While some North Coast baseball teams have opened the season with rare northern games in late February and early March, a majority of the league teams will be kicking off their schedules over the next three weeks on spring break trips in either Arizona or Florida.
ALLEGHENY was downed by Case, 6-1, in a neutral site game at W&J in its only action last week. Senior right-hander Corey Keenan (Greensburg, PA/Hempfield Area) took the no-decision after striking out six and allowing just one earned run on two hits in 5.0 innings of work. However, the Spartans struck for two runs in the sixth and three more unearned runs in the seventh to secure the five-run win.
DENISON got off to a hot start in the 2017 season with a three-game sweep of Manchester last weekend at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio. The Big Red’s offense exploded over the three-game stretch, hitting .385 as a team and outscoring the Spartans by a 42-4 margin. Senior outfielder Evan Flax (Gaithersburg, MD/St. John’s) led DU on the weekend with seven hits, seven RBI and nine runs scored, which included driving in four runs on just two hits in the season-opening 17-2 win over Manchester. On the mound, the staff combined for a 1.33 ERA and posted an impressive 23-2 strikeout-walk ratio. Junior right-hander Zach Huarte (Villa Park, CA/Servite) was dominant in the 14-1 game-two win as he struck out seven and scattered just three hits in 6.0 innings of work to earn his first victory of the season.
DEPAUW improved to 5-1 on the season after taking two of three at Greenville (IL) last weekend. The Tigers topped the Panthers, 6-1, on Friday night and also picked up a 13-10 win in the series finale on Saturday. The Tigers hit .337 for the series, which included six homers and six doubles for a .574 slugging percentage. Senior outfielder Jack Thompson (Carmel, IN/Carmel) paced the lineup with seven hits and five RBI, which included a pair of solo homers in the 6-4 loss against Greenville on Saturday. Senior Mike Hammel (Westfield, IN/Cathedral) was the winner on the hill on Friday after striking out six and allowing just one earned run on three hits in 6.0 innings of work.
HIRAM opened its spring break trip in Fort Myers, Florida, by splitting a pair of games against Dominican on Sunday, falling in the opener, 10-3, before grinding out a 3-2 win in the nightcap. Senior outfielder Brandon Gros (Ravenna, OH/Kent Roosevelt), who was 5-for-6 at the plate with three doubles and one RBI in the two games combined, scored the eventual game-winning run in the bottom of the fourth inning in game two on an RBI single to left field from junior catcher Brandon Kish (Poland, OH/Struthers). Freshman Shawn May (Beachwood, OH/Beachwood) earned his first-career win on the mound in game two after striking out five and allowing two earned runs in 4.0 innings of work, while junior Tyler Carcioppolo (Seven Hills, OH/Normandy) collected his first-career save after setting the side down in the top of the seventh.
KENYON junior Matt von Roemer (Kendall Park, NJ/Rutgers Prep) went 6-for-7 at the plate in the Lords’ narrow 12-11 extra-inning loss against Widener on Sunday in Fort Pierce, Florida. The Lords also dropped game one against the Pride by a 6-2 margin. The six hits by von Roemer was a KC single-game record and just one hit off the current NCAC benchmark.
OHIO WESLEYAN kicked off its season by dropping a twin bill against regional-rival and 21st-ranked Marietta on Sunday at Littick Field in Delaware. The Pioneers posted a 4-1 victory in game one, before completing the sweep with a 19-2 win in the nightcap. Junior centerfielder Mitchell Johnson (Columbus, OH/Hamilton Twp.) went 2-for-4 at the plate with a double in the opener, while senior first baseman Devin Van Winkle (Plain City, OH/Jonathan Alder) plated a run for the Bishops in game two on a single down the left field line.
WABASH opened its spring break trip in Arizona on Sunday by going 1-1 in a split doubleheader. The Little Giants lost the opener, 9-6, against Aurora, before claiming an 11-6 win over Bethany Lutheran. Junior centerfielder Tyler Canter (Fishers, IN/Fishers) went 2-for-3 at the plate in the game two victory, which included driving in a run on an RBI single in the sixth and also plating a run in the eighth on a bases loaded walk.