DEFIANCE, Ohio – Junior Troy Konwinski (Allen Park, Mich.) led Defiance on Saturday afternoon at Craig A. Rutter Field as baseball split with Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opponent Hanover, winning game one 5-1 and falling in game two 4-3.
The Purple and Gold (12-17 overall, 5-9 HCAC) were led on the day by Konwinski pitching a complete game surrendering just one run on three hits en route to his second win of the season.
The Purple and Gold surged ahead early in game one as Konwinski drew a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the first inning to put DC on top 1-0.
The Yellow Jackets would tack on another run in the bottom of the third inning as senior Glen Collier (Zionsville, Ind.) recorded a sacrifice fly to right field scoring sophomore Ben Bucklew (Archbold), 2-0.
The Panthers clawed their way back into the contest as they plated a run in the top of the fourth inning to cut the deficit to 2-1.
However, the Purple and Gold responded in the bottom half of the inning as freshman Nate Kaffenbarger (DeGraff/Indian Lake) delivered a single to center field that scored freshman Lucas Thomeier (Wickliffe) and junior Tanner Stippich (Lima/Allen East), 4-1.
Defiance added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth inning to seal the 5-1 victory.
Konwinski led DC in the contest pitching eight shutout innings.
In game two, the Yellow Jackets struggled to punch in a run early as they left five batter stranded through the first three innings of play.
However, Hanover would break the scoreless tie in the top the fourth inning capitalizing on a DC miscue scoring two runs, 2-0.
The Panthers tacked on an insurance run in the top of the sixth inning to extend their lead, 3-0.
Defiance would steal a run back in the bottom of the seventh inning as Kaffenbarger hit a sacrifice fly to center field scoring sophomore Jon Brown (Haskins/Otsego), 3-1.
Hanover answered in the top of the eighth inning using an RBI single to push the lead back to three runs, 4-1.
The Purple and Gold threatened the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning as they loaded the bases following a sophomore Jude Neary (Toledo/Cardinal Stritch) walk. The Panthers pitching staff held strong picking up back-to-back strike outs to get out of the jam.
The Yellow Jackets would look to rally again in the bottom of the ninth inning as Bucklew placed an RBI single to right center that scored Thomeier. Gilliland followed it up with a picture perfect bunt that advanced the DC base runners to scoring position before Collier drew a walk loading the bases. Konwinski deemed clutch once more as he hit a sacrafice fly that plated another DC run. However, the Panther defense was able to hold strong as a line drive to third base seal the Hanover win.
The Purple and Gold return to action on Sunday, April 29 as they welcome non-conference opponent Heidelberg. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.