with a run of their own in the fourth to make the score 5-1.
Franklin extended the lead in the fifth with three runs, but this time, Defiance answered with three runs in the top of the sixth on a two-run home run by Collier, his second home run of the day, and a sacrifice by Blanch to narrow the gap to 8-4.
The Grizzlies then put the game away in the seventh getting four runs across home plate to end the scoring en route to a 12-4 victory.
Defiance racked up eight hits in the nightcap with senior Zack Reed (Midland, Mich./Bullock Creek) finishing as the lone multi-hitter going four-of-five. Four other Jackets recorded a base hit, including Collier who's lone hit was the two-run shot to end the game one-of-four with a run scored and two RBI. Konwinski also went one-of-four and scored a run and a RBI.
Senior Nick Watkins (Lima/Central Catholic) got the start for the Yellow Jackets on the mound and went 4.2 innings, allowing eight runs, seven earned, on eight hits and struck out two batters. Senior Drew Miller (Walled Lake, Mich./Walled Lake Central) pitched 1.1 innings in relief and gave up just a hit while striking out three. Freshman Kody King (Cecil/Fairview) pitched a third of an inning and gave up four runs on three hits and had a strikeout before being replaced by sophomore Tyler Davie (Cincinnati/Anderson) who pitched the final 1.2 innings and allowed just a hit.
The two teams will conclude the series with a single, nine-inning game tomorrow (Sunday, Apr. 9). The game is scheduled to begin at noon in Franklin, Ind.