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Offense Shines in Sweep of Mount St. Joseph

Offense Shines in Sweep of Mount St. Joseph

AMELIA, OHIO -- The Defiance College baseball team used an offensive explosion to sweep Mount St. Joseph University, 17-6 and 11-9, in their final road matchups of the season on Tuesday.

Defiance (14-18, 7-9 HCAC) started the scoring early, as a two-run single from senior Glen Collier (Zionsville, Ind.) gave Defiance a quick 2-0 first inning lead over the Lions (13-21, 4-11 HCAC).

The offense continued their roll in the second, as 11 batters came to the plate, with six runs scoring, as junior Garrett Sierra (Defiance) and junior Michael Gilliland (Napoleon) added back-to-back RBI singles to make it 4-0. Collier followed with a two-run triple to make it 4-0, before junior Troy Konwinski (Allen Park, Mich.) and freshman Nate Kaffenbarger (DeGraff/Indian Lake) scored consecutive run-scoring hits to give DC the 8-0 lead through two.

The third inning saw a one-out RBI double from Sierra, who went on to score on an error off the bat of Gilliland. Collier added two more RBI to his total as he smacked one out of the park to extend the Defiance lead to 12-0. Konwinski continued the trend, making it back-to-back jacks to extend the lead to 13-0.

In the fourth, sophomore Tanner Stippich (Lima/Allen East) hit a one-out pitch out of the park to make it a 14-1 lead for Defiance. 

The Lions added three runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh to cut the deficit to 14-6.

Defiance got the bats back out for the ninth, as sophomore Ben Bucklew (Archbold) reached on an error with two outs and the middle of the lineup made the Lions pay. gilliland singled Bucklew in to extend the lead, and Gilliland scored on an error to make it a 16-6 game. The Yellow Jackets scored the game's final run on a double from Konwinski that scored Collier to give DC a 17-6 wiin.

Sophomore Jon Brown (Haskins/Otsego) threw his second straight complete game for the Purple and Gold, allowing six runs (three earned) on 10 hits, while striking out three Lions.

The offense exploded for 19 hits, led by Collier, who finished the game 3-for-5 with seven RBI and three runs scored. Konwinski also finished the day 3-for-6 with three RBI and a pair of runs scored, while Sierra finished the day 3-for-6 with two RBI and three runs scored. Stippich added three hits ont he day with an RBI and two runs scored. Bucklew, Gilliland, and Kaffenbarger finished with two hits apiece, with Bucklew and Gilliland scoring three runs each.

The offense continued their hot streak to start game two, as Gilliland doubled in Sierra, and then went on to score on a wild pitch two batters later to give DC a quick 2-0 advantage. 

The Yellow Jackets scored three more in the second inning before Konwinski belted his second home run of the day in the third inning to extend the lead to 6-0. 

The Lions scored three in the bottom of the third to cut the deficit in half, but Konwinski added an RBI single in the fifth to make it 7-3. Defiance also added two more runs in the sixth, with Sierra and Gilliland scoring on a wild pitch and a passed ball to make it a 9-3 DC lead.

Mount St. Joseph got within striking distance with a three-run homer in the sixth, followed by adding two more runs in the seventh to make it a 9-8 game, but Defiance added one run in the eights as Stippich walked with the bases loaded, scoring Konwinski.

After MSJ cut the lead to 10-9 in the eighth, Collier capped off a sacrifice fly in the ninth to score Bucklew. Konwinski slammed the door on the Lions in the bottom of the ninth to finish off an 11-9 win for DC.

Konwinski added onto his game one performance by going 3-for-4 in game two with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. Sierra, Bucklew, Gilliland and sophomore Jude Neary (Toledo/Cardinal Stritch Catholic) added two hits apiece, as well, in the game two win.

Freshman Michael Reese (Constantine, Mich.) improved his record to 2-2, allowing nine earned runs on 12 hits with three strikeouts. Konwinski allowed just one hit in the final two innings to earn the save.

Defiance is scheduled to wrap up the regular season with a doubleheader against nationally-ranked Franklin (Ind.) College on Friday, May 4. It will be Senior Day at Craig A. Rutter Field with first pitch for game one scheduled for 1 p.m.