DEFIANCE, OHIO -- After giving up four runs early, the Defiance College baseball team fell short in their comeback dropping a 4-2 decision to Earlham (Ind.) College to begin a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference three-game series at Craig A. Rutter Field.
Earlham (13-9, 8-5 HCAC) led 4-0 after two-and-a-half innings thanks to a run in the top of the second and three more scores in the third. Defiance (8-18, 5-8 HCAC) got two of the runs back in its half of the third inning on a groundout by sophomore Troy Konwinski (Allen Park, Mich./Allen Park) with runners on first and third base that scored fellow sophomore Michael Gilliland (Napoleon). Later in the inning, senior Zack Reed (Midland, Mich./Bullock) scored the Jackets' other run off of a sacrifice by junior Glen Collier (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville) making the score 4-2.
The combined six runs turned out to the only scoring the rest of the way as the game turned into a pitcher's dual and included strong defensive play by both teams. DC threatened in the bottom of the fifth with runners on second and third and would have the tying run on second base in the bottom of the ninth, but no runs would score in either inning as the Quakers held on to claim the 4-2 victory.
The Jackets put up seven hits in the game with Reed, Gilliand and senior Dave Blanch (Alliston, Ont./Banting Memorial) all recording a pair of hits. Gilliland finished two-of-three with a run scored, while Reed and Blanch both posted two-of-four efforts with Reed adding a run scored. Senior Quinten Harrington (Sandusky/Perkins) had the other hit for DC and ended the game one-of-four overall at the plate.
On the mound, senior Nick Peters (Macomb, Mich./Eisenhower) gave up the four early runs, but then settled in to pitch six scoreless innings for a complete game effort. Two of the four runs were unearned on 10 hits and he posted three strikeouts.
The two teams will square off again tomorrow (Saturday, Apr. 15) with a doubleheader to conclude the conference series. The first game is scheduled to begin at noon at Rutter Field.